PS4 vs Xbox One: Which Console Is Right for You?

Who wins when it comes to price, compatibility, and more

Is PS4 better than Xbox One? Who wins when it comes to the best console out there right now? These are questions that gamers ask themselves often. When it comes to the battle of PlayStation vs Xbox, it can be hard to know which console to buy when looking to enjoy some console-based gaming. Both systems offer high-quality experiences and great options, so you really can't go wrong with either. That said, they do both take different approaches when it comes to certain parts of what makes a console great. 

While PlayStation 4 arguably has the better big-name exclusives, Xbox One has its Netflix like Xbox Game Pass service which can make it a cheaper proposition. We've tested and researched both so you can make a confident decision about which games console is for you. 

Overall Findings

PlayStation 4
  • Best exclusive games.

  • Smallest console size.

  • Upgradeable internal hard drive.

  • Virtual Reality support.

Xbox One
  • Xbox Game Pass service is fantastic deal.

  • Xbox One X has most powerful specs.

  • Built-in 4K blu-ray player.

  • Better backwards compatibility.

When it comes to Xbox or PS4, both consoles are fantastic. They both provide great games, useful media apps, great graphics, and they'll look good under your TV too. The Sony PlayStation 4 offers the best exclusive blockbuster games but the Xbox One has a huge advantage in the form of Xbox Game Pass, allowing users to pay a small fee each month to have access to a library of hundreds of great games for free. 

The Xbox One also now offers a 4K Blu-Ray player as standard while the PS4 only offers 4K graphics via its PlayStation 4 Pro console. Buy a PSVR headset though and you can enjoy virtual reality games—something the Xbox One doesn't offer. Ultimately though, what you choose is almost certainly going to come down to personal preference.

Price: Evenly Matched in Every Way

PlayStation 4
  • Two different console types to choose from.

  • Special offers available when you shop around.

  • Game bundle deals available.

Xbox One
  • Budget and premium console types to pick from.

  • Games bundled in with console often.

  • Also doubles as a 4K Blu-Ray player.

In the battle of PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One, the prices are near identical. Both consoles are available in two different varieties. There's the standard Xbox One S and the standard PS4—both offering 1TB of storage and one controller and both with an MSRP of $300. Where things differ for the two consoles is that the Xbox One S also works as a 4K Blu-Ray player which could be useful for those users that want a home theater set up too. 

If you want to spend a little more, you can buy either the Xbox One X 1TB or PS4 Pro 1TB for an MSRP of $400. Both systems are the more powerful versions of the consoles, each offering superior specifications and technical prowess so that games look better and load faster. Again, the Xbox One X is the only one of the two consoles that will also play 4K movies although the PS4 Pro does play games in 4K resolution. 

Games and Compatibility: Sony's Exclusives Are Better While Xbox One Is Better Value

PlayStation 4
  • More exclusives overall.

  • Includes games like The Last of Us and the Uncharted series.

  • Limited compatibility with consoles before it.

Xbox One
  • Xbox Game Pass offers hundreds of games per month for set fee.

  • Exclusives like the Halo series, Gears of War and Forza Motorsport.

  • Better backwards compatibility.

Neither the Xbox One nor PlayStation 4 is short on games. There are plenty of options out there no matter what your preference. Overall, if you love racing games and shooters then the Xbox One wins thanks to great titles like the Gears of War series, Halo franchise, and the Forza Motorsport and Horizon games. However, if you prefer more adventuring then the PlayStation 4 is a good option with the likes of The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, and the Uncharted series of games.

The Xbox One has a substantial advantage in the form of the Xbox Game Pass. It works like Netflix allowing you to pay a set fee each month in exchange for access to hundreds of games. These include first-party hits like the games mentioned above, along with indie gems too that you may not have heard of before. Typically though, the PlayStation 4 has more highly regarded games. 

When it comes to backward compatibility, Xbox One has more options with Xbox 360 games often playable through the system and even original Xbox games in some instances. It doesn't cater to all games but it's a good start. The PlayStation 4 relies on its PS Now streaming service which has you rent backward compatible games, even if you previously owned them. Reliant on streaming, it can be tricky depending on your internet connection, but then again Xbox Game Pass means you have to download full games to be able to play them.

Performance: Xbox One X Is the King of Them All

PlayStation 4
  • Original PS4 is the most powerful of the original consoles.

  • Original PS4 runs at higher resolution than its competitor.

  • Can upgrade PlayStation 4 internal hard drive.

Xbox One
  • Xbox One X is the most powerful console.

  • Xbox One X offers best texture detail.

  • Both Xbox One consoles are faster than their competitors.

Performance-wise, there's not a huge amount between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. While the Xbox One and Xbox One X have more powerful CPUs than the PlayStation 4 equivalent, the opposite is true when it comes to GPU performance, making this quite the balanced battle. When in action, the difference isn't huge most of the time. 

Graphically, the Xbox One X has the edge with the best texture detail and resolution but that's only with specific games that take advantage of its prowess. Much of the time, the difference is near imperceptible and recent PS4 exclusives such as Ghost of Tsushima has demonstrated that the PS4 looks fantastic. 

One other advantage the PlayStation 4 has is that you can easily upgrade the internal hard drive while you're reliant on external hard drives as an upgrade option for the Xbox One. 

Design: Stylish, Whatever You Choose

PlayStation 4
  • PS4 Slim is the smallest of all console choices.

  • Choice of black or white color scheme.

  • Only the PS4 Pro has Optical Audio Out.

Xbox One
  • Xbox One S is smaller than the Xbox One X.

  • Xbox One has more rear ports.

  • Alexa support.

If you're looking for something small to place amongst your other equipment, the PS4 is the smallest and lightest console. In terms of looks, they're both relatively similar although you're restricted to a white Xbox One S or a black Xbox One X. If the color scheme is important to you then the choice of white or black for either PlayStation 4 variant is definitely helpful. 

The Xbox One has official Alexa support which is sure to be helpful if you're keen to be able to connect all your smart home gadgets together, but there are workaround methods for the PlayStation 4 too. Being able to plug more devices into the back of your Xbox One could be useful too but that's a fairly individual choice. Bear in mind that the PlayStation 4 Slim is the only console of the bunch that doesn't offer an Optical Audio Out port. 

Final Verdict: For Gaming, It's a Tie but Media Playback Favors the Xbox One

Whether you choose PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you can't really go wrong with your decision when it comes to great games to play. Both systems offer a wealth of great titles with them all looking fantastic too. It's almost impossible to figure out which system has the best games so you won't be disappointed here.

The Xbox One has the edge with the Xbox Game Pass subscription service plus its ability to play 4K Blu-rays but the PlayStation 4 allows you to play virtual reality games if you buy the PS VR headset to go alongside it. Whatever you choose, if you simply want a system that plays great games, either device will be a good option. They're both simple to set up with intuitive controls and an interface that the whole family will be able to figure out.