Patterico's Pontifications


Xbox One or PlayStation 4?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

For anyone into video games, a question: XBox or PlayStation?

For some reason both seem to be $750 at Amazon, when the new Xbox is supposed to be $500 and the PS4 is supposed to be $400. Scarcity, I guess. Ignore that part — nobody in this household is paying that kind of money — and just give me a straight-up opinion based on the usual price.


  1. Can’t help you there. I lost touch with gaming some time after Pac Man.

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 12/10/2013 @ 7:54 am

  2. To quote Col. Nicholson’s doctor: “Madness…”

    There is a nifty pinball game in Windows, and nothing wastes time like Freecell or Minesweeper.

    Comment by gramps, the original (8b5c63) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:01 am

  3. My daughter (sixth grade) asked told me to get her a used Xbox 360, not the new one (whichever one that is) from a Game Stop store. She was emphatic about it — “don’t waste the money”. No PS4 either.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:05 am

  4. As a family with boys, we’ve owned all the video game platforms over the years and usually several at once. However, this year, only the XBox One is on the Christmas list — but not because it’s better than the PS4. XBox had the games our gamer likes so he plays that platform more. Playing a system on a consistent basis makes it easier to master the controller, formatting, codes, etc., so I think that’s one of the reasons he wants to stick with that system. I imagine people who tend to play PlayStation games are more likely to pick the PS4.

    One other thing: In the past, changing platforms meant you had to buy new games, but sticking with the same platform meant you might be able to use the older games on the new platform. I don’t know if that’s true for the XBox One or the PS4. It may be the older games won’t work on either system, which makes it easier to justify changing systems.

    Here’s a review for anyone interested.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:23 am

  5. If you think the price you are being ofered is too high, and may drop, buy whatever you buy using a Discover card (best – you can also get 5% cash back if you buy online before Dec. 31 if you register with Discover before) or a Mastercard, or at least a Citibank Visa, but check the details of their price protection. Jewelry, food,
    motorized vehicles, art, antiques, animals and many types of travel are usually not covered, but this is exactly the sort of thing that is covered.

    Discover says it will refund the difference up to $500 if a customer makes a card purchase, then finds the item at a lower price within 90 days.

    Citi says it will refund the difference in price up to $250 per item within 30 days of the purchase. And MasterCard says it will also refund up to $250—but within 60 days…..

    …The programs also have monetary limits. The Discover program has an annual limit of $2,500 and both the MasterCard and Citi programs, $1,000.

    The lower price needs to be advertised, new, and not a closeout.

    Discover needs either a copy of a dated, printed, lower-price ad, or a statement signed by the store manager on store stationery, attesting to the lower price of the identical item. MasterCard works similiarly.

    In the case of the Citi program, you register the purchase you want price-checked on the Citi site, and they check themselves for the cheapest (online?) advertised price they can find.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:48 am

  6. Watch the last 3 weeks of South Park for the answer to the question you asked

    Comment by Airedale (24109c) — 12/10/2013 @ 9:00 am

  7. I know the Costco (Torrance Crossroads) had a deal recently on new a Xbox 360 complete with controllers, remotes, and games. It was a great deal and I picked one up. A lot of the other Xbox 360 deals are for those that have few GB (like 4GB which is insanely tiny), so I would avoid those.

    I personally waited to get the PS3 and Xbox 360 to get more memory options and wait for the kinks to be worked out, but I always maintain getting both since I am an avid gamer. Still, I don’t think there is much of a difference. It depends on what you want (see TL;DR version below).

    Comparison chart here.

    So, the issues:

    - Xbox has the Kinect which allows you to play games with the use of your body. Playstation has the camera, but it isn’t the exact same. Programmers know they can directly code through the Kinect, so the hope is developers find new innovative ways to use it. Netflix allows Kinect to be used to control the app with voice and motion gestures.

    - Much has been made about PS4 and developers. I think this is mute as there is more RAM for Xbox developers, while the types of memory used is different. PS4 has GDDR5 which should be more powerful on large gaming platforms, but Rockstar proved massive games like GTA 5 look good on older consoles. I don’t think anyone but a techie is going to complain about graphics or performance on each, but that’s debatable.

    - PS+ and Xbox Live both require internet connections. Both new consoles should be wireless (the One definitely is and I think PS4 uses Bluetooth), so no ethernet cables that were required on earlier gaming systems. They both cost yearly subscriptions between $40-60/year. PSN is free on PS3, but not on PS4.

    You must have Xbox Live to access apps like Netflix, Hulu, etc. PS+ so far will not restrict access to such apps.

    - Tech support for both suck. No loss.

    - Controllers are personal preference. I was a big Playstation fan and had all their consoles growing up (as well as Nintendo consoles too). When I bought my first Xbox, I found out that I loved the platform and the controller. I just found everything cleaner. What does that mean? I don’t know. I just know that I always go back to my Xbox. But, I’ll always have a PS around (I still love my PS2!).

    - Xbox One can now support Bluray (as does PS4). No CDs on a PS4, though (I’ve read that they may backtrack this since people were pissed about not being able to play MP3s or have DLNA support on the PS4).

    - Memory: Xbox One has a little over 300GB to be used, PS4 has something like 400GB. You can upgrade the PS4 hard drive, but Microsoft hasn’t allowed external hard drive support for the Xbox One.

    - Games: look at the launch games, which are personal preference. Most big game titles like COD or GTA are going to hit all platforms.

    - Microsoft had a debacle when rolling out the One. From the Kinect and used game issues to pissing off independent developers (which was so stupid since Microsoft needs these developers to help it’s app store across it’s hub strategy). They’ve backtracked this. Much has made about the debacle – again, I think it’s a personal preference for which company you prefer.

    - Speaking of hub strategy, Microsoft has doubled-down on Windows 8. With phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops – Microsoft is trying to present a streamlined experience for users. Much has been made about how the Xbox One can connect to all devices (and control them if you wish). The Smartglass app can be downloaded (on a Windows tablet, but also on iOS and Android) and you can control your One through the app (it offers tips when you are stuck on levels and can connect to a DVR so you can see what else is on TV). The Playstation has Remote Play, which is similar, but can only be accessed if you own a PS Vita. Vita is about $200 and is, basically, the modern Gameboy. You can play PS4 games on the Vita on the go.


    - Does Kinect technology really matter to you with its ability to connect to other devices? If yes, Xbox wins.

    - Do you not really want to pay for subscription? PS4 wins and allows you to utilize more apps with no subscription.

    - What consoles do your friends have? If you want a COD party one night, you need the same console.

    - Which exclusive games do you like? If you have games in mind, look at which you prefer and which consoles they will be on. This isn’t an issue for most games, but some are exclusive.

    Comment by ratbeach (477e41) — 12/10/2013 @ 10:29 am

  8. ratbeach does a good writeup. XBox 360 discounted package – the XBox One sucks.

    Or PS4 if you want the latest and greatest and hate Microsoft with the fierce burning passion that I do.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 12/10/2013 @ 10:33 am

  9. I have PS3 and Xbox 360, I’m still waiting for more reviews, my online buds were touting the PS4 communications capabilities and the device, I dunno anybody with the xbox 1.

    In hindsight the PS3 was waaay better than the xbox 360, first off a lot quieter, second free online play, 3rd more durable, and of course with Xbox you have to pay for online service.

    the PS network is free

    Then there’s the MSFT Bill Gates hatred index, I’d rather not put a dime into the supporter of criminal invasion’s pocket.

    I’d like to see MSFT prosecuted and dissolved for their monopoly practices as well as their privacy violations, the only thing their snooping protects us from is their own criminal immigration policies-which fund their snooping revenues.

    Comment by Smitty (422e55) — 12/10/2013 @ 12:48 pm

  10. The Citibank program is called Citi Price rewind. You go to and register your purchase. Citibank searches retailer’s sites till 30 calendar days from date of purchase.

    If a price lower by at least $25 is found, you get the difference, up to $250 per item (just one refund per different item even if you bought 2 or more of the same)

    They say when they give a refund, the average refund (from Jan through Aug. 2013) is $80. (it can never be less than $25)

    This especially applies to electronics, and toys and games.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f) — 12/10/2013 @ 12:53 pm

  11. Both machines have similar CPU and graphics, pretty much require a subscription for full use and similar basic control. More is the same than is different and neither is junk.

    Two questions to ask:

    1. Do the games currently available attract? Are they suitable for your kids?

    2. What do your kids want? They probably have lots more info than you do.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/10/2013 @ 12:57 pm

  12. I don’t know if that’s true for the XBox One or the PS4. It may be the older games won’t work on either system, which makes it easier to justify changing systems.

    Neither is backwards compatible. I guess they assume that if you want to play old games, use the old console.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/10/2013 @ 1:04 pm

  13. How about PC only…gave up consoles a LOOOONG time ago.

    Comment by Rich Vail (015de0) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:11 pm

  14. Edits to my post: I’m not sure why I used it’s over its. That’s embarrassing.

    SPQR said it best: I think it comes down to which company you like better. Other than that, they are basically the same.

    The One is priced more because it is bundled with Kinect. PS4 gives you the option to bundle or not.

    Comment by ratbeach (477e41) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:27 pm

  15. Oh and @RichVail, gaming PCs tend to be incredibly expensive. I think consoles still win out because they cost less.

    Though, Dell does have a $700 deal on their XPS 8700 (comparably, their Inspiron 660s is hovering in the mid $500s last time I checked). I just picked two up so we’ll see how it goes.

    Comment by ratbeach (477e41) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:29 pm

  16. My girls love Kinect

    Comment by JD (176f17) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:29 pm

  17. 700 bucks for a new console, are you kidding me.

    So the Millennials and the aging Gen Xers have money to spend nearly 1,000 dollars on new console, new game, and accessories, but they have money for health insurance? If you they keep this up, they let the Republicans win.

    Comment by lee (807b40) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:35 pm

  18. I wouldn’t count on the pricing promises Sammy mentioned, at least not with the XBox One, because you have to show you could buy the same product at a lower price. The basic bundle is $499 but it’s sold-out. You can buy upgraded bundles but they tend to vary depending on the merchant, which means a lower-priced bundle probably won’t be the same product. They may be very similar but close doesn’t usually work for price guarantees.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:36 pm

  19. Sounds like you’ve made your decision, Smitty.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:38 pm

  20. Comment by lee (807b40) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:35 pm

    but they have money for health insurance? If you they keep this up, they let the Republicans win.

    Many don’t, and in the end, they’ll pay their student loans, or their rent, or their credit cards bills, rather than their health insurance premiums, even if they get talked into enrolling, especially if they discover how little is covered. Limited networks, and limited prescription drugs.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:42 pm

  21.’s campaign to sell health insurance won’t work.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:44 pm

  22. I was given a PS3 for Christmas. All the games (e.g. Halo)I wanted to play were only available for Xbox. I am currently using a friend’s xbox while my PS3 gathers dust.

    Comment by felipe (6100bc) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:50 pm

  23. * You go to> and register your purchase. Citibank searches retailer’s sites till 30 calendar days from date of purchase.

    It has to be advertised.

    Mastercard and Discover will use printed ads, (probably as well as online) but you evidently have to find it yourself, and Discover at least will also use a statement from the store and gives you 90 days.

    It has to be exactly the same, of course. A Citibank Mastercard gives you two possible ways of collecting and some Citibank cards allow you to register for 5% cash back (you must have received an offer and enrolled and then wait a day, maybe two.

    Discover also offers 5% cash back for online purchases before December 31 of anything that could be a gift, provided you requested the 5% cash back. Just call the 800 number. Sometimes the enrollment period may stop some time before the period expires but it is not yet the 15th.

    The rollback is tricky, but might work in exactly this kind of case where someone buys something on Amazon for $200 more than it really should be and you know it is not being discontinued, so in January you’ll see the lower price.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f) — 12/10/2013 @ 3:13 pm

  24. How come the government doesn’t have video games subsidies? I mean if it’s going to buy condoms for all of Sandra Fluke’s close friends, why should it pay for video games? Not sure I see the bright line.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/10/2013 @ 4:55 pm

  25. *shouldn’t

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/10/2013 @ 4:55 pm

  26. Kevin M – there are no subsidies for video games because video games have guns. And guns are bad. People cling to them, you know.

    Comment by ratbeach (477e41) — 12/10/2013 @ 5:12 pm

  27. you should get both cause of they have different games for them

    if you only get one then you’re limited to only those games made for the one you get

    that’s what happened to my cousin

    Comment by happyfeet (c60db2) — 12/10/2013 @ 5:27 pm

  28. I wanted to note that the PS4 does not have free online access the way the PS3 does.

    It’s about $50 a year, but you get a lot of extras like free games.

    I’ve enjoyed my PS3 a great deal. I have found that most of the great games are multiconsole (I am not a fan of Halo though, which is a very popular game). The PS4 is more powerful, appears to be more successful (so more games), and is cheaper. It only lacks the camera, which frankly I don’t want.

    Comment by Dustin (05170a) — 12/10/2013 @ 6:20 pm

  29. PlayStation 4 no doubt.

    Comment by The Emperor AKA the Size-ist. (e28272) — 12/10/2013 @ 6:47 pm

  30. so, in summary Mr. P, you should either buy the Xbox One, the PS4, or both

    you’re welcome

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/10/2013 @ 10:58 pm

  31. What’s wrong with Asteroids?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f) — 12/11/2013 @ 8:30 am

  32. Sales numbers so far are misleading. PS4 has been out longer. For power, I kinda like my i7-4770K with its ATI 7950 graphics card, 16GB memory and flash drive coupled with three 24″ monitors.

    But that’s just me.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/11/2013 @ 10:32 am

  33. Kevin, the 360 was out for longer than the PS3, and this accounts for its sales advantage, which helped it get more game development.

    I don’t see what’s misleading about it. It’s not like this is a sport where starting first is unfair. It’s a business where reality is reality.

    That computer you’re talking about is amusingly expensive. Is it really your advice that people should spend thousands on PCs with multiple monitors for their family entertainment?

    Comment by Dustin (303dca) — 12/11/2013 @ 11:50 am

  34. In the end, buying a used XBox 360 didn’t make sense. At Game Stop, a used XBox 360(S), 250 GB, wired controller, was only $20.00 cheaper than a new one, “holiday bundle” with wireless controller and two “free” games (HALO and Tomb Raider, ok whatever, my daughter wanted Minecraft that’s all she plays so that was another $20.00).

    The selling point for the used one seemed to be a “free” one-year, on the spot, swap out warranty. I thought that was not worth giving the kid a used Christmas present. Let the kid enjoy the new one — if it breaks, it breaks.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/18/2013 @ 7:08 pm

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