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E3: Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 - who wins?

Platforms: Microsoft Xbox One | Sony PlayStation 4

So the big E3 conferences are over and Microsoft and Sony have laid their cards on the table, revealing games, prices and hardware for the next generation console launch at the end of the year. Let's take a look at who comes out on top...

Round One: Hardware

We already had a good idea of this one before E3, thanks to both companies previous announcements. By all realistic measures, the PS4 wins - it's more powerful, has more memory and has more functionality in its controller. The Xbox One does have Kinect in its favour, but that's never going to win over raw power.

Winner: PlayStation 4


Round Two: Games

That's what we're really here for - games. Both companies have good lineups. Microsoft have some cracking first party titles coming - 15 in the first year - RYSE, Halo 5, Dead Rising 3 and Forza 5 really look amazing. Add on Peggle 2 and Minecraft and you have a really strong selection that appeals to a pretty wide range of consumers.

The PS4 has fewer first-party games coming, but based on previous experience quality is likely to be put ahead of quality. New versions of Killzone and inFamous are in there - both are solid, if not spectacular performers but we're looking forward to them. We've also got Elder Scrolls Online, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV to whet our appetites but our real excitement is that Sony are really courting the indie community and that's where we can expect real innovation - it's a solid long term strategy that will pay dividends over time.

Winner: Xbox One (for launch lineup), Playstation 4 (for long term innovation)


Round Three: Price

Microsoft went first, announcing a £429 / $499 price point that is expensive in the US but an even greater markup in the UK. Sony then trumped them by announcing a £349 / $399 price band - again a significant markup for UK users; bigger even than the Xbox One, but still a saving of £80. More bang and less buck means...

Winner: PlayStation 4


Round Four: Consumer Focus

We can't ignore the elephant in the room any longer - the whole online/DRM issue that has been rumoured for the Xbox One for months was near-enough confirmed at Microsoft's previous announcement and it's likely that it could be a platform killer. The requirement to go online daily, the restrictions on used games and the general Big Brother feel that the Xbox One gives off isn't particularly endearing.

There were concerns that Sony would follow suit, but last night it was confirmed that there is no online requirement and no restriction on used games - a one-two sucker punch that floors the Xbox One.

Winner: PlayStation 4


Round 5: Overall

It's pretty clear that Sony hold all of the cards - the PlayStation 4 is cheaper, more powerful and less restrictive than the Xbox One. As a gaming device it impresses and as a platform it is far more supportive of users.

The Xbox One might have a solid launch lineup, but long term we see more potential for innovation on the PlayStation 4. Our view is that Microsoft have tripped badly and we can't see any way back for them - they don't have the head start they had with the 360 so they're going directly head to head with better hardware at a more expensive price point.

Winner: Playstation 4 - easily!

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