Xbox One vs. PS4: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Indie Support

With the start of the next generation, Sony has made pushing into the indie scene a cornerstone of its strategy. By contrast, Microsoft has been playing catch-up — where Sony offered a self-publishing initiative from the jump, Microsoft has only just announced a self-publishing service. Here’s a rundown of where each stands on the indie front:

Sony’s Indie Initiative

Sony’s indie publishing platform provides low cost access to the platform for developers. Some highlights:

  • Developers must apply to use self-publishing and meet certain requirements
  • Developers set wholesale costs and release dates for games, although Sony doesn’t make public its royalty split with developers
  • Sony offers guaranteed royalties on games in exchange for limited platform exclusivity
  • “Incentive based program intended to support platform-defining content on PS3, PS4, and PS Vita systems”
  • Titles must go through Sony certification

(Find more information at us.playstation.com/develop)

Sony’s Indie Game Lineup

Sony also has a big lineup of indie games, many of which will be console-exclusive, at least for a while. Here’s the roster as of this writing (note that these are not necessarily launch window games):

  • The Witness (Number None)
  • Transistor (Supergiant Games)
  • Don’t Starve (Klei)
  • Mercenary Kings (Tribute Games)
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Young Horses)
  • Secret Ponchos (Switchblade Monkeys)
  • Contrast (Compulsion Games)
  • Outlast (Red Barrels)
  • Ray’s The Dead (Ragtag Studio)
  • Assault Android Cactus (Witch Beam)
  • Fez (Polytron Corporation)
  • Final Horizon (Eiconic Games)
  • Guns of Icarus Online (Muse Games)
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital)
  • N++ (Metanet)
  • Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games)
  • Samurai Gunn (Teknopants)
  • Starbound (Chucklefish)
  • Switch Galaxy Ultra (Atomicom)
  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Nicalis)
  • Tiny Brains (Spearhead Games)
  • Velocity 2X (FuturLab)
  • Volume (Mike Bithell)
  • Wasteland Kings (Vlambeer)

Microsoft’s Indie Initiative

Microsoft’s approach to indies on its next-generation console is a great deal younger than Sony’s, and there’s much less information available about it. However, many of the tenets are similar:

  • Developers must apply to use self-publishing and meet certain requirements; Microsoft states it’s looking for “professional indie developers” with “a proven track record of shipping games on console, PC, mobile, or tablet”
  • Microsoft intends for retail Xbox One consoles to work as software development kits for indie developers
  • Titles must receive Microsoft certification
  • No information yet available (as of this writing) on pricing, release dates, royalty splits and other aspects of the publishing process that developers would likely control

(Find more information at xbox.com/en-us/Developers/id)

Microsoft’s Indie Game Lineup

Microsoft’s list of games confirmed for the Xbox One is quite a bit smaller than Sony’s for Playstation 4 as of this writing, but expect it, and specifically indie titles, to grow as launch nears:

  • Below (Capybara Games)
  • D4 (Access Games)
  • Lococycle (Twisted Pixel)
  • Minecraft (Mojang)
  • Trials Fusion (Redlynx)

Launch Games

During the last few generations, we’ve moved beyond the strictures of console launch day releases and have adopted the more forgiving “launch window.” Within a few months of release, both consoles will have potentially great games to play. Here’s a look at the exclusives.

Sony’s Launch Exclusives

The big one for Sony is going to be Killzone: Shadow Fall. Guerilla Games takes us back to the world of Helghan 30 years after the events of Killzone 3 in the midst of a Vektan-Helghast war. Shooting occurs.

Next is DriveClub, a toned-down perspective on road racing from the MotorStorm folks at Evolution Studios. A free version will be available to PlayStation Plus subscribers that features a limited selection of cars and tracks.

Lastly, there’s Knack. Designed by Mark Cerny, it’s a game in which you get to accumulate objects onto the protagonist character’s robot body to modify his abilities.

Playstation 4 Launch Day Titles

  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft)
  • Battlefield 4 (DICE)
  • Blacklight: Retribution (Zombie Studios)
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)
  • DC Universe Online (Sony Online Entertainment)
  • DriveClub (Evolution Studios)
  • FIFA 14 (EA Sports)
  • Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft)
  • Killzone: Shadowfall (Guerrilla Games)
  • LEGO Marvel Superheroes (TT Games)
  • Madden NFL 25 (EA Sports)
  • Minecraft (4J Studios)
  • NBA 2K14 (Visual Concepts)
  • NBA Live 14 (EA Sports)
  • Need for Speed: Rivals (Criterion)
  • Skylanders Swap Force (Vicarious Visions)
  • Warframe (Digital Extremes)
  • War Thunder (Gaijin Entertainment)
  • Watch_Dogs (Ubisoft)

Microsoft’s Launch Exclusives

First and foremost is Forza Motorsport 5, the game that gave us the deliciously nonsensical buzzword “drivatar.” It’s basically a learning system that will be able to copy the driving tendencies of playres, allowing you to race against AI based on real players, and for your drivatar to race while you’re logged out and earn you credits.

Then there’s Ryse: Son of Rome. Made by Crytek, players take on the role of Roman general Marius Titus in ancient Rome brutally quick-time-eventing people to death.

There’s also Dead Rising 3 from Capcom. So far, it looks like somber zombie-killing, but it still features insane weapons crafting.

Lastly comes Killer Instinct, a reboot of the old fighting game franchise from Double Helix Games, the same studio that gave us Silent Hill: Homecoming. Ultra Combos return with the addition of Street Fighter-esque Special Attacks.

Xbox One Launch Day Titles

  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft)
  • Battlefield 4 (Crytek)
  • Crimson Dragon (Grounding Inc.)
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)
  • Dead Rising 3 (Capcom)
  • FIFA 14 (EA Sports)
  • Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10)
  • Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft)
  • Killer Instinct (Double Helix)
  • LEGO Marvel Superheroes (TT Games)
  • Madden NFL 25 (EA Sports)
  • NBA 2K14 (Visual Concepts)
  • NBA Live 14 (EA Sports)
  • Need for Speed: Rivals (Criterion)
  • Peggle 2 (PopCap)
  • Powerstar Golf (Zoe Mode)
  • Ryse: Son of Rome (Crytek)
  • Skylanders Swap Force (Vicarious Visions)
  • Watch_Dogs (Ubisoft)
  • Zoo Tycoon (Frontier Developments)
  • Zumba Fitness: World Party (Zoe Mode)

At the End of the Window

In the far-flung future of 2014, we’ll get Ready at Dawn’s The Order: 1886 and Sucker Punch’s Infamous: Second Son from Sony. For Microsoft, expect Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive, Remedy’s Quantum Break, that new Halo game from 343 Industries, and Lionhead Studios’ Fable Legends.

Playstation 4 Launch Window Titles

  • InFamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch)
  • Planetside 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)
  • The Crew (Ivory Towers and Reflections)
  • The Order: 1886 (Ready At Dawn Studios)
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order (Machine Games)

Xbox One Launch Window Titles

  • Kinect Sports: Rivals (Rare)
  • Mojang: Xbox One Edition (Mojang)
  • Project Spark (Microsoft)
  • The Crew (Ivory Towers and Reflections)
  • Titanfall (Respawn Entertainment)
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order (Machine Games)

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17 Comments on Xbox One vs. PS4: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

JeffDaniel

On August 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Great work guys. This is by far the best side by side review I’ve seen!

Can’t wait to see you guys online!

Jeff

Jordan

On August 30, 2013 at 6:13 am

Battlefield 4 is by DICE, not crytek…

KeithH

On August 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

First, there are 2 and a half months before the releases (All of September and October). Second, as has been shown by the Hot Chips conference, the XB1 also has a unified memory controller. Sony has only stated that their games are “by the end of the year” and not “on launch day”, like Microsoft has.

In fact, I couldn’t find any source that specified which of any of the 33 “launch window” games for Sony would be on day 1 (MS has their list of 23).

Also, can someone please tell me where the graphics specs for the XB1 come from. The only place that I have been able to drill down a source for, were from an “unamed source” over at Anadtech. If you have another source for this info, can you please state it?

Compiling lists of info from other sites, that themselves based their info on other sites does not make this fact. While most of your info is probably correct, I would love to see some actual journalism.

Phil Hornshaw

On August 30, 2013 at 11:32 am

@KeithH

Whoops, you’re right about the months, that was my bad in editing.

Huntsman06

On August 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm

It is true that ALL of the stated features under “Television and Film” will require an Xbox Live Gold membership? I would expect them to continue requiring it for apps like Hulu and Netflix, but I won’t be able to say “Xbox, go to channel ” without paying a premium?

Mike

On August 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Wow. Nice wrap up. I didn’t even know you were required to have xbox live gold to use services like Netflix what a crock of crap. Another anti consumer policy on Microsofts part. Alps they did is place a restriction on being able to use a service you already pay for on their hardware. If I have Internet and Netflix I should beable to wwatch it without gold. No other device like phones or computers have these restrictions. Screw Microsoft. I hope they bury themselves

Yiur mom

On August 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Battlefield 4 is made by DICE not Crytek…

iPerrydon

On August 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm

what does this guy know? cod:ghosts is not a release title on either console. infinity ward themselvs at E3 said that next-gen release will be q2 of 2014!

iPerrydon

On August 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm

what does this guy know? cod:ghosts is not a release title on either console. infinity ward themselvs at E3 said that next-gen release will be q2 of 2014!

Phil Hornshaw

On August 31, 2013 at 10:22 am

@Huntsman06

In fact, there’s some confusion about that, and I’m about to make an update here.

At PAX Prime just yesterday, Microsoft’s Albert Pinello told Ross Lincoln that HDMI passthrough AND “TV guide stuff” would be available to players WITHOUT an Xbox Live subscription.

That’s kind of at odds with what we thought we understood about Xbox One. On its official website, Microsoft talks about GuideOne, software that allows you to have a customized view of your TV programming, use voice commands, and so on, and says that that feature will be available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers.

So our takeaway from that brief interview with Pinello, which we’re hoping to get clarified with Microsoft, is that at least SOME of TV features will be available right out of the box. There’s still some confusion there, though.

The full story out of PAX Prime is right here: http://www.gamefront.com/microsoft-xbox-live-gold-not-needed-for-xbox-one-tv-features/

Mo

On August 31, 2013 at 11:35 am

PS4 needs Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Dexter

D22

On September 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Nice review. I would just say you need to include xbox’s 32mb of ESRAM as an addition to the 8gb basic ram.

Cheers

Derrick

On September 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm

No mention of chargeable controllers? PS4 is self contained battery that can be charged by plugging it in, XBox One you would need to buy a kit for similar function.

@iPerrydon Not sure what news you are following, but Ghosts will be a launch title for next-gen consoles. It’s coming out 11/5 for current-gen, too.

Viralwhite

On September 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm

There needs to be a small correction to this article. The article stated the following:

“…You can still pre-order online at Walmart, but that retailer only guarantee a delivery date of “on or just after 12/31/2013,” which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence…”

This is NOT accurate. As of today (9/4/13 – 1900 hrs) the website clearly says:

“Reserve today in store!
Step 1: Put only 10% down*
Step 2: Pay over time
Step 3: Available for pick up on 11/15/2013 ”

Went by my local store today in Richmond, VA. They have a display that has cards inside of them (limited) and you take it to the counter and check out.

James Boye

On September 5, 2013 at 2:39 am

You have completely forgot to mention and factor in the extra cost for the battery pack you need to by for the X1 controller.

effect

On November 19, 2013 at 7:28 am

why are people shocked that you need Gold to run apps like netflix on xbox one? If you have a 360 you would know you have to do the same thing! Just remember people xbox is on their own os system so your fee for xbox gold includes a protected network unlike PS3 & 4! I have many of friends in Chicago and California where their systems have been attacked! A lot of people don’t even realize that their ps3′s are already infected! Don’t believe me? Try installing a anti virus on your ps3 and do a scan or find a free one online, you’ll be amazed on what’s in your system! (Another little detail Sony NEVER tells you about!) BTW the ps4 cam is equal to a test model of the original kinect, it looks like crap and doesn’t compare to the original kinect, it’s only worth the $59.99

blobthebob

On November 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm

effect, I don’t where you got your information, but the playstation 4 camera is much better than the original kinect. the kinect 1.0 only had one lense and as well 1 or 2 microphones built in, as for the PS4 camera there is twice the number and they are used to narrow in the exact location of your person which the kinect 1.0 did not have as for capabilities. Let’s be real when comparing them