PS4 or Xbox One: Which Game Console is Best for Non-Gamers?
Finally, the major game consoles are getting updates with the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One releases are right around the corner. There will be plenty of awesome game titles for both the PS4 and the Xbox One, but even if you’re not big into gaming, these systems might have something to appeal to you. After all, the PlayStation 3 was one of the first widely popular Blu-ray disc players, and the Xbox 360 was one of the first home entertainment devices to offer Netflix’s streaming video services. And the latest-gen consoles have even more entertainment .
What the PS4 and The Xbox One Can Do
Both the Xbox One and PS4 are fully functional Blu-ray players. Microsoft only supported DVD playback for the 360, but the Xbox One will finally make the jump to Blu-ray formats, and that means you’ll be able to watch high-definition movies on your system of choice.
Both systems will also have access to online media services, like every other major gaming platform (including handhelds). You’ll be able to access Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and other services to watch television and movies and listen to music on either system.
And they both will have access to large libraries of on-demand movies, television shows, and music, but this is where they start to differ. On the Xbox One, you’ll be able to rent or buy content from the Xbox Live Movies & TV and Music Stores. PS4 users will be able to rent or buy content from the Sony Entertainment Network and access Sony’s Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited on-demand services. The availability of movies, music, and television shows might differ slightly between the two services, but they’ll both carry most major releases from studios and labels.
What Xbox One Does More
The Xbox One goes much further in home entertainment value with its television integration. The system has an HDMI pass-through and infrared blaster that you can connect to your cable or satellite box to integrate TV watching into the Xbox One. The process and features are explained in more detail in How to Watch TV on Your Microsoft Xbox One, but it basically lets the Xbox One take control of your cable or satellite box so you can browse programming alongside online media services in the Xbox One OneGuide and change channels using your voice and the Kinect. The Xbox One also lets you use apps and services while watching television; apps can be snapped to the side of the screen so they don’t obscure the television signal.
We’ll have to play with the Xbox One and Kinect ourselves to see how well this feature works, but the idea of switching between your favorite channels and shows with your voice and watching TV alongside the different apps and features of the Xbox One dashboard sound very useful. This could turn the Xbox One into the real killer in non-gaming applications, and makes it stand above the PS4 as a pure home entertainment hub.
These features come at a price, though. The Xbox One already retails for $100 more than the PS4, and using online media services requires a subscription to Xbox Live Gold, which costs $60 per year. You can use all of the PS4’s media features without subscribing to PlayStation Plus, and the system itself retails for $399 to the Xbox One’s $499. If you watch a lot of television, and perhaps watch TV far more than you’d even care about playing games, the Xbox One is a better bet.