PS4 v Xbox One: 'Look at me' generation gets dream consoles

Gamers will now be able to upload video of themselves as they play

Forget the battle between the bear in the John Lewis Christmas advert and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in her undies for Marks & Spencer. The real Christmas battle for 2013 will be the mighty clash between the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (PS4) consoles.

First up is Microsoft's Xbox One, which goes on sale this Friday and costs £430. It is available in the UK a week before its arch rival, Sony's PS4, and is Microsoft's long-awaited replacement of the top-selling Xbox 360. PS4 launched in the US last Friday, but British gamers will have to wait until 29 November to get their hands on the first new console from Sony in seven years. It will sell for £350.

The latest salvos in the console wars, which have been running between Sony, Microsoft and the other industry stalwart, Nintendo, for the past decade or more, are extremely important for all involved. The PS3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii had unusually long lifespans of seven to eight years, compared with the usual five, which meant that games sales stagnated over the past couple of years.

For many, the two new consoles represent the true dawn of the next generation of gaming. They follow the launch of Nintendo's Wii U in November last year, sales of which have not lived up to expectations. The Xbox One and the PS4 include all the usual upgrades in power and graphical prowess but the innovative social aspects of gaming, movement software and dual-screen technology are set to really excite.

When Microsoft first announced details of the Xbox One earlier in the year it said that the all-black device would require a constant internet connection and there would be restrictions on the used-game market. After a wave of bad publicity, the firm saw sense and dropped these plans.

The Xbox One's Kinect camera, which comes bundled with the console, has motion-detection software and a microphone. These allow not only motion-controlled gameplay for multiple users, enabling a better view around corners in racing title Forza 5 if you tilt your head, for example, but also voice-activated commands so that the user can turn the console on and off or alter the volume.

Another feature allows multiple games and apps to be used at the same time. Thus, users could Skype someone at the same time as playing.

Rob Crossley, associate editor at CVG, a leading games news website, said: "Kinect is quite divisive: some like the novelty of a camera, some don't. It may seem like a small thing but the fact that you can easily multi-task, being able to play games and surf the internet or have two different apps on screen at the same time – that could prove very popular."

The biggest thing that attracted Crossley's attention about the PS4 was the "Share" button which sits in the middle of the controller enabling players to upload video or live-stream themselves playing to social networks such as Facebook and streaming services such as Ustream.

"Allowing players to upload video of their achievements turns the focus on to the player in a way that hasn't been done to this extent before – their records and achievements, the 'look what I've just done' factor," he said. While Xbox One has a similar system, including a studio to edit video, it does not take pride of place as with Sony's machine.

Michael French, publisher of MCV, a trade publication for the games industry, said the industry had changed since the last round of consoles, with many now playing games through apps and social networks. He said the new consoles would help to "reinvigorate" games sales.

However, he warned that some buyers may be disappointed when it comes to both the launch and Christmas.

"It wouldn't surprise me to see some of these consoles up on eBay and other auction sites for inflated prices straight after launch. Stocks are also going to be light as we head into Christmas. That is one of the risks of the machines being produced in Asia and then shipped over to Europe," he said.

These predictions already appear to be coming true, with the UK branch of Amazon stating that anyone who hasn't pre-ordered either console by the end of last week will have to wait for delivery until after Christmas.

News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
Ministry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Richard Dawkins is known for his outspoken views
people
Life and Style
L’Auberge du pont de Collonges (AFP)
food + drinkFury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Arts and Entertainment
Bourne's New Adventures dance company worked with 27 young Londoners to devise a curtain-raiser staged before New Adventures' performance of Edward Scissorhands
theatreStar choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

    £6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Application Developer

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: .Net / SQL Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer - PC/Mac

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links