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.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
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

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower