PS4 & Xbox One at Gamescom 2013: which came off best?

Both Microsoft and Sony offered new details, but no killer blow against their competitor

Gamescom, the world’s largest videogames tradefair, is now over and gamers across the internet are mulling over what they’ve learnt from the event.

Both Microsoft and Sony have topped up information on the Xbox One and the PS4 but it still seems incredibly close as to which console will be more attractive for consumers.

Here are some of the most important bits of information from last week that you can’t afford to have missed:

Killzone Shadow Fall will be one of the many launch titles to incorporate Remote Play on the PS Vita  

PS4 launch and PS Vita price-drop

Not really much of a surprise this – the PS4 will be available from November 15 in the US and November 29 in the UK. Still, we don’t know when the Xbox One will be arriving in shops beyond the month, but it seems probably that’ll it’ll be earlier rather than later.

The PS Vita also received a much needed shot in the arm via a price-drop to €199 (that’s £170 – for us, though don’t look too hard at currency conversion rates as the US will be getting it for $199, that's just £127) and memory cards for the system will be receiving similar “significant reductions” in price. 

It makes sense for Sony to push the Vita hard, not only because of the continually eroding handheld gaming market, but because it seems like having one will really add to the PS4 experience: Sony have been repeatedly telling us that nearly all of the PS4’s launch titles will be playable on the Vita using a feature named Remote Play.

Fifa 14's free bundling will appeal to the European crowd, but PES 2013 might yet steal its thunder.

Fifa 14 free with Xbox pre-orders

Exciting news and a genuine surprise for many: Microsoft will be giving away a free digital download of Fifa 14 to everyone who pre-orders an Xbox One before Christmas. The move’s seems fairly canny as it helps absorb the price difference between Microsoft and Sony’s consoles (£429 and £349 respectively) and boosts the Xbox in the European market.

Over at Forbes Erik Kain rightly pointed out that although the Xbox 360 won the console war in the US, it was still outsold by the PS3 in Europe. And, of course, choosing Fifa as the bundled game of choice means most Americans won’t feel like they’re missing out on much.

Despite the seeming favouritism of the move, EA Labels President Frank Gibeau has reiterated that the deal was impartial: "EA has not tilted toward Microsoft; this was a tactical marketing decision. We make the bullets for the hardware war but we want both consoles to be successful."

Titanfall is a sci-fi shooter where giant mechs and nimble human pilots face off against one another.

Launch line-ups

Both Microsoft and Sony have confirmed their ‘launch’ line-ups, though in reality, it's a staggered release schedule for the PS4 and the Xbox One. Both consoles will launch with 23 titles, with the PS4 lineup expanded to 33 between the November 15 launch date and December 31 and the Xbox One adding an additional six before March 2014.

There’s not a lot of difference between the two rosters, with most major games-studios hedging their bets and releasing on both systems. This includes titles such as Assassin’s Creed IV, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Watch Dogs.

PS4 launch exclusives include DC Universe Online, Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub, Knack and inFamous 2. Alternatively, the Xbox One offers Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct and Titanfall. It doesn't seem that many of these titles will make a difference for customers not already decided on their console of choice, though inFamous 2 Titanfall - one of the most consistently hyped games for the next-gen - will definitely turn some heads.

Judging on screenshots and trailers Ryse and Killzone seem to be the AAA wow-fests that will set the standard for next-gen graphics whilst Knack (a creative looking platformer) and Fighter Within (a Kinect-powered beat-em-up) are rare examples of differences between the Xbox and PS4.

Although the PS4 has less of a media-center feel, the interface is as fluid as you'd expect from Sony.

Interfaces teased

As has been repeatedly commented on, both the Xbox One and the PS4 are set to be much more than just games consoles. Microsoft have always been more explicit in their ambition to position the Xbox One as a media-centre (thus the ‘One’ moniker – it’s the ‘one’ device you need) but Sony’s console will be just as capable of handling non-gaming media.

Integral then to both these visions is an interface that is quick and intuitive and that allows users to feel in control of their media experience. Both Sony and Microsoft showed off their operating environment, though only the PS4’s was given a public airing with Sony president Shuhei Yoshida giving a wordless demonstration – commenting on another player’s live game of Shadowfall before jumping in to join the action.

Microsoft’s offering will focus around the ‘Metro’ style tile-interface seen with Windows 8, dividing content into ‘Games’, ‘Movies & TV’, ‘Music’ and ‘Apps’. Reports from the event have suggested that Microsoft are playing voice commands for the Kinect quite heavily, with the ability to command your console to record video and snapshots, or switch between different games.

The Xbox One's dashboard borrows heavily from the design-language of Windows 8: straight lines, tiles, and thin fonts.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
i100
Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

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

    IT Project Manager

    Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album