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
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
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: Systems Analyst - Tunbridge Wells - £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Test Analyst/Systems Administ...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - .NET, C#

    £40000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Global Real Estate Software P...

    Recruitment Genius: Drupal / PHP Developer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity for a talented...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer

    £17000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continuing growth, recru...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project