Breaking Down Xbox one (Part 3: Competition)
The Wii U can’t compete with the Xbox One in any way as far as hardware goes. But the Wii U has one clear advantage and that’s price (library is always subjective). You can buy a Wii U for $299 and it comes with a game, that’s a $200 savings and price will be a common theme amongst the different comparisons.
The PlayStation 4 is the Xbox One’s main competitor going into the next console generation, and it seems the launch roles have reversed. But speaking strictly hardware the PlayStation 4 has a sizable lead over the Xbox One, the following list is the same list of games running on Xbox One from earlier along with the fps for the PlayStation 4 equivalent GPU (again all games are 1080p, High settings, 2xAA unless noted otherwise).
Crysis 3: 1080p @ 50fps (Medium) < 68fps (PlayStation 4 Medium)
Metro 2033: 1080p @ 30fps < 46fps (PlayStation 4)
Hitman Absolution: 1080p @ 35fps < 50fps (PlayStation 4)
Sleeping Dogs: 1080p @ 45fps < 60fps (PlayStation 4)
Battlefield 3: 1080p @ 50fps < 65fps (PlayStation 4)
Tomb Raider: 1080p @ 55fps < 70fps (PlayStation 4)
Batman Arkham City: 1080p @ 60fps < 90fps (PlayStation 4)
The PlayStation 4 has an average of around 38.6% more fps over its Xbox One counterparts, which is not a good look if you’re a gamer looking for the best version around. However, these are for PC’s with similar specs., and for consoles it could be greater, but developers are unlikely to really push once console over the other. That being said the PlayStation 4 versions of multiplatform games could easily see higher native resolutions (which is rumored to already be happening), better in-game graphics, or in extreme cases the Xbox One version running at 30fps and the PlayStation 4 version running closer to 60fps. It’s a problem for Microsoft and normally good pricing would fix that, but the Xbox One cost $100 more than the PlayStation 4 due to Kinect coming with every console. A Kinect-less or subsidized Xbox One could realistically retail for $349 and put the squeeze on both the Wii U and the PlayStation 4.
Once again price is a killer for the Xbox One. For $500 - $600 you can build a gaming PC that’s pound for pound on par with the PlayStation 4 if not slightly better. PC prices have dropped so low that even retailers such as Dell’s Alienware line sells a PlayStation 4 equivalent gaming PC for $699. That initial price is still a barrier for most people regardless of whether it’s cheaper over time or not, or if they can finance their gaming PC, but PC is likely to receive the boost in mainstream gaming that it hasn’t had for decades and the Xbox One is going to have the hardest time adjusting if Microsoft goes back to old habits of sharing a 95% library of games with PC gamers after the first couple of years.
Overall the Xbox One can be see as a worthwhile purchase on it’s own, but when you start to compare it’s value becomes highly subjective and in most cases seems to depreciate when looking at what the Wii U, PlayStation 4, and PC offer in comparison. The Xbox One has a lot of promises, but the vast majority of them are still a work in progress. The Xbox One is in a tug-of-war battle with the good it has going for it and the things it has going against it. The specs. for the Xbox One are good, but the PlayStation 4’s specs. are better. The price for the Xbox One is reasonable, but the Wii U and PlayStation 4 are cheaper and a better gaming PC is around the same price. So the question becomes outside of exclusives why buy an Xbox One over the PlayStation or PC if multiplatform games have a better resolution and potentially run better with the PlayStation 4 being cheaper and the PC being a significantly more diverse machine. That is a question Microsoft needs to answer within the first year, or they’re going to experience hard times. HDMI-In, Entertainment, and apps aren’t going to convince people to buy the Xbox One, especially with most of the services being limited to the US and most of the services being TBA. The one true advantage the Xbox One has going for it is the Cloud, but the Cloud isn’t going to be the holy grail that the most core of Xbox fans want you to believe, but there is a ton of potential in there for improving online gaming. The problem I see with the cloud and Kinect for that matter is the collection of data. If the cloud and Kinect can collect your achievements, gameplay information and images, then what’s stopping them from collecting personal information for Microsoft, the government, or worse a hacker. I’ll leave you with that thought, and happy shopping to you all.