If you follow gaming news at all (you’re reading this, so presumably you do!), then you’ve probably seen this question being asked: Is the Xbox One worth it? It’s a valid question. At a price of $499.99, gamers are asking themselves if they are really going to get $500 worth of enjoyment out of this latest-generation Microsoft console. This article will look at the XB1’s feature set as well as that of the PlayStation 4.
Xbox One Features
Let’s start with the hardware. Xbox One is basically a tiny computer with an 8 core Microsoft CPU, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 500GB hard drive (it also has the option for external, USB storage). It has HDMI outputs and a Blu-ray drive. One of the cooler parts about the console’s technical capabilities is that it uses distributed processing. This means that rather than maxing out the onboard processing capabilities, it can outsource some processing to the cloud (you do, however, need to maintain an internet connection in order to take advantage of this).
The Xbox One comes standard with the Kinect 2, which is central to the console’s function. This new Kinect has a 1080p camera that can process up to 2GB of data per second. The XB1 can respond to motion cues and voice commands, which the Kinect makes possible.
If you’re a controller enthusiast, you’ll be glad to hear that the XB1’s controller isn’t as bulky as its predecessor’s. The battery pack has been jettisoned and the redesigned d-pads are a bit easier to get your fingers on. The controller also has vibration that works in conjunction with the trigger buttons.
But of course, what everyone really wants to know about is the games! Over 15 games have already been announced as being exclusive to the Xbox One including: Dead Rising 3, Halo, Quantum Break, and Killer Instinct. XB1 owners can also look forward to Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Below, and many more.
Why not PlayStation?
If you aren’t particularly attached to either Microsoft or Sony, you might be asking yourself right now: why not PlayStation 4? It’s one hundred dollars cheaper than the XB1, for starters, so for cash-strapped gamers, PS4 may be more alluring (especially when you remember that you’ll have to drop another $100 on games in order to make either console be fun).
The PS4 has fairly similar specs to the XB1. It has a custom processor, a low-power 8-core CPU, and 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM. It’s hard-disc drive, like the XB1’s is built in and it also includes a Blu-ray drive and HDMI outputs. It comes with a built-in camera, which has a maximum resolution of 1280×800 (less than Kinect’s 1080p). PlayStation has also updated the DualShock controller, eliminating Start and replacing it with a Share and Options button.
PlayStation 4 will be getting some of the same titles as the Xbox One like BattleField 4, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, and others. Of course, it also has some exclusive titles like The Order: 1886, OddWorld, and Watch_Dogs.
Is Xbox One worth it?
The Xbox One certainly has a lot of features and some pretty impressive specs. If you’re willing and able to keep your console constantly connected to the Internet, you can expect some amazing processing power thanks to the cloud. The Kinect 2 has the best video capability that you will find on any console this generation and promises to create some interesting gameplay experiences. However, specs alone do not make a console. Ultimately, if you like the games coming out for XB1, then the console is going to be worth it for you.
*Sara Collins is a writer for NerdWallet, a site that helps consumers learn about topics like banking, insurance, and online discounts.