PS4 vs. Xbox 720 – A Head-to-Head Comparison

Over the past week or two exciting data about both of 2013’s new gaming consoles has slowly been leaked, and Playstation and Xbox fans are clamoring to know: which will have sweeter graphics? Which will have an awesomer controller? Which will have sicker games?

It’s invaluable info: eager consumers need to get ahead on making the tough decision about which console on which to plunk down their hard-earned cash. Well, through my secret industry-insider sources I’ve managed to secure some highly confidential details, and have put together the most comprehensive side-by-side chart to date, in order to help gamers make this impossible selection between two highly unique and singular pieces of hardware.

First, everyone’s favorite – the technical specs:


Specs PS4 Xbox 720
CPU Eight-core AMD “Bulldozer” Processor Eight-core IBM “Ford Truck Cowboy” Processor
Hard Disk 160GB HDD 20GB Microsoft© H-SSD®
Disk Drive 50GB Blu-Ray 48GB Microsoft© ZD-DVD-Ray®
Ports 3xUSB 3.0
Optical Audio
3xUSB 3.0
Optical Audio

PS4 scores early with its “Bulldozer” processor, which the specs indicate is “way tougher” than the 720’s “Ford Truck Cowboy” CPU. Sony’s HDD and disk drive are about what you’d expect, though perhaps already slightly antiquated for 2013. Its competitor, however, elects for a tiny proprietary SSD and a new proprietary competitor to Blu-Ray in Microsoft© ZD-DVD-Ray®, both of which reportedly developed at great expense to be “cutting edge” and have “blazing speed”. Microsoft©’s console also fires back with its B38W24H36-DD dual GPUs, which most early reports have been saying play better and render more beautifully than the PS4’s bloated, too-big XX cards.

And the systems both feature completely redesigned controllers:


The Controller
Charge Wired Wireless charge pad, 10h/2h
Buttons 15 Like, fifty
Analog joysticks 2 3.5
Gimmick A screen on the controller or something Some stupid camera thing
Feel The same Clunky
Aesthetics The same. But grey again. Stupid

The 720 takes the edge in coolness factor with its wireless charge pad for controllers, but the long charge time and short play time may be a factor. It also scores points for its extra 1.5 analog joysticks, but loses out in feel and aesthetics which are “clunky” and “stupid”, respectively.

But we know the technical specs won’t be enough to make up your mind all on their own! Next, let’s take a look at some of the key features of both consoles.

Backwards compatibility Nope Nada
DRM Lots Tons
Wireless internet connection Compulsory Mandatory
Can I play used games? Sure can’t Fuck no. Plus a $12.95 fee billed directly to your credit card (credit card information required for activation of the Xbox 720 console) to activate each new game. $12.95/game fee can be waived with Microsoft’s $29.95/month “PlayGamez™” subscription service.

A big stink about requiring “always-on” internet connections has been made in PC gaming recently, and both Sony and Microsoft© seem to be following suit, though we prefer Sony’s “Compulsory” connection to Microsoft©’s “Mandatory” one. Neither console will allow the play of used games, but those leaning toward the 720 will want to take into account its $12.95 activation fee for even newly purchased games.

Hardware isn’t everything though, so how do the two consoles do in software usability head-to-head?

Start-up Screen Not as good as the original PlayStation’s Not as good as the Dreamcast’s
Dashboard Pretty, cryptic, and filled with thousands of options organized into hundreds of labyrinthine sub-folders designed by Japanese analysts Ugly, misguided, and redesigned every 6 months
Updates Checked for in the background (uses only 12% of system resources), convenient game-auto-quit and auto-install Handled through Windows© 9© Update®. Cannot be configured.
User Avatars None The things of nightmares, and totally ubiquitous

Both conglomerates seem to be operating as usual when it comes to software, so those gamers who prefer Japanese attention to aesthetic and operational detail to the point of complete neglect of usability will want to go for the PS4, while those who just want something shitty thrown together really fast will prefer the 720.

Of course, which system you choose to buy is ultimately all in the games, right? 2013 looks to be a a huge year for exciting independent properties on both consoles, and the line-ups won’t make the decision any easier on you. Let’s take a look at a few of the unique titles you can expect to see on each system:


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