Xbox One Countdown: Xbox One vs The Competition

By Shawn Collier on November 20, 2013, 6:40PM EDT

The Xbox One is only two days away and we're entering the home stretch in our feature countdown for the system. So far we've covered the launch line-up, the social side and more.. With the PS4's release just last week and the Wii U already released last year, for those not already having the system on pre-order you might be interested in some comparisons between the three. If so, we've got you covered.

For the purposes of this article, we're keeping the comparisons to the three major consoles and are excluding handhelds, Android devices and iOS devices.


Like the PS4, the Xbox One supports a low-power mode which allows the console to connect to the internet and update themselves when not in use. This means that things like downloading new game patches, console updates and additional updates from Microsoft's online storefront are all covered.

As far as social interaction goes, both platforms will allow users to stream their gaming live on the internet as well as record and edit short movies that they can publish online for everyone to see. At launch the options are somewhat limited with a few partners although both companies have said they will open up the providers sometime after launch. And in the Xbox One's case it won't be till 2014 when streaming support will be available on the console.

Both consoles are also continuing their media service push seen on the PS3 and Xbox 360 as your favorite apps like Netflix and Hulu will be available on both systems. The Wii U also has many of the same media services available on its system as well.

Online Multiplayer

Just like with the Xbox 360, the Xbox One requires Xbox Live Gold for online multiplayer as well as media services such as Netflix. Unlike the PS3, though, Sony is also requiring their own service, PlayStation Plus, for online multiplayer so the biggest difference is which service you prefer.

Microsoft has announced their "Games with Gold" program will extend to the Xbox One next year in 2014, although the company has been mum on the exact details. The Xbox 360 version of this promotion will be extended to next year for the foreseeable future as well.

One big change this time around is that PlayStation Plus, the paid Sony service where buyers would receive free games and other goodies is required for online play. This brings the PS4 in line with the Xbox One as both consoles require their respective paid services to play online multiplayer.

The Wii U doesn't require a fee for online play, although due to that support isn't as widely available.

Off-TV Play & Second Screens

Unlike Sony and Nintendo, which have their own gamepads or handhelds to provide second screen and off-TV play, Microsoft's Smartglass technology is only available in the second screen format.

The upside is that Xbox One Smartglass works with your phone, tablet and PC so you most likely already have something that can utilize it if you have technology products released in the last few years lying somewhere around the house.

Microsoft has already given some examples of how this will be utilized in-game, with one example being the ability to call in a raid strike in Dead Rising 3 to blow up some zombies.

Indie Support

This is an area where the Xbox One will need to catch up with as the PS4 and Wii U already have a much bigger indie fanbase at the moment.

Microsoft has announced an ID@XBOX program which will let indie developer develop for the system using their own consoles, although the exact details aren't expected until next year.

Kinect "2.0"

Kinect is the major difference between the two new consoles as Sony decided to sell the camera for their console separately.

Unlike the Xbox 360's version of Kinect, which was held back by its capabilities, the new Xbox One version seems to fix a lot of the issues this time around with a great deal more in terms of body tracking and motion sensing.

It remains to see what developers will be able to get out of the new hardware, but it should make for some interesting gameplay if they get it done right.

TV Connectivity

The Xbox One also has another key feature over the PS4 with its HDMI IN port which lets someone hook their cable box connection into the Xbox One, allowing the user to browse their cable content via the Xbox One.

Based off what we've seen so far, the Xbox One is a good choice if you want a game machine but also want multimedia and Kinect functionality baked in.

Are you picking up a Xbox One this Friday or planning on staking out a spot for a chance at one at your local retailer? Let us know in the comments below and check back tomorrow for more of our continuing Xbox One feature coverage.

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