North Texas Daily

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4
January 16
10:24 2014

Joshua Knopp // Senior Staff Writer

Gamers can’t get a PlayStation 4 in Denton. GameStop doesn’t have them. Best Buy doesn’t have them. Neither Wal-Mart has them. All those retailers have plenty of Xbox Ones, though.

At the end of 2013, Sony sold 1.2 million more PlayStation 4s than Microsoft sold Xbox Ones. For the new PlayStations, Denton is one of many places where demand still outpaces supply even two months after launch.

“Sony is selling them as fast as they are shipping them,” said Best Buy sales consultant Brian Owens, also a performance master’s student at UNT. “When a customer finds out we’ve got one in the store, it’s gone.”

Owens said PlayStations will probably continue to be scarce until about a month after Sony’s Japanese release in February, when the company expects to open an even wider lead on Microsoft.

Sony is a Japanese company, and PlayStations have historically outpaced the Xbox to the point that Xbox 360s, Microsoft’s previous console, were pulled off Japanese shelves last year because they weren’t selling.

The disparity in units sold points to a myriad of advantages the PlayStation 4 has over the Xbox One. It’s $100 less, and when the consoles were announced, Microsoft got backlash when it announced the new Xbox would have to be constantly connected to the internet and gamers wouldn’t be able to share or sell used games.

But Owens said one of the biggest differences is focus – the Xbox One is aimed at doing everything, while the PlayStation focuses on games.

“If I’m selling, I’ll ask, ‘Are you a hardcore gamer, or do you want more from your console?’” Owens said. “It’s called the Xbox One because it’s all-in-one. They want to take over your living room.”

The Xbox One allows users play games, watch Netflix and Hulu, surf the Internet and Skype with friends—at the same time. Old systems would make users close one activity to open another. The Xbox One can keep multiple tabs open in the background for multi-tasking, splitting the screen between television, games and social media applications.

Also, all features can be navigated by voice command. The Xbox One features the new Kinect camera and microphone as a permanent attachment. Owens said the camera is the primary reason the console costs more and could be a reason the PlayStation is outselling it.

The PlayStation 4, on the other hand, was designed purely as a gaming console, although it can also access movies and social networks like the Xbox. Owens said after a disappointing run for PlayStation 3, whose processor was too complicated to program games for, Sony gave developers what they wanted and made a console that would be more capable for game designers.

Online membership is also cheaper and less necessary for PlayStations. Both systems require memberships, PS+ and Xbox Live Gold respectively, to play games online.

While Xbox requires Xbox Live Gold to access the Internet, PlayStation users can access Netflix, Hulu, Skype and the rest of the internet without subscription. But for Xbox One, it costs extra.

Graphic by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor

Graphic by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor

In addition, Microsoft is still in hot water with the gaming community for how it would have initially handled used games. Each copy of a game would have had its own code that players would have had to enter to activate. That copy of the game could only be sold or shared once, and only to a player who is friends with the original owner for at least 30 days on Xbox Live. The original buyer would not have access to the game again.

“Developers looked and saw they’d sold a million copies of one game, but three million people had achievements for it,” Movie Trading Company assistant manager Cameron Hayes said. “There’s apparently a couple of companies that went under because of that.”

Microsoft reversed its position after widespread backlash, including from Sony, who released a 20-second video on how to share PlayStation 4 games in which one executive simply hands a game to another.

“Sony really went for the throat this time,” Hayes said.

Owens said the company’s step back wasn’t as widely publicized as they needed it to be. Hayes said the fact that Microsoft went back on their goals also hurt the console’s image.

Microsoft also got hard backlash from stores that trade used games, like Movie Trading Company and GameStop, because the restrictions would put a significant damper on their profits, Hayes said.

At UNT, students have taken a variety of stances on the new consoles. Pre-radio, television and film sophomore Matthew Luna said he’s waiting for Microsoft to release a special edition Xbox One before he buys one.

Eric Johnson, a higher education master’s student and housing director at Honors Hall is among the many still searching for a PlayStation 4 after Honors won the money to purchase one in a residence hall competition last semester.

Undeclared sophomore Sean Stephan has both consoles. While he praises the Xbox’s ability to switch quickly between applications, he recommends the PlayStation.

“It’s $100 cheaper and it doesn’t require a camera in your face,” he said.

Feature photo: Target security guard Chance McMillan plays the demo of Octadad above an empty case of PlayStation 4s at the Target on Highway 288 in Denton. Photo by Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer 

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