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Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: which one to buy this holiday season

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Xbox One vs. PS4: What TV fans need to know

Game consoles have long been the most popular devices to stream Netflix video, and this new generation of gaming machines again comes with plenty of entertainment apps. But this time around, there’s actually a big difference between the two devices: The Xbox One integrates live TV, making input switching on your TV set a thing of the past.

The Xbox One is meant to hook up with your cable box.
The Xbox One is meant to hook up with your cable box.

This is done by plugging your cable box straight into the game console. The Xbox One can then control the cable box, making it possible to change the channel with voice commands, switch back and forth between games and live TV, and even run apps in a sidebar while you watch TV — something that’s especially neat for sports games and Skype calls.

However, the voice control in particular doesn’t work for everyone — as we found out in our test — and the reliance on the cable box also feels a bit like an awkward workaround. Cord cutters, for example, are left in the cold, and DVR access also isn’t possible just yet.

The PS4 on the other hand is much more simplistic, and just offers up a few select apps for video streaming services. It’s a much less ambitious offering than the Xbox One, but aside from YouTube, it still offers the main video streaming services.

Here’s a list of the main entertainment apps available on both systems:

Video and music apps available at launch

Xbox One PS4
Video subscription services Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant
Video rentals VUDU, Xbox Video, Target Ticket VUDU, Sony Video Unlimited,
Sports ESPN, Univision Desportes NBA GameTime, NHL Game Center
Authenticated TV CW, Fox Now, FX Now, Verizon FiOS TV Epix
Other apps Crackle, Internet Explorer, Machinima,, Skype, TED, Twitch, Xbox Music, YouTube Crackle, Crunchyroll, Sony Music Unlimited, YuppTV

15 Responses to “Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: which one to buy this holiday season”

  1. I have all three systems and have only turned on the PS3 a few times in the past year. XBOX live is way better, not even close. PS3 should have been a better machine but just wasn’t. I think the same is true here.

  2. Tristen Surfa

    Im not sure which is “better” per say. I think that is for everyone to decide for themselves since there are 2 different selling points – A) Gaming and B) Entertainment.
    If your a gamer I think the PS4 next year would b the best option, if they expand their payment methods – I dont think the paysafecard, GW, etc are yet accepted methods.
    If your into entertainment then prob the xbox… unless ur a huge Microsoft fan and just like to support their games.

  3. Well I have two xbox 360’s and love them, but for my new console I’m buying a PS4 this X-Mas, I don’t like the way xbox one is more expensive with inferior hardware, I mean I know people are loyal but I would like to think they’re not stupid, why on earth wouldn’t I get a gaming console that is just that, A GAMING CONSOLE, so therefore my choice of PS4, better hardware, $100 dlls. cheaper, also, MS would have stick it to us with their bs DRM if it wasn’t for most gamers ranting about it. So MS tried to fuck me first, guess what, fuck you back, I’ll simply buy a PS4. Good luck to the rest of you on your choice. =)

  4. Valentine North

    This an article for people who have absolutely no idea what xbox one or ps4 really are and want to add them to xmas gift list.

    Gamers, the ones that actually want these products will buy the console that has the games they want. Meaning, that in a lot of cases, people will buy both.
    Sad, but there you have it, the power of proprietary software.

    Reminds of some times long ago, when a friend had one TV for local channels, and another for foreign ones, because of the PAL/NTSC/SECAM things. Ancient stuff.

  5. Make sure to consider price. The XBOX Gold membership is much pricier. Over ten years, this could REALLY add up. You can watch Netflix on a PS4 without membership. Not so with the Xbox.

    • DarkDayz

      so buy the ps4 and enjoy.. I have the Xbox One have been Xbox live member for over 10 yrs. I didn’t buy the Xbox for Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, etc.. They are extras. I’ll pay the price for a great online experience. To play multi- player on the ps4 you need PlayStation premium membership. that cost cash also.. they are both good systems. I may buy the ps4 down the road. (Own; Ps3, 360, original Xbox, Laptop, Desktop etc..) Both systems came out too early. PS3, 360. still have lots of leg left…

  6. Janko, a couple of things don’t add up in your article: on the gaming page you mention the PS4 can record games using, but then on the apps table you don’t list on the PS4 side. Also, you list Internet Explorer web browser on the Xbox side, but don’t list the PS4 web browser on the PS4 side. What gives?