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

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

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
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