Sony Announces PlayStation 4 with Better Hardware, No Internet Connection Required For $399
Let's start with the design. It's been about four months since Sony unveiled its next generation game console at a press event. During that time, Sony talked a lot about the games, a little about the hardware, and nothing about the price or how the PS4 would look. Now we know.
Sony PlayStation 4
A view of the back gives a better idea of the offset, angled design. Gamers won't spend much time staring at the back of the PS4, which appears well ventilated. There's an optical port, HDMI output, Ethernet LAN port, and an auxiliary port in the back.
PlayStation 4 Versus Xbox One -- It's in the Hardware
A similar CPU is found in both consoles. The PS4 wields a custom low-power x86-64 AMD Jaguar chip with eight physical processing cores, and the same is true of the Xbox One. In this category, it's essentially wash, though the PS4 leaps ahead when looking at the other specs.
Microsoft Xbox One
Of most interest are the GPU and RAM, as these are primarily gaming devices, after all. The Xbox One's GPU is similar to a Radeon HD 7790 (896 Stream Processors) with 102GB/s of bandwidth to a local 32MB SRAM memory cache, plus another 30GB/s of bandwidth to game controllers and peripherals like the Kinect. It also has 8GB of DDR3 system memory.
The GPU in the PS4 offers similar performance to a Radeon HD 7870 (1280 Stream Processors), which is quite a bit more powerful than the 7790 (896 SPs). It's also aided by 8GB of unified GDDR5 RAM and thus able to offer 176GB/s of bandwidth to the CPU and GPU. The advantage here clearly lies with Sony, though Microsoft is talking a big game about drawing power from the cloud, so we'll see.
Let's Talk Price and Used Games
Simply put, the PS4 is the more affordable console, at least at a glance. Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will sell for $499 this November, whereas the PS4 will go for $399 around the same time. Both will be available for the holiday shopping season, but unlike last round, Sony's hardware costs less. The caveat here is that the Xbox One comes with a Kinect motion controller. There's some value in that, though Microsoft is essentially forcing gamers to invest in that hardware, whereas Sony is not.
If you're keeping score, the PS4 is winning in hardware and price, but what about used games? While Microsoft is putting all the power into the hands of publishers and letting them decide whether or not you can trade games, and what fees it will charge outlets like GameStop, Sony is placing no such restrictions on gamers or resellers.
"When a gamer buys a PS4 disc, they have the rights to use that disc. They can sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever," Sony said.
Are you planning to purchase either console? Tell us why or why not in the comments section below!