PS4 or Xbox One: Which is the best games console in 2018?

If you want to buy a games console in 2018, you’ve got three main choices. There’s the portable joy of the Nintendo’s Switch, then there’s the iterative versions of Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. 

Putting Nintendo’s Switch to the side, the first question you’ll need to consider is whether you want to pay extra for a console that will make the most of a 4K television. If so, you’ll want to consider the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. You can read our in-depth comparison of those consoles here

If you have a non-4K TV, you’ll get better value for money with the PS4 Slim or Xbox One S. Both of those machines are a little different to the ones originally released by Sony and Microsoft, but that’s a good thing. They’re essentially as powerful as their predecessors, but more compact and – in the case of the Xbox One S – come with a few extra features. Read on for our rundown of these entry-level consoles. 

PS4 vs Xbox One: Design

Both the PS4 and Xbox One will form a permanent fixture of your entertainment setup, so it’s important they look good. After the somewhat generic design of the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4 is a return to form for Sony. Featuring a mixture of gloss and matte plastic, and a sophisticated status light separating the two, the PS4 is neat and compact – and looks like a PlayStation 2 in italics.

The PS4 Slim takes the original PS4’s angular design ethos, and makes it even more compact. Just like the original console, the new PS4 is divided into two layers, and replaces the old model’s touch sensitive Power and Disc Eject buttons, with physical ones – which most people seem to prefer. Sony has also ditched the mixed surfaces of the original machine, replacing it with an all-over matte finish.ps4_slim_back

After the curvy designs of the Xbox 360, the original Xbox One was a boxy rectangular affair, looking more like a PC or old-school VCR than a modern games console. That’s not to say it was an ugly device – Microsoft used a combination of gloss and matte finishes along with splashes of chrome to make the Xbox One look like a seriously sophisticated bit of kit.

In contrast, the new Xbox One S fixes all the problems of the original machine. It’s small, stylish and compact – and unlike the old Xbox One, it also doesn’t need a separate, cumbersome power brick.

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PS4 vs Xbox One: Exclusive games

Although most games are available on both consoles, some titles only appear on one console thanks to business deals or in-house development by Sony or Microsoft.

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For example, headline game series such as Halo, Forza Motorsport and Gears of War are only available on Xbox One, while BloodborneUncharted and Horizon Zero Dawn are only available on the PlayStation 4. Third-party games such as FIFA, Fallout 4 and Destiny are available on both the Xbox One and the PS4.

It’s fair to say that both consoles have their fair share of great games. Sony tends to develop more exclusive titles due to having a larger network of first-party studios than Microsoft. Due to its close ties to the indie development community, the Sony also manages to secure more indie titles than Microsoft’s machine. However, it really does come down to a preference of what you’d like to play. For the sheer volume of exclusive titles alone, though, it has to be Sony’s machine.

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