Is PS4 Technically Superior to Xbox One? Hmm…I Don’t Care

With all this talk about which console is more powerful, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

Let me be clear:

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I am a PlayStation fan. I’ve been gaming since the Atari days, and while I’ve owned every PlayStation and Xbox console (with the current exception of the Xbox One), I’ve certainly put far more time into my PlayStation consoles than any others.

Being a big role-playing fan, it made sense. The PS1 and PS2 really were RPG havens and let’s face it, the PS2 had quite possibly the most diverse, most impressive library of video games in history. It’s not the most popular game console for no reason, and that reason extends beyond the one-year head-start.

So, I think it’s kinda cool that multiplatform titles appear to be performing slightly better on the PS4 right now. However, do I really care which console is technically superior to the other?

Short answer: Nope.

Let’s be honest: Are we really talking about SIGNIFICANT differences?

I’m actually asking, by the way. Not being a technophile, I barely know what RAM is. Know why? Because I’m a gamer and as far as I’m concerned, the boxes that play my games do so by way of otherworldly magic. I don’t care to know what powers the systems, so long as they work and provided they keep playing the games I love. That being said, I’ve done enough research on the matter to know that, on the surface at least, the PS4 seems to be outperforming the Xbox One.

I mean, you can’t go a week without hearing about another multiplatform game that either has a better frame rate or resolution (or both) on the PS4, as opposed to the Xbox One. The latest is Trials Fusion, but that’s just another in a long line: Watch DogsTomb Raider: Definitive EditionAssassin’s Creed IV: Black FlagMetal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, etc. The games often hit 1080p and/or 60 frames per second on the PS4, while their Xbox One counterparts fall a little shy.

Well, okay. But what’s the difference – really – between 1080p and 960p, for instance? The frames per second argument is a bit more important because it affects gameplay, but Uncharted always ran around 30 FPS and did I care? No way.

In the long run, they’ll be pretty equal, yes?

It’s going to happen, isn’t it? I’m willing to bet the PlayStation 4 will always be just a bit better, in that it appears be a little more powerful. That’s just going by everything I’ve read (and I hardly understand all the terminology). Those more qualified than I have run all sorts of tests and yeah, the PS4 does typically come out ahead. Even so, as time goes on and developers become more familiar with a piece of hardware, multiplatform games become awfully similar to each other.

Remember last generation when multiplats started out terribly on the PS3? The Orange Box didn’t fare well at all on that platform, and I’m glad I got it for the Xbox 360. However, designers started using the PS3 as the lead development platform – in addition to becoming more familiar with the console – and lo and behold, that problem disappeared. So, isn’t it logical to assume that this minor technical gaps will narrow or even disappear during this generation?

Five years from now, I predict the only real difference we’ll see is in PS4 exclusives. PS3 exclusives like The Last Of Us trump anything on the 360 strictly in terms of technical elements and overall performance, and you might see that happen again this era. But when it comes to multiplats, I expect them to be virtually identical.

And in the end…who cares?

Without the games, both of the machines in question would be nothing more than fancy paperweights. Sure, they can do other things, but I seriously doubt anyone bought either the PS4 or Xbox One for purposes other than gaming. The movie, TV, and other Internet stuff are great; they make these systems true living room entertainment hubs. Still, the manifest intent of a game console remains the same in my eyes. Therefore, we just need the games.

We shouldn’t care about which one is more powerful, especially when both seem to be pretty closely matched. In the end, it’s only the quality games that matter. That’s what I care about. Wanna argue about Halo 5 vs. Uncharted 4? Okay, that makes more sense to me than arguing about a few extra pixels squeezed out of a certain system.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.