With the release of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2013 the console wars have officially begun again. Although the Wii U did release a year before, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are the real contenders for the top gaming console. The next generation consoles that were just released in 2013 (so we can call them current generation now technically), are way more advanced and can be used for a lot more than gaming these days.
If you want to purchase a console for gaming, all three are great choices. The Nintendo Wii U and PlayStation 4 are designed for core gamers and not for the casual gaming audience. In the past Nintendo has catered to the casual audience and drew in a lot of non-gamers to gaming. This time around Nintendo wanted to create something new and unique just for the core gamers. With new motion control peripherals and enhancements such as the Wii U gamepad they specifically target gamers. With the new gamepad, someone can be watching TV while someone is playing a Wii U game on the gamepad.
The PlayStation 4 is the most technically advanced of all three consoles. It is able to play in 1080p, 1080i but is not set up for the rarely used upcoming 4k resolution. The Xbox One on the other hand can’t always do 1080p but is set up for the 4k resolution. The 4k resolution is an resolution that hasn’t quite been used in TVs (due to the expense) but are used in movie theaters. As of now though the PlayStation 4 has the best graphics of all three systems (if only by a small margin). PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both have about the same amount of exclusive games as well. Nintendo overall due to its long running history has the longest list of exclusive games to its console.
The Xbox One was designed for an overall entertainment console and entertainment hub. It also has many services, such as Twitch and upload studio so that gamers can upload their gaming clips and sessions to the internet much easier. Both the Wii U and PlayStation 4 both have a lot of these applications as of now as well. All three have a number of entertainment and social media applications such as Facebook, Netflix and Hulu as well.
The Xbox One has the best motion controls of all three systems, with no peripherals needed like the other consoles. It has also been greatly improved upon over the last Kinect motion control system, with a much better video capture and voice capture system. With the new Wii U gamepad and Wiimotes the Wii U does have a unique motion control system but not quite as advanced as the Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 does have motion control and voice control similar to the Xbox One and are also developing a Virtual Reality prototype called “Project Morpheus”.
A big consideration when looking for a new gaming console is the cost. Currently in North America the Wii U is about $300-350, the PlayStation 4 is about $400-450 and the Xbox One is $400-500 (500 with the Kinect). Cost and all factors aside it really depends on what you are looking for (gaming, entertainment or both?) and what you are familiar with. I have personally played and used past consoles, and the controllers are very similar to the last generation (aside from some small upgrades).