We’ve already told you how to shop for a console on Black Friday. Now there’s another question; if you can get past the crowds and find one at a good price… which one do you buy, either for yourself or a loved one? Here’s a breakdown of how you might use it, and which is better.
Are you using it primarily for streaming? Then buy either.
Essentially, if you’re using a console to stream media and play media discs of various sorts… either will be fine, honestly. The major streaming services have custom apps for both consoles, and if you can’t find a custom music streaming app for your console of choice, you can just as easily use the web browser. The Xbox One might have a slight edge in the future as a home theater PC as Microsoft is integrating Windows 10 into all of its products, but for most of us, either console will work perfectly well.
Do you own a lot of Xbox 360 games? Buy the Xbox One.
While Xbox One backwards compatibility is in its early days, the fact is, it’s there, it works, and it means you can still play your old games as the backwards compatibility library grows. Sony is still invested in trying to rent you older games, and they likely won’t abandon that idea for a while.
Do you love multiplayer? The Xbox One has a slight edge.
Honestly, at this point, both Sony and Microsoft have the major online multiplayer issues licked. But Microsoft’s platform is slightly more stable, and they have multiplayer exclusives like Halo in their corner. If you spend most of your time shooting your friends over the Internet, the Xbox One will be a slightly better option, but check to see what your friends own before you buy.
Do you love offbeat, indie games? Buy a PS4.
Sony, as a console manufacturer, has a surprising taste for weird games, whether it’s essentially a playable ’70s cult movie or an adorable platformer about the search for God. While the Xbox One has decent indie support, Sony is aggressively going after indie titles to get them on the PS4 and encouraging indie developers to build exclusive games for the platform.
Do you just want to play third-party games? Then buy either.
The reality is, bar the occasional “timed exclusive” like Rise of the Tomb Raider, most third party games need to be on both Xbox One and PS4. It always makes sense to look at the exclusives, of course: Both Microsoft and Sony have some great ones, although Sony does have more. But if you just want to play Call of Duty and Fallout 4, either console will serve you well.