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PS4 vs Xbox One: Which gaming console should you choose?

PS4 vs Xbox One: Which gaming console should you choose?

So, you’ve decided to purchase a gaming console. The two options you will most likely be considering are the PS4 and Xbox One, the two current generation offerings from Sony and Microsoft.

Which should you get? I’ll investigate that question, and compare the two consoles in a number of ways.

Specs

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    I could paint an overly technical picture for you, but let’s not over-complicate matters too much. The bottom line is that both the PS4 and Xbox One are about five times more powerful than their predecessors, the PS3 and Xbox 360. Each is equipped with a CPU that, for all intents and purposes, is an exact copy of the other. The only difference is that the Xbox One’s CPU is clocked faster, meaning it has about a 10% edge over the PS4’s CPU.

    On the other hand, the PS4 has a more powerful Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Truthfully, you really won’t notice the difference while playing games. At the end of the day, both consoles are around the same strength, with the PS4 taking a slight lead in some instances.

    Both consoles come with eight gigabytes (GB) of RAM, though each console uses a different format. The PS4 uses GDDR5, which is faster than the DDR3 in the Xbox One. The end user won’t really feel the difference, as the Xbox comes equipped with a few megabytes of embedded memory that allow it to match the PS4 in most instances where RAM performance is a factor.

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    If you are choosing on specs alone, there really isn’t a clear victor. For context, both consoles perform about as well as a current low-end gaming PC.

    Price

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      Were this article written in the fall of 2013, the PS4 would be the winner of this category. However, since then, Microsoft has shifted its strategy. Whereas the Xbox One used to be $499, $100 more than the PS4, it now sells for $349, and often comes bundled with a game worth $60.

      The Xbox One’s original price hurt it greatly, causing gamers to flock to the $399 PS4, which had greater apparent value at the time. Now that the tables have turned, you’d probably be better off choosing the Xbox One if you want to save a few bucks, especially if you can find one of the better bundles.

      Today, the PS4 is still $399, while the Xbox One can be bought for either $349 without the Kinect camera, or $449 with it included. That said, be on the look out for special deals and bundles that pop up from time to time, as you may be able to save even more by going with those.

      Design

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      Designz3

        Design is of course as much about personal preference as anything. That said, it’s an important factor in determining what you buy. The Xbox One has something of a monolithic design, sacrificing portability for a boxy, weighty, unassuming look. To me, it looks like a large VCR or DVD player. Perhaps that was the intent, as Microsoft’s hope is for the Xbox One to be the main attraction of your home entertainment setup.

        The PS4 is less generic, with a stylized design that seems to harken back to the PS2. It’s far more compact compared to the Xbox One, and looks more like a gaming machine than the Xbox.

        If you want something that will blend in seamlessly next to your DVD player and cable box, the Xbox One is a good choice. If you want to have something a bit more flashy, the PS4 will probably appeal to you more.

        Games

        Gamesz4

          By and large, the game libraries on these consoles are essentially the same. If you are mainly into sports games or cross platform shooters, like Call of Duty, both consoles will serve you well.

          Where the two consoles diverge is in their exclusive offerings. At the moment, neither really has a decent library of exclusives, but that will change by the end of this year with blockbusters like Uncharted 4 and Halo 5 being released for the PS4 and Xbox One, respectively.

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          If you grew up playing Halo and enjoy the lore and gameplay of that franchise, the Xbox One is your console. On the flip side, if you loved traversing the globe as Nathan Drake, the PS4 is for you. PS4 owners also have access to a larger indie game library, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.

          Again, it’s a personal choice, and really depends on which consoles you’ve owned in the past. Those of us who owned Xbox 360s will feel more of an affinity to the exclusives on the One, and vice versa.

          Controllers and peripherals

          Controllerz5

            As strange as it may seem, many gamers choose a console based on the feel of their controller. Having used both, I have to say that I prefer the Xbox One’s controller a bit more, mainly because my hands are pretty large and I feel a little cramped using the analog sticks on the PS4 controllers.

            Of course, your mileage may vary. Both controllers have received a lot of praise from gamers of all shapes, sizes, and experiences, so what might be a good idea for you is to test each and see what works for you.

            Additionally, both the Xbox and PS4 can be used with a high-tech camera device that you can purchase separately. If you are choosing mainly on the capability of this peripheral, the Xbox’s Kinect is better than the PS4’s offering, as it was designed to integrate seamlessly into the Xbox experience (originally, it shipped with every Xbox, which is, in part, why it used to cost so much).

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            Backwards compatibility

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              Sadly, neither consoles have backward compatibility capabilities, meaning you can’t play your old 360 or PS3 games on the new machines. If either Microsoft or Sony figure out a way to include this feature at some point in the future, that would be a huge factor in picking one console over the other (since so many of us have a large library of last-generation games).

              Conclusion

              In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with either the Xbox One or the PS4. To me, the most important factor is whether or not you will enjoy the exclusive games offered by each console. Are you a Halo devotee? A Fable fanatic? A Gran Turismo phenom? An Uncharted aficionado? If you picked the first two, get an Xbox. If you chose the latter, the PS4 is for you. These are gaming consoles, after all, so the other factors really don’t matter all that much compared to the joy you get from playing actual games on your device.

              I hope this outline helped in your decision making process. Whichever console you choose, I have no doubt that your craving for gaming will be sufficiently satisfied for the next several years.

              Featured photo credit: Gaming Consoles/Mark Farrell via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on August 29, 2018

              5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

              5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

              Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

              Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

              Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

              1. 750words

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              750 words

                750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

                750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

                750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

                2. Ohlife

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                ohlife

                  Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

                  Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

                  3. Oneword

                  oneword

                    OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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                    Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

                    4. Penzu

                      Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

                      With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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                      5. Evernote

                      Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

                      Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

                      For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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