Xbox One vs. PS4: The final battle of the consoles?

Moderated by Larry Dignan | January 6, 2014 -- 07:00 GMT (23:00 PST)

Summary: The big showdown in tech this holiday and into 2014 is Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4. Why do we still need game consoles anyway?

David Gewirtz

David Gewirtz




Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Best Argument: Yes


Audience Favored: No (76%)

Closing Statements

Consoles can't jump over obstacles

David Gewirtz

This debate asks the question of whether this is the final battle of the consoles, implying this is the last generation of consoles we'll ever see. I'll throw a bone to my opponent by coming out and saying that I expect there to be future console generations. But…
… the games business is changing, like everything else in computing. Mobile and cloud have reached into gaming and caused disruption as much as they have in music, entertainment, and our own enterprise IT world.
PC gaming will stick around as long as there are PCs, because there will always be a generation of Hot-ridders who want to get the most out of their gear. Big, triple-A console titles will also stick around like the big blockbuster movies we see each summer. That said, like the blockbuster movies, the big console triple-A titles are getting mind-blowingly expensive and each one is a bet-the-company gamble. That risk will help divide the gaming market into the few, very big-budget players and a wide range of players who will take advantage of the vastly larger market and vastly lower entry cost of mobile.
So, vote Green/Yes if you, like me, are convinced consoles ain't ever gonna be the same, that the console vendors put a higher priority on intellectual property security than gameplay, and that no one hardware maker will ever own the living room entirely. 

Game consoles will stay, let's play

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

I see that I'm not alone in thinking that game consoles are going to stick around for some time to come.

While there was a time when it seemed like the HTPC – Home Theater PC – was going to be the piece of tech that dominated the living room, its reign was cut short by the more versatile, easier-to-use game console. And now that all the major players in the games console market have transformed the box into a hub for all things media, these devices appeal to more than just the gamers in the house. The game console now combines the gaming power of a PC, the flexibility of a set-top box, and the convenience of a media extender into a single unit.

Add to that, a connection to the web and the hardware overhead will last for many years worth of improvements through system updates, and still give you a winning device.

Long live the game console.

David gets the win

Larry Dignan

I came in predisposed to think that cloud gaming will trump consoles by time the next product cycle rolls around. The crowd and Adrian Kingsley-Hughes argued that consoles will stay relevant, but David Gewirtz had a better argument by a slim margin. If CES talks taught us anything this week it's that cloud gaming has some tech hurdles, but they can be overcome. David gets the win. 


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  • Nope

    Console provide a simple and consistent experience for the TV gamer and console developers. One device, one hardware spec. It connect simply to the TV and provide additional functionality for the TV, ie Netflix, Hulu Plus, Plex, etc.

    Sure one can hook up a PC and with some effort get a simple experience to power it. But its still not has plug-n-play as a console. As long as there are gamers who want a simple way to game on a TV, then there will be consoles. And as long as there are consoles, there will be the inevitable battle between them.

    The SteamOS, at best, simplifies connecting a computer. But there are still too many hardware specs for developers to target.
    Reply 122 Votes I'm for No
    • Mainstream? Looking Pale ...

      What is a console anymore?
      MS - it's an all in one that dishes up world peace and bakes bread.
      Sony - a trial and error game playing system that can do more. Can, not will.
      The rest - bit players who may occasionally get lucky.

      Let's define the current "console" baseline. Then I'll take a wag.
      Reply 104 Votes I'm Undecided
      • Re: Mainstream? Looking Pale ...

        I dunno. When you look at all the latest news coming out of the two big consoles, it just seems like every new thing that MS and Sony do just keeps making the OUYA look better and better...
        Reply 53 Votes I'm Undecided
    • console gaming vs pc gaming

      Console gaming: you play the game against your opponents. You beat them with skill edge.
      PC gaming: you try to spend more on your hardware to get an advantage on your opponents. You beat them with money edge.
      Reply 111 Votes I'm Undecided
      • It has nothing to do with your opponent.

        If you game online you just need a PC with the needed specs. Pouring a lot of cash into your rig won't make you a better player. You pour money into your rig to improve your own experience. Better sound, better graphics.
        Reply 76 Votes I'm Undecided
        • I agree

          PC gaming is about the graphics and the immersive experience. Later in the life of most consoles, their capabilities are significantly inferior to PCs. I personally prefer single player PC games with a story and immersive environment. I could care less about the latest Call of Duty or Battlefield game.

          I will say today, thanks to companies like EA that are all about bottom dollar gobbling up independent developers, PC gaming has suffered and there is less reason to choose PC over console than there was a decade ago during PC gaming's golden age.
          Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided
      • So what mod have you played with on the Console lately?

        Another point is you are force fed DLC packs you have to pay for. As more "Publishers" try to lock down their games to be more or less console ports or clones, this locks down their opportunity to control the ecosystem of additional content. Being on the console only entitles you to games that have content provided by the publisher, if your lucky. Sometimes there's no additional content.

        For the PC you have many games like ArmA that are true PC games where the DLC is both publisher and community provided and is open to wild modifications like DayZ, and etc.
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
  • Technology moves on.

    Technology moves on. Consoles are constant. Thus, they *have* to upgrade every so often to keep pace.

    The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 frankly waited way too long. Tech pundits claimed that it was "amazing" that they "lasted so long," but frankly I found it appalling. PCs overtook the consoles a long time before the next gen was even announced.

    The Xbox 360 has 512 MB of RAM, 10 MB of graphical memory. I've got 8 GB of RAM, 4 GB of graphical memory. They're not even remotely comparable to PCs today.

    When Microsoft announced the Xbox One, there was not A SINGLE COMPONENT in my PC that was inferior to the Xbox 360. Not a single one. The PlayStation 3 could probably claim "more cores," although with the improvements PCs gained, they probably didn't really outperform PC CPUs.

    There was really no good excuse for waiting so long to announce the next gen. The console producers were acting more like an oligopoly than actual competitors. Things didn't *really* get moving until Nintendo announced the Wii U.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 didn't even *start* development until the Wii U was announced.

    "Why do we still need game consoles anyway?"

    Why do we still need TVs anyway? Why do we still need ANY form of entertainment anyways?

    I find that question to be disingenuous and snarky. There's no "need" for any form of entertainment - it's entertainment!

    It fills a role in the marketplace. That's all that's really needed. It's no less "needed" than it was when the first Nintendo became popular.

    Meh, I don't really expect from this "debate." ZDNet has never really been known for being a gaming mag, and I don't expect much knowledgeable discussion. They're a lot more interested in other uses for consoles rather than the games and gamers.

    I don't really expect to think any differently from reading this debate.
    Reply 97 Votes I'm for No
    • It's my opinion the longevity of the console is a good thing.

      It provides a consist hardware set for developers to target as well as great value to the console owners (seven years for the PS3 and Xbox 360 is darn good). I think this is a huge plus for consoles. People I know don't want to be buying new consoles ever few years. Nor do they want to figure out what titles will work with which consoles (the idea being more frequent console releases will lead to more confusion).

      PCs will always exceed the capabilities of the latest consoles. Even when those consoles are first released. Why? Because a console has to be affordable. Top end PC video cards cost more than the entire console. So naturally compromise has to be made somewhere.
      Reply 80 Votes I'm Undecided
      • You got the "value" a long time ago, now it's just getting old.

        "as well as great value to the console owners (seven years for the PS3 and Xbox 360 is darn good)"

        I don't know if I would call that "value." Kinda like keeping a vintage car, more like. You got the "value" a long time ago, now it's just getting old.

        The refresh was long overdue, and you ain't buying me with a "but it's good 'value'" argument.
        Reply 88 Votes I'm Undecided