For video game fans, it's well known that the big rivalry is Microsoft's Xbox versus Sony's PlayStation. Which one has the best graphics? Which one has the biggest game library? Which one has the best exclusives?
But perhaps the best indicator is sales. Last month, Sony announced that its latest console, the PlayStation 4, has shipped close to 14 million units since its launch on November 5, 2013. While this is certainly impressive, the number means much more when you consider that the company's biggest rival, Microsoft, has only shipped 10 million units of the latest Xbox One since its own launch on November 22, 2013. On top of that, it's estimated that Nintendo's Wii U is not far behind the Xbox One.
But a recent $50 price cut on the Xbox One promises to increase those sales figures during this holiday season and get the Xbox One back on track to being the best-selling console that it was last year at this time.
So price-wise, the two consoles are almost identical, with both hovering right around $400, depending on the bundle. The hardware is also comparable, with both using 8-core AMD processors, 8 GB of memory, 500 GB of storage, and Blu-ray drives on both standard. As PC Mag says during its own comparison, "Because of differing architectures and operating systems, benchmarking and directly comparing the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 is effectively impossible. They're so similar we can't declare one to be superior based on specs, and they're different enough that we can't directly compare performance."
Both consoles are still in their infancy when compared to the typical lifespan of their predecessors. The Xbox 360 was around for eight years (to the day!) before the Xbox One came along, and the PlayStation 3 was only one year short of that. So we longevity and committment from each company shouldn't be a concern
When it comes to online services, the two consoles are also very close in comparison. Both Xbox Live and the PS Network offer certain incentives to sign up for a premium membership, but both also have free basic memberships that still allow access to media services like Netflix or YouTube.
So when you take a look at all of these comparisons, it's easy to say that both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are almost level playing fields for the first time in a long time. This means you can essentially disregard any concerns about performance and special features to focus on the biggest determiner of all: exclusive games.
As it stands, the PlayStation 4 has 21 exclusives while the Xbox One only has 18, but of those numbers, only seven of the PS4 titles have launched while 11 of the Xbox titles have released.
The PS4 exclusives are Basement Crawl, Bloodborne, Deep Down, Disgaea 5, Driveclub, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Helldivers, Hohokum, Infamous: Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall, Knack, N++, The Order: 1886, The Playroom, Resogun, Rime, Rocketbords 2: Evolution, Shadow of the Beast, The Last of Us Remastered, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, and Until Dawn.
For the Xbox One, the exclusives are Crackdown, Crimson Dragon, D4, Fable Legends, Fighter Within, Forza Motorsports 5, Gears of War (Untitled sequel), Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo 5: Guardians, Killer Instinct, Kinect Sports Rivals, Phantom Dust, Powerstar Golf, Quantum Break, Scalebound, Shape Up, Sunset Overdrive, and Xbox Fitness.
While these are the titles that are exclusive to each console, there are also several titles that may be exclusive to the console over its competition, but they're also on another system, like the PC or Mac.
Overall, it looks like the PS4 has a longer list of exclusives and console exclusives, so be sure to check out the complete list of eighth generation exclusives for a complete break-down to help you make your final decision on which console is right for you.