Console gaming has been around for over 30 years with the first home console releasing in 1972. However since then companies like Sony and Microsoft have truly capitalised on console gaming by introducing the PlayStation and Xbox respectively. These two consoles have defined gaming in a way that would seem impossible back in the 70’s. Sony was the first out of the two to dip their feet into the gaming world after seeing Nintendo dominate the console market for a long time. The first PlayStation debuted in 1994 and took the world by storm. Similarly watching Nintendo and Sony’s success, Microsoft debuted its own console called the Xbox in 2001. Since then both consoles have released millions of games that have entertained people for over a span of two decades. The gaming industry was forever changed by the introduction of such consoles and gaming was never the same again. After years of competing, questions started to arise such as which console is superior, consumer friendly, and produces the best gaming experience?
The PlayStation 1 (or simply PlayStation) was introduced to the world in 1994 and became a huge hit for console gaming. The PlayStation was priced at $300 at that time and was released in Japan. After its introductory year it subsequently released to the whole world in 1995. As of February 2019, the PlayStation 1 has sold an unbelievable amount of units, making it the 4th best-selling console of all time with 104.25 million units sold. It’s safe to say that the PlayStation was off to a successful start and laid the seeds for the future of the PlayStation brand. Games such as Gran Turismo and Crash Bandicoot really set PlayStation apart from other consoles and that ideology has still carried to this day. So how does Microsoft’s Xbox compare to this?
In terms of sales Microsoft’s Xbox was very far behind with its sales peaking at about 24.65 million units. An impressive feat for a console but still ways behind its competitor. The first Xbox released in 2001 and had to not only compete with PlayStation 1’s success but also had to match the PlayStation 2 which was released in 2000. This was a lot of pressure for Xbox but it had its own exclusives such as Halo: Combat Evolved, Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind, and Fable which made it a huge success. The console outsold Sega and Nintendo but was left behind in the shadow of the PlayStation 1 and 2. But this was a good start for Microsoft as they continued to evolve their consoles like Sony and gave them some serious competition.
Though Microsoft has seemingly struggled to keep up with Sony in terms of sales, it has pushed itself in terms of hardware. In most cases the Xbox outclasses PlayStation in the hardware department. The Xbox controller has been praised for its overall sleek design and its compatibility features. For example not only is the controller compatible to your console but is also compatible to your PC. The support for Xbox controllers on PC is far better than that of any PlayStation controller. Another benefit of owning an Xbox is its ability of backwards compatibility. Even the most recent Xbox which is the Xbox One X can run games that were released on the Xbox in 2001. This is a feature that was not available in PlayStation, however the upcoming PS5 will be able to run some PS4 games but not all. The backwards compatibility feature though has always been present in Xbox consoles. But the department where Xbox truly shines is by displaying the power of their consoles. For example comparing the most recent consoles of both companies which is the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, the Xbox One X is the more powerful console. This means the games will play and look graphically better on the Xbox as compared to the PlayStation. In techradar’s comparison of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X state just how better the Xbox One X is.
Not only that but Microsoft has outdone Sony once again as their upcoming Xbox Series X console proves to be more powerful than the PlayStation 5, but features such as backwards compatibility and a much more powerful console is what attracts consumers to Xbox in the first place. Yes, PlayStation is more popular due to its amazing single party games such as The Last of Us, Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War and many more titles, but Xbox has been able to hold its own by offering something PlayStation can’t.
It is up to the consumer to decide what console they really want to choose and honestly, it’s a tough choice. Both companies have constantly innovated and improved their services over the past two decades. Whether it be PlayStation trying to experiment with different genres such as handheld gaming and virtual reality, or Xbox trying to capture the magic of movement trough the Kinect. One thing’s for sure and that is both Microsoft and Sony provide a unique experience to their respective consumer base and will continue to do so in the next generation as well. It will be really exciting to see what the PS5 and Xbox Series X will be able to accomplish as their potential seems to be limitless.