Gaming

PS4 Slim vs. Xbox One S: A Comparison of Specifications, Design, and Features

Introduction

With the imminent release of new, next-gen consoles, considering older hardware like the Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 Slim can be a smart way to save money. Microsoft and Sony have been vying for the title of the ultimate media center centerpiece for almost two decades now. You may have friends who are die-hard Xbox One fans, while others champion the PS4. Many of the same games are available on both consoles, making it difficult to choose between them based solely on gameplay. So, when it comes to PS4 Slim vs. Xbox One S, how do you make the right choice?

Firstly, it’s important to note that the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Slim, both mid-generation redesigns, are currently the standard hardware for their respective platforms. If you’re new to this generation of gaming, your decision will likely come down to one of these two consoles. While they offer similar experiences, each device has its own strengths and weaknesses that could influence your choice. From specifications to design to features to price, we’ll break down every factor to help you decide between the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Slim.

Specs

Design

The most noticeable difference between the original PlayStation 4 and the current PlayStation 4 Slim is the console’s design. The new system is approximately 70% smaller and features a redesigned chassis with rounded edges and a matte finish across the entire box. The optical audio port and auxiliary port have been removed to save space, and physical buttons now control the disc drive and power supply, replacing the troublesome touch sensors.

The Xbox One S, on the other hand, has undergone more significant changes. It is 40% smaller than the original Xbox One and features a more inviting design. With a matte white finish and small fan holes on a charcoal gray foundation, the Xbox One S exudes a sleeker aesthetic. The power supply is now inside the console, eliminating the need for a cumbersome brick-type cable. Additionally, Microsoft has replaced inconvenient touch-sensitive buttons with physical buttons on the front of the console and removed the Kinect port.

Both consoles are upgrades from their predecessors, boasting smaller, lighter designs, the removal of touch sensors, and a matte finish, while retaining the power and essential components of the original models.

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Controller

PS4 Slim vs. Xbox One S: Spec comparison
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sony has introduced a revised DualShock 4 controller for the newer PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. The light bar on the back of the controller now shines through the touchpad, making battery life indicators and other light bar functions easier to read. The D-pad and analog sticks have also been updated with a new rubber grip, and the controller itself is slightly lighter in color.

The new Xbox One controller has also received improvements to the D-pad and analog sticks. The white controller, matching the console’s design, offers improved wireless range and Bluetooth connectivity, which is ideal for gamers who want to connect their controller to a PC. Microsoft has added a 3.5mm headphone jack to offset the removal of the Kinect port, along with a textured grip for enhanced comfort.

In addition, Microsoft introduced the Xbox Design Lab, allowing users to create a controller with a custom color scheme for $80. While it lacks the technical advancements of the Xbox One Elite controller, having a unique controller engraved with your favorite colors and gamertag on the front is undeniably cool. However, the Xbox One controller still relies on AA batteries by default, while the DualShock 4 is rechargeable out of the box.

Taking both controllers into account, the Xbox One S gamepad is excellent, featuring comfortable triggers and an overall weight and shape that feels good in your hands. Nevertheless, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it requires batteries by default. Considering price, the DualShock 4 comes out on top. If price isn’t a concern for you, we recommend the Xbox One S controller.

Performance and Features

In terms of physical design, the new PS4 Slim addresses previous aesthetic issues, such as inconsistent touch-sensitive buttons and a glossy finish prone to displaying dust and fingerprints. The major technical improvement of the PS4 Slim is the addition of 5GHz IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac support, leading to a more stable internet connection for game downloads and online play. With HDR support included, as long as you have a compatible television, the newer system matches the original PS4. Additionally, the PS4 Slim allows for removable hard drives without voiding the warranty and supports additional storage through an external drive.

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The Xbox One S takes a different approach. In addition to size reduction and ergonomic improvements, it has been marketed as a videophile’s dream. Serving as an affordable 4K Blu-ray player, the One S eliminates the need for an extra box on your entertainment center. Though game visuals don’t reach the same level of graphical fidelity, some titles feature HDR visuals, while others “upscale” to 4K. The One S also offers numerous apps and plays Xbox games, making its relatively low price tag more than reasonable.

Neither console presents any notable improvements in terms of actual game performance. For enhanced performance, you’ll need to consider the more powerful PS4 Pro or Xbox One X.

Price

PS4 Slim vs. Xbox One S: Spec comparison
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The 1TB PlayStation 4 Slim is priced at $300, and occasionally includes bundles with one or two games. Microsoft, however, seems to prefer bundling the Xbox One S with games. These bundles may include popular titles such as The Division 2, NBA 2K19, and Battlefield V. It’s worth noting that the All-Digital edition of the Xbox One S, priced at $250, offers less value overall. Though both consoles fall around the same price range, availability may vary, with the PS4 Slim frequently going in and out of stock.

Games

PS4 Slim vs. Xbox One S: Spec comparison
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Arguably the most critical factor in choosing between these consoles is the extensive library of games available on each. Opt for the system that offers the types of games you’re looking for. While both platforms feature thousands of the same third-party titles like Call of Duty, Madden NFL, and Resident Evil, each console boasts a range of exclusive games worth considering.

The PS4 has gained a reputation for housing a multitude of incredible single-player, narrative-driven action games. Titles like The Last of Us Part 2, God of War, Persona 5, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Horizon Zero Dawn, and numerous others have solidified the PS4’s exclusive lineup. The PS4 Slim continues this trend, making it an appealing choice for fans of single-player adventures.

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Although the Xbox One S also offers exclusive games such as Gears 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sea of Thieves, and the Forza series, its overall game quality is weaker compared to the PS4. This is subjective, of course, but there’s no denying the impressive exclusives found on the PS4. Even older games like Bloodborne, Ratchet & Clank, and Until Dawn are regarded as some of the best of the generation, alongside newer titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ghost of Tsushima.

While Microsoft is preparing for the incoming generation with its Xbox Series X, acquiring studios to develop exclusive games for their consoles, it is currently challenging for the Xbox One (S) to compete with the quality of exclusives available on the PS4 (Slim).

Conclusion

Neither console is cutting-edge or ultra-modern. For example, the recent PlayStation 4 is more powerful than the Xbox One, but it lacks any standout features. The Xbox One, while slightly limited in terms of storage and gameplay, stands out by offering a 4K Blu-ray player. However, the PlayStation 4 has a crucial advantage over the Xbox One in terms of its extensive library of exclusive games. After all, the primary purpose of a video game console is to provide players with as many games as possible. Sony’s first-party and second-party output this generation has outweighed Microsoft’s, making the new PlayStation 4 the recommended choice for gamers who want access to a wide range of titles. Microsoft will have to step up its game and enhance its library to match Sony’s level of excellence.

In conclusion, both consoles offer value for your money, but they seem like interim solutions to keep them relevant while newer, more powerful consoles are being developed for the future. If you want to fully enjoy your gaming experience, we recommend the PlayStation 4 due to its extensive game library alone.

Editors’ Recommendations

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OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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