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TheStreet Open House

PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Which is Right For You?

Stocks in this article: SNEMSFT

The PlayStation 4 doesn't have the check-in requirements for its games, and Sony has promised its first-party games to be DRM-free, so you can trade them around like current console games. But the new PlayStation isn't DRM-free bliss, either. Sony has said it's up to third-party publishers to impose DRM restrictions.

However, it's unlikely that DRM restrictions will be the game-changer in the console war, at least not at first. According to Matthew Sakey, a games industry consultant and gaming expert, DRM may indeed prove to be a problem for next-gen system buyers but only after they've bought it. "I doubt it will be a deciding factor in deciding which--or whether--to purchase," he said.

That's probably how Microsoft feels too, as a company exec forthrightly told those without Internet connectivity to stick with a 360. Microsoft's online requirements are a deal breaker for overseas service members, anyone with a spotty Internet connection and people who like to trade, sell or buy used games.

Multimedia center or gaming console?

These two systems aren't created equal when it comes to multimedia functionality. While both come with a Blu Ray player, the Xbox One is looking to be the cornerstone of your living room, and Sony is going the traditional console route. Microsoft is "hoping for a scenario in which some consumers will buy the Xbox One with something other than games in mind for its primary use," says Sakey. "The PlayStation 4 is a multi-function device, but primarily a games machine. Its other features are value-adds."

Other industry experts echo that sentiment. Eric Davidson, a marketing consultant who runs the website thedcgamer.com, says the two systems have comparable hardware specs, but it's how the systems utilize that power which makes the difference. Davidson says that the PlayStation 4's RAM will be dedicated more to the "premiere purpose" of video gaming, while the Xbox One is "giving less power to its gaming power and more to other entertainment features."

What makes the One a unique multimedia center lies in its voice-and-motion sensitive Kinect 2.0 hardware, which comes bundled with the One and is likely the reason for the system's higher price point. It's made to always be listening, so it can hear when it's told to turn on. From there, the Kinect 2.0 will use infrared signals to control entertainment devices like your HDTV and cable box, according to CNET. Its motion sensor capability can make it a hands-free remote control, too.

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