Yesterday I was browsing my usual sources when I noticed that several game consoles have been made available for pre-order. And although I am not a “gamer”, I thought I’d look into these consoles as entertainment devices and give you my first impressions.

Reading through the technical specifications one can gather that both the
PlayStation 4
and Xbox One will be able to play and stream music and film.

Both have Blu-ray players so they can play DVDs and Blu-ray discs and both have access to music and film services online via an Ethernet port or 802.11 b/g/n wireless network connectivity.

Cloud services are a big selling point with both consoles and both of these devices are powered by 8-core x86 processors with 8GB of RAM so they should be able to handle everything. But I haven’t been able to confirm an ability to use Skype on the PlayStation 4.

I don’t know if they are expecting to implement it in response to the requests by PS3 users. But they did install it on the Vita so a Skype app may make it’s way onto the PlayStation 4 like it has on Xbox One.

I haven’t explored the full functionality of Skype on my home entertainment system. But I would want to have access to it so I’m going to look into this a little more.

In regards to Youtube and Facebook, both devices appear to have apps to handle those social networks so I would probably use either to browse both sites. And both devices will probably have CinemaNow and Netflix apps, in case I want to use those online film rental services.

The ability to stream music and video from home computers and network drives is also made available on both devices.

A DLNA compatible network drive should be accessible on the PlayStation 4 whilst media on Windows PCs should be accessible on the Xbox One. But I’ve also heard that the PlayStation 4 allows the use of used games, allowing me to dabble in gaming as well.

The PlayStation 4’s lower sticker price at $399 makes it more attractive than the $499 Xbox One but the latter has HDMI Pass-Thru, allowing people to connect watch TV on their console.

I currently have a Blu-ray player and Smart TV with most of the apps and capabilities that I want but either game consoles would probably fulfill my needs if I were to decide to upgrade. And I have no particular preference for either when it comes to games because most of the games I play are on my Windows based PC.

Had the Xbox One been $100 cheaper I would probably have gone with that console because of the HDMI Pass-Thru and networking with my current computer. But overall I’d say they’re neck and neck, though I’m sure gamers have another opinion. 🙂