Post-E3 2014 scorecard: Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

With E3 in the rearview mirror, which console makes the most compelling case?

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LOS ANGELES -- With the dust all but settled, E3 2014 has given both Microsoft and Sony a chance to outline their respective plans for the next 12 months and beyond.

As a consumer, there's a much better sense of what's to come, perhaps making the decision of which next-generation console to go with that much easier.

Here's a quick rundown of the highlights from each camp:

Microsoft

  • Xbox One is now priced the same as PlayStation 4, though at $400 it ships without Kinect.
  • There is no more "Gold tax," meaning Xbox Live Gold is no longer required for media-streaming or other apps.
  • Notable 2014 exclusive releases: Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Killer Instinct: Season 2 and Ori and the Blind Forest.
  • Notable 2015 and beyond releases: Halo 5: Guardians, Scalebound, Phantom Dust, Quantum Break and Crackdown.
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players will get DLC first on Xbox One. Evolve, Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Division will also get content first on Xbox One.
  • Microsoft's independent gaming offerings are beginning to beef up with the ID@Xbox program.

Sony

  • PlayStation Now, Sony's game streaming service that will start with 100 PS3 games, will enter a beta July 31 and go live later this year. No pricing has been announced for that yet.
  • Notable 2014 exclusive releases: The Last of Us Remastered, Entwined, Driveclub, and LittleBigPlanet 3.
  • Notable 2015 and beyond releases: The Order: 1886, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Bloodborne, Grim Fandango (remake), Let it Die, and No Man's Sky.
  • Notable independent titles are hitting in 2014, including: Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Broforce, Titan Souls, Not a Hero, and The Talos Principle
  • Sony has secured early access betas and/or content for games like Battlefield Hardline, Destiny, Far Cry 4, Dead Island 2, and Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • PlayStation TV will hit later this year for $99 and let PS4 owners stream gameplay to any TV within their home network, and play Vita card games and PlayStation Now titles with a DualShock 3.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

If games are your number one deciding factor, it's tough to argue with the advantage Sony has -- not just with the edge in exclusives down the road, but the amount of early beta access and unique "only on PS4" content deals they were able to secure with a smattering of multi-platform games.

Sony's messaging this year was that games play better on PS4. And while that first might hit you as marketing spin, I can't say much that would refute that claim judging from the amount of multi-platform game comparisons I've done with Xbox One and PS4. I'll be updating the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 reviews in the coming weeks to better reflect this post-E3 2014 landscape.

 

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