Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: Entertainment apps compared

From Amazon to Yupp TV, here's a running tally of the apps and streaming services available on the two new next-generation video game consoles.

Updated November 22, 2013.

The original Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 launched before Netflix streaming was even available.

When the service debuted on living room devices in 2008, however, Microsoft's console was one of the first to get the dedicated Netflix app -- available only to Xbox Live Gold members. Sony followed a year later with an all-new Netflix interface -- and the requirement to use a special "streaming disc."

You've come a long way, baby. Today umpteen living room devices stream Netflix and many, many other online video and audio services, and we call 'em apps. As increasingly important contributors to our boob-tube time, apps are often used as points of comparison between devices.

Although not yet as well-app-ointed as their predecessors, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 still offer plenty of entertainment apps, with more to come. Below, we compared how they stack up, with the more important apps (note: editorial discretion employed) listed toward the top, and the rest in alphabetical order below.

Some very important caveats:

  • All of the Xbox One apps listed as "coming soon" here will be available by spring 2014 according to Microsoft. More specific timing hasn't been announced. Timing on the lone "coming soon" PS4 app has not been specified.
  • The apps listed here apply only to customers in the US.
  • Xbox One owners need to also have an Xbox Live Gold subscription (up to $60 per year) to use any of the third-party entertainment apps, like Netflix. A PlayStation Plus subscription is not required to use the PS4's entertainment apps.
  • Many of the apps require a separate monthly subscription (such as Netflix and Hulu Plus) or a compatible cable/satellite TV subscription (HBO Go, Fox Now, Watch ESPN, Verizon Fios TV and others) to work on either console.
  • With the exception of the Sony and Xbox services (which will always be restricted to their respective console), any of the "no" or "coming soon" responses listed below could change to a "yes" if and when additional content deals are made in the future.
  • We'll update this story periodically as more apps become available.


App Xbox One PlayStation 4
Netflix Yes Yes
Amazon Instant Video Coming soon Yes
HBO Go Coming soon No
YouTube Yes No
Vudu Yes Yes
Hulu Plus Yes Yes
Skype Yes No
ESPN* Yes No
Redbox Instant Yes Yes
Crackle Yes Yes
The NFL on Xbox One Yes No
NBA Game Time No Yes
NHL GameCenter Live No Yes
Twitch** Yes Yes
Ustream No Yes
Machinima Yes No
Verizon Fios TV Coming soon No
Epix No Yes
CWTV Coming soon No
Crunchyroll No Yes
Fox Now Yes No
FX Now Yes No
Muzu TV Coming soon No
Sony Music Unlimited No Yes
Sony Video Unlimited No Yes
Target Ticket Coming soon No
TED Yes No
Univision Deportes Coming soon No
Xbox Fitness Coming soon No
Xbox Music Yes No
Xbox Video Yes No
VidZone No Coming soon
Yupp TV No Yes

*ESPN is an all new app that's different from "Watch ESPN" on the Xbox 360.

**While the PS4's Twitch app currently enables live game broadcasting in addition to simply watching broadcasts, the Xbox One's version of Twitch won't support broadcasting until the first part of 2014.

 

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