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.

AppXbox OnePlayStation 4
Amazon Instant VideoComing soonYes
HBO GoComing soonNo
Hulu PlusYesYes
Redbox InstantYesYes
The NFL on Xbox OneYesNo
NBA Game TimeNoYes
NHL GameCenter LiveNoYes
Verizon Fios TVComing soonNo
CWTVComing soonNo
Fox NowYesNo
FX NowYesNo
Muzu TVComing soonNo
Sony Music UnlimitedNoYes
Sony Video UnlimitedNoYes
Target TicketComing soonNo
Univision DeportesComing soonNo
Xbox FitnessComing soonNo
Xbox MusicYesNo
Xbox VideoYesNo
VidZoneNoComing soon
Yupp TVNoYes

*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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