In many ways, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have a similar set of features. They both let you play games, watch Blu-rays, stream media, and do just about everything else you could want from a box connected to your television. But when you look closer, you’ll see that these two video game consoles are unique pieces of equipment, each with its own pros and cons.
As much as we love our Xbox One, it’s not perfect. Here are a few features we’d love Microsoft to steal from the PS4.
1. Console size
Compared to the sleek, slim design of the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One is a hulking beast. It’s as big as an elephant and twice as heavy. I don’t know what exactly Microsoft has crammed into the Xbox One console, but it must be a lot.
Now that the Xbox One has been on the market for a few years and the technology has progressed, there has to be a way to make the console smaller. And since PlayStation 4 is outselling the Xbox One two to one, a newly designed “Xbox One Slim” might help bolster sales. That would be a win-win both for Microsoft and customers who don’t want a mountain-sized console under their TV.
2. Replaceable hard drive
In this day and age, when a single video game can easily eat up over 60 GB of hard drive space, the 500 GB hard drive that comes standard on your system won’t always last very long. Eventually you’re going to need more space. On PlayStation 4, you can easily change out the console’s internal hard drive with a new one. On Xbox One, that’s impossible.
Microsoft does allow you to attach an external hard drive through a USB port, but that means sacrificing even more space on your entertainment stand, and often requires the use of yet another electrical outlet. Personally, I’d rather swap out the internal hard drive with a much bigger new one. If only Microsoft would let us.
3. Tidy user interface
The original Xbox One user interface wasn’t very good. It was sprawling and confusing, and hard to find things you didn’t use often. Microsoft did a major overhaul toward the end of 2015 called the New Xbox One Experience, which would’ve been a great opportunity to streamline things and tidy it up. It didn’t.
The new interface is just as mind-boggling as the last one, but with everything moved to a new, hard-to-find place. You can use a few controller button shortcuts to get around quicker, but they take some effort to remember.
Compare that to the PS4 interface, which looks downright spartan by comparison. It has the same basic features, like a list of your games, along with settings and a digital store — but it’s way easier to wrap your mind around. Microsoft should study the PS4 user interface and whip up a whole new UI for Xbox One based on the same kind of simplicity.
4. Built-in controller battery
The Xbox One might have a better controller than the PS4, but unless you buy a separate charge kit, you’re going to have to stock up on AA batteries if you want to keep playing. A pair of AA batteries lasts quite a while, but when it’s a pain in the butt to change out the batteries every week or so.
The PlayStation 4 wins in terms of convenience, as its Dual Shock 4 controllers have a built-in rechargeable battery, just like most other pieces of consumer tech in your life. Isn’t it time the Xbox One controller was brought up to modern times, and got a built-in rechargeable battery?
5. Cross-buy and cross-save
When it comes to cross-buy and cross-save, Sony knows how to treat its repeat customers right. For many games (mostly indie titles), if you buy them on one system, like the PlayStation 4, you can also download them for free on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. Better yet, the cross-save feature allows your save files to transfer over, so you can pick up wherever you left off, no matter which gaming device you’re using.
Now that Microsoft has its own app store on Windows 10, it’s high time the company made a cross-buy, cross-save system of its own. It should encourage indie developers to make their games compatible on Xbox One, Windows 10, and even Xbox 360, if applicable. Microsoft says it will start trying out cross-buy and cross-save features with Quantum Break, but if you look at Sony’s vast library of games with the same features, it’s obvious that Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do.
6. Game discounts
If you’re a deal-hunter, the PlayStation Store is like some gleaming paradise. Every couple of weeks, Sony puts a whole slew of games on sale, sometimes for only a few dollars apiece. Not all of the games will appeal to you, but hardly a month goes by that I don’t buy some classic game I missed or a niche game I didn’t want badly enough to pay full price.
Microsoft does put games on sale from time to time, but the discounts usually aren’t as deep, and the selection not as good. If Microsoft had regular game sales like Sony, everyone would come away happy.