Xbox One vs. PS4: What You'll Pay Extra For

It turns out that several key features on next-generation gaming consoles will cost extra — on top of the console's basic asking price.

A big story came today, when Microsoft announced that users would need an Xbox Live Gold subscription (which costs $60/year) to record and share gameplay footage. The feature is called Game DVR; it's been on Xbox 360 for a few years now, where you also need a Gold account to access the service.

The same day, Sony President Shuhei Yoshida confirmed via Twitter that you won't need a PlayStation Plus account (Sony's paid subscription network) to share gameplay footage.

In other words, Sony's turned next-generation gaming consoles into a game of one-upmanship, and so far they've won just about every match.  

But both consoles require users to pay more money on top of the console's original price to access certain features, even some that had been presented at earlier demonstrations as central to the consoles' offerings.

MORE:  Xbox One and PlayStation 4: Why You Should Wait to Buy.

For example, at its console reveal in May Microsoft touted the Xbox One's non-gaming features, including the console's voice-activated cable TV offerings. But to watch TV on your Xbox One, you'll have to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription in addition to the $499 you'll pay for the device itself.

Sony, too, tried to downplay the fact that the PlayStation 4 will require a Plus subscription ($50/year) to access online multiplayer, which the PlayStation 3 does not require. 

Both Sony and Microsoft will continue to reveal more about their upcoming consoles in the coming months and might even change certain features before the consoles' release dates.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesXbox OnePlayStation 4
Controller1 Xbox One controller (additional controllers cost $59.99)1 DualShock 4 PlayStation controller (additional controllers cost $59 each)
HeadsetXbox One chat headsetEarbud headset
Motion sensorXbox One KinectNot included: the PlayStation Eye costs $59.
Cables1 HDMI cable, 1 power cord with transformer1 HDMI cable, 1 power cable, 1 USB cable
Online multiplayer capabilityNot included: $60/year Xbox Live Gold membership required.Not included: $50/year PlayStation Plus account required. (Had been included for free with PS3.)
Streaming and recording gameplay footageNot included: Xbox Live Gold account required (same for Xbox 360).Included.
Accessing cable and streaming TV servicesNot included: Xbox Gold account required for watching Netflix or Cable TV (on top of service subscriptions).Unclear.

As of now, we know that the PlayStation 4 will cost $399 at launch, and the Xbox One will cost $499. But what, exactly, are you getting for your money? Here's a breakdown of what we know so far. None of this has stopped people from getting excited about the Xbox One, judging by how often people have viewed Microsoft's unboxing video.

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Jill Scharr is a creative writer and narrative designer in the videogame industry. She's currently Project Lead Writer at the games studio Harebrained Schemes, and has also worked at Bungie. Prior to that she worked as a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide, covering video games, online security, 3D printing and tech innovation among many subjects. 

  • razor512
    Get a better GPU for your PC (if you do not already have good one), then do PC gaming.

    No additional monthly fees to play online, stream games, record gameplay in 1080p, play content from your netflix account.

    and best of all, if you have 2 soundcards, (eg onboard soundcard and a USB headset. you can have games use 1 soundcard and netflix use the other, then you can have fraps record your gameplly and voiceover's of the gamme you are playing, while at the same time watching your favorite show on netflix on your 2nd monitor.

    PC gaming = better value, without the stupid limitations. (and you get to use the controller of your choice, the xbox 360 and PS3 (and probably the next gen controllers too) will work with your PC, thus allowing you to use the best controller for the specific game. (games that have controller and keyboard and mouse support allow you to use both at the same time (and if you want you can even connect the PS3 and 360 controller and use all 4 (2 console controllers and mouse, and keyboard) at the same time.

    Stick with PC gaming. it is better value for the money as you have a device that can do much more.
  • razor512
    Wanted to also add, for users who feel that console gaming is cheaper than PC gaming, consider this from the time the xbox 360 came out to now, if you stuck with xbox live gold, you would have spent around $480.

  • seancaptain
    Hi razr512 Indeed there is a good case for PC instead of console gaming. We've been discussing it:

    7 PC-Only Games to Try Now

    Skip the Console, Build a Gaming PC,review-1823.html
  • Daeley
    console gamers do know what a pc is
    i'll stick with xbox for latest games and use pc for cheap steam games
  • MKBL
    I have PS3 (no Plus), xBox 360 (no Gold), Wii, and a yesterday's main-stream spec PC (i5-2400/GTX 560Ti 448/8GB RAM/256GB SSD+500GB HDD). These days I mainly play PC games, but I still turn on PS3 once in a while (sorry x and w). It's rather because I have to spend more time on PC, than because consoles give me inferior gaming experience. Of course, PC with high-end GPU has much stronger muscle power. However, that doesn't mean consoles doesn't provide any value. Don't just ridicule console players. We are all gamers.

    Having said that, I won't buy PS4 unless it will come with free multiplayer capability. The paid-for scheme is one of the main reason I don't buy/play xBox 360 games. Once Sony follows the suite, I will stick with legacy games on PS3. I am a business man myself, so I understand they want to maximize profit, but please be reasonable. Multiplayer servers are mostly tied to the game's studio, not to Sony. How can one justify this totally arbitrary gouging? Hopefully FTC has enough gamers on its payroll who will investigate such monopolistic practice.
  • k7mm
    My video game playback device hierarchy

    1. PC
    2. PS3
    3. Wii U
    4. 3DS
    5. 360

    Key factors, cost of ownership and exclusivity of games.