Planning to pre-order the Xbox One over the PS4? Before you do, it might be good to check out Microsoft's "Unsupported Country" disclaimer. You may soon discover your country along with 2 whole continents are not currently supported by the next-gen Microsoft console.
Xbox One and PS4 pre-sales have already begun, and fans are hitting websites like Amazon hard to pre-order their next-gen consoles. Until this week, Xbox One had been leading PS4 pre-sales ever so slightly on Amazon, but that all changed after Monday's E3 2013 press conferences where, sorry to say, Sony's PS4 owned the space, offering a powerful new console at $100 less than Microsoft's while also opting not to attach the undesirable strings of used game DRM and daily internet check-in that Microsoft's Xbox One has been criticized for.
After a rocky week, and some not-so-complimentary reviews, it seems gamers may have found yet another reason to avoid pre-ordering the Microsoft Xbox One and opt for the PS4 instead as disclaimers on the official website suggest that the Xbox One will not work in "un-supported" countries.
Xbox One Unsupported Countries Include Whole Continents Like Asia and Africa
Now by unsupported countries you may be thinking a few obscure places that no one ever visits. Nah, think again. In fact, in the Xbox post the site warned potential customers that "Xbox One games are for activation and distribution only in specified geographic regions."
Though the site gave a listing countries where the console is supported, it didn't take too long to realize, there was a big chunk of the world where the new Xbox One would not be unsupported. Based off of the list given of supported countries, it seems as many as 180 other countries may be unsupported by the new Microsoft Xbox One console, putting a real cramp in the style of gamers who like to travel and carry their consoles with them.
Here is a list of the countries where the Xbox One will be supported:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
Now this appears a pretty extensive listing, but a closer look and you'll notice the Xbox One console is missing huge chunks of the world including the continents of Africa, Asia and much of Eastern Europe.
When contacted by The Verge for clarification on the issue of unsupported countries, here is what Microsoft had to say:
"At this time, we have announced Xbox One will be available in 21 markets in November this year and additional markets later in 2014. Similar to the movie and music industry, games and other content must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale - which means that games will work in the broad geographic regions for which they have been cleared, much as today with Xbox 360. While the console itself is not geographically restricted, a user's Xbox Live account, content, apps and experiences are all tied to the country of billing and residence."
If that was about as clear as mud to you, no worries—we felt the same way. When you add this unsupported countries disclaimer to the recent statements of Microsoft's Phil Spencer regarding the daily internet connection requirement, frankly it seems the company isn't too thrilled about selling their product at all. In fact, if anything, they appear to be promoting the Xbox 360 alone. Spencer's solution for those who can't or are unwilling to connect to the internet daily with their Xbox One was to "stick with the Xbox 360."
When asked about the unsupported countries disclaimer on Twitter, the official Xbox One Twitter account issued a similar response.
@gi4ouR You'll be able to play when you return home. I travel with an Xbox 360 for road gaming. ^PS
— Xbox Support 2 (@XboxSupport2) June 12, 2013
Of course as Microsoft noted in the disclaimer, it's very possible more countries will be supported in the near future, but with the whole "Xbox Live account, content, apps and experiences are all tied to the country of billing and residence" deal it's really hard to know if someone who travels much would have the ability to play the games they purchased wherever they go.
Can Xbox One Recover From The Blow? Amazon Poll Show 94 Percent Of Voters Prefer PS4
The Xbox One certainly came out promising with its pursuit of being the first all-in-one entertainment choice in gaming consoles, but with all the red tape and policies surrounding the new device, it's no wonder that an Amazon poll being conducted currently shows the PS4 as being preferred by 94.5 percent of voters, with only 5.5 percent being in favor of the Xbox One. The poll still has a few more days to go, but with Amazon being one of the leading Xbox One and PS4 pre-ordering sites, it seems somewhat obvious that PS4 will end up on top in this next-gen console release year.
Here are a few responses from Twitter concerning the unsupported countries disclaimer on the Xbox One.
Would you look at that. Even if I would have wanted an Xbox One, I couldn't have used it.
For someone who used to travel with an Xbox 360, this would kill the One for me
Xbox One 'may not work' in unsupported countries ... "You'll be able to play when you get home." Nice cust service.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the final nail in the Xbox One's coffin.
Xbox One 'may not work' in unsupported countries ... Wow. Microsoft is doing all the wrong moves.
Xbox One 'may not work' in unsupported countries ... This just gets sillier and sillier.
At this point MS should just cancel it and do something else
And Microsoft just keeps making this DRM thing even worse
The Xbox One 'may not work' in unsupported countries... The hole keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Good thing I'm PS4. God knows when Japan gets XB1
What are your thoughts on Microsoft Xbox One's DRM policies, daily internet login in and pre-order disclaimer? Will PS4 end up on top or is all the fuss over nothing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Xbox One Vs. PS4 Specs, Features & Game Releases: Which Next-Gen Console Has What You're Looking For?
Xbox One or PS4? Which gaming console will have the specs, features and game choices made available to satisfy you? Though each gamer chooses their gaming machine for a variety of reasons, for those who might have been considering the Xbox One (formally thought to be named the Xbox 720) or PS4 over their PC or are just trying to make an educated choice between Sony and Microsoft's upcoming gaming consoles, we've taken a little time out to compare in terms of specs, features, game releases and other details we think will be important for gamers looking to make a system change, or give them enough information to hang right where they are if that seems best.
With the Xbox reveal event having taken place on Tuesday, May 21 at Microsoft's Redmond headquarters, we got a good taste of what Xbox 720—um, I mean the Xbox One—will bring to the table. Right off the bat, Microsoft declared that its hope with the latest next-gen gaming console is to make it an all-in-one device which will take care of every need of the digital media consumer, from offering a unique gaming experience, to greater social networking integration, music, video, television and more.
While these options will certainly be attractive to consumers, the question is how well these new specs and features will stand up to players like Sony PS4. And does Wii U even have a chance? Sony has already proven it's not about to go down without a fight, releasing a PlayStation 4 video teaser trailer just the day prior to the Xbox One reveal event which took place on Tuesday. The teaser trailer caused quite a stir amongst those in the gaming community and signaled just how fierce the competition will be this gaming console release season.
Check our breakdown of the Xbox One vs. PS4 (for a complete side-by-side comparison chart of PS4 vs Xbox One specs and features, scroll to the bottom of the article).
Xbox One vs. PS4 Specs - CPU (Processor)
Okay, first and foremost, I think we all want to know how powerful the Xbox one will be in comparison with the PS4. The answer? Well they're pretty equally matched, though one console will pull slightly ahead on a few of the CPU specs.
The new Xbox One features an 8-core X86 AMD Jaguar CPU clocking 1.6GHz speeds. This system has been made to support DirectX 11.1 graphics and comes with 32MB of ESRAM memory.
Sony's PS4 will match Microsoft's CPU with an AMD 8-core Jaguar processor as well, but will slightly out-edge Mocrosoft's Xbox One, offering a 2Ghz chipset which will likely allow the next-gen Sony gaming console to clock somewhat faster speeds than its Microsoft counterpart. The difference in speeds however will be barely detectable when you compare it to machines like the Wii U with only 3-core. In this case the difference would be clearly seen as both the Xbox One and the PS4 would produce smoother and more realistic graphics than the Nintendo console, while also having quicker load times for pictures, videos, apps and other media. Speedy load times will be essential for all the upcoming gaming consoles, as social interaction and sharing will be more heavily integrated in each machine.
Xbox One vs. PS4 Specs: RAM
Okay, so when you talk CPU, a discussion of RAM can't be far behind. On first glance it looks like Xbox One and PS4 are quite equally matched with 8GB of RAM each, leaving Wii U out in the cold with just 2GB; but in reality, there is one winner here as it all comes down to usable RAM. Out of the 8GB it boasts, only 7GB are available for use, as 1GB is required to run the Sony's PlayStation 4's operating system (OS). Xbox One on the other hand has a full 8GB available for users and in this round outclasses both the PS4 and the Wii U.
Xbox One vs. PS4 Specs: Graphics Processor (GPU):
Next stop: graphics. And yeah, we know this is one thing gamers can be pretty uptight about. Between the Xbox One or PS4, it really depends on your gaming preferences. Both the Xbox One and the Wii U come with DDR3 RAM, while the Sony PS4 comes with GDDR5 RAM. Though Xbox One will have some advantages when it comes to smaller operations, as the high bandwidth in the PS4 will cause the CPU to slow a bit but in the long run, the PS4 will be the winner as higher bandwidths are better at supporting the higher resolution graphics that are a staple of most games being developed these days. According to Timothy Lottes, a game developer and blogger, here are the reasons PlayStation 4 will be the developer's preferred choice.
"A fast GDDR5 will be the desired option for developers. All the interesting cases for good anti-aliasing require a large amount of bandwidth and RAM. A tiny 32MB chunk of ESRAM will not fit that need even for forward rendering at 1080p. I think some developers could hit 1080p@60fps with the rumored Orbis specs even with good AA. My personal project is targeting 1080p@60fps with great AA on a 560ti which is a little slower than the rumored Orbis specs. There is no way my engine would hit that target on the rumored 720 [Xbox One] specs."
Xbox One Vs. PS4 Specs: Hard Drive
Okay, so Microsoft's reveal event confirmed the fact that the Xbox One will have 500GB hard drive plain and simple. Meanwhile details are pretty murky on what the PS4 will have but we know it is a built-in hard drive. Without much knowledge though about the PS4 hard drive, all we can really look to is what the Xbox One will offer, and I have to say it looks pretty good. Not only will there be a Blu-Ray drive for playing games on Blu-Ray disks, but the pretty amazing thing about the Xbox One is that it will already have some games installed on the device. No loading the disc player, just there and ready to play. For now, till we know more about the PlayStation 4's hard drive capabilities, the Xbox One seems pretty nice.
Xbox One Vs. Sony's PS4 Game Releases
The Xbox One reveal event by Microsoft came to a close with fans infinitely stoked about the gaming choices coming to the next-gen console, as not only did we get to preview a trailer of Call Of Duty: Ghosts, but we also heard that 15 exclusive games would be coming to the Xbox One. In addition, here are a few of the titles named for release on the Xbox One:
Forza Motorsport 5
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Microsoft's Xbox has traditionally outplayed the PS4 in terms of available titles for the console with the Xbox 360 sporting 774 titles while PS3 has 606 titles. The game could change this time around, however, as not only will PlayStation have hardware that is more desirable for developers to create games on, but there is also the issue of the Xbox One not having backward compatibility. This means all the games previously owned for the Xbox 360 will not be playable on the new Microsoft console.There is no news yet if PS4 will have backward compatibility, but I imagine that will be one of several deciding factors for many.
Xbox One vs. PS4 Price and Release Date
How much will the Xbox One or PS4 cost? One thing the Xbox reveal event failed to mention and many were hoping would be revealed was the cost of the next-gen console. While plenty of rumors have swirled concerning both the PS4 and the Xbox One price, with estimates coming in around $400, still it is unclear what we will be looking at in terms of prices.
UPDATE: E3 2013 revealed the Microsoft Xbox One price would be $499 retail in the US, with a November release date. Meanwhile the Sony PS4 price will be $399 in the US and will be available sometime during the 2014 "holiday season". Both consoles are available for pre-order at Amazon.com and numerous other online retailers.
While watching all the upcoming new features, such as reworked Kinect coming with the Xbox One, and the astounding new sensitivity of this device—which can even sense heartbeat—many feel the $400 estimate may be too good to be true. Of course, there have also been rumors that Microsoft Xbox One could ease the pain of forking out several hundred dollars at once by offering a kind of subsidized subscription plan. With an Xbox Live two-year plan, some users could see the cost of the gaming console reduced by a couple hundred dollars up front. They would be bound to a two-year subscription, but it might make the pill a little easier to swallow. There has been no confirmation concerning this possible choice in pricing, but that is one feature I believe could definitely be a strong point. We've see these kinds of plans work for a while now with new smartphones, why not try it for the latest gaming consoles as well?
E3 2013: Sony and Microsoft Both Have Something To Say
The Sony PlayStation Twitter account left a nice message for gamers on Tuesday just before the Xbox Reveal event letting everyone know that soon the wait to see the next PlayStation 4 would be over, while setting a hardware reveal date of June 10 at 6:00 p.m. PT or 9 p.m. ET. PlayStation will be participating in the E3 2013 Press Conference at that time and this is when more details about the PS4 specs and features will finally become available.
It is also likely we will hear more about game availability for both the PS4 and the Xbox One at the E3 2013 event and so until then, don't set your mind firmly on either console.
Just as a gut choice, I'm thinking PlayStation 4 might really work its way to the top this time around; still, there's a reason Xbox has been the best selling device for several years in a row now.
Either way, the E3 2013 event on June 10th will likely bring us everything we need to know to make that final choice. Be sure to check back regularly as we will bring more update on both the Xbox One and the PS4 specs, features, games and release dates as they become available.
Full Xbox One Vs PS4 Feature Comparison
|Mandatory Game Installs||
|Always Online Connection|
|Used Game Fee||
Trophies will be ported
HDMI (4K Support ) , Analog (Component, RCA), Optical output
Which next-gen gaming console has you interested? Xbox One or PS4? Share your thoughts in the comments below.