unveiled the Xbox One Tuesday, showing off its vision for the future of gaming and home entertainment to the public.
Of course, when the Xbox One debuts later this year, it won't be alone. It will face stiff competition from Sony and its upcoming PlayStation 4. And while Nintendo has had a rocky start with the Wii U, that console is already on the market and will have nearly a year on the other guys.
So how do the systems compare? While Sony and Microsoft have both only released limited information about what's inside the PS4 and the Xbox One, we still know enough to put together a preliminary comparison chart.
What's interesting is that in this generation of game consoles, all three consoles use Blu-ray as their optical media of choice. Of course, an increasing number of users purchase games online and download content directly to their consoles — but as games get more complex, they also get larger. Right now, Blu-ray is still the best way to deliver many gigabytes of information to users in one shot.
Meanwhile, while Nintendo is still using PowerPC technology to power the Wii U, Microsoft and Sony have both moved to x86-based processors and GPUs, in both cases powered by AMD. The Xbox One and PS4 are also both shipping with 8GB of system RAM, as opposed to 2GB for the Wii U.
At the end of the day, it's games and the overall device experience that defines a console, not the specs. Still, it's fun to see how the consoles are stacking up.
Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U Compared
Nintendo Wii U
|Processor||8-core x86 CPU||8-core x86 CPU||Tri-core IBM PowerPC 1.24Ghz|
|GPU||AMD powered||Next-gen AMD Radeon, runs at 1.84 Tflops||AMD Radeon running at 550MHz|
|HDMI||In and Out||Out, In unknown||Out|
|Ports||USB 3.0, 802.11n, Direct Connect||USB 3.0, Ethernet, 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1||USB 2.0x4, 802.11n|
|Price||Unknown||Unknown||$299 - $349|
|Backward Compatibility||No||No||Yes, with Wii|
|Release Date||Late 2013||Late 2013||Now|