(Source: Penny Arcade)
We compare the two next-gen high end gaming consoles

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) left gamers fuming when it announced that its console would officially be "always on" and that it would help third-parties to ban used games or charge additional fees for them.  At the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Festival, Microsoft's chief rival Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) added fuel to the fire confirming its previous stated position -- it would not be adding new DRM lockouts for used games.

But the bad end for Microsoft's controversial console does not stop there.  The Xbox is officially less powerful than the PlayStation 4 -- about 30 percent less powerful to be precise.  And it's officially $100 USD more expensive than Sony's PS4.

In short, Sony seems to have regained its PS1/PS2 kung fu, outmaneuvering its rival at nearly every turn.
Xbox One

Here's a quick comparison of how the consoles stack up:
*Note: PSN limits regifting of digital content, but there's no limit on (re)gifting discs -- as in you can give your friend a disc, they can give someone else that disc.

The specs paint a pretty picture for Sony and a pretty ugly one for Microsoft.  But the controversies don't end there.  In light of the recent spying efforts of the U.S. National Security Agency and revelation that Microsoft was one of the corporate partners cooperating with the spying, many are concerned about the 1080p Kinect camera on Microsoft's "always on" console -- despite Microsoft's insistence that it will include "robust" privacy protections.

Further, there's concern/rumors that it may take games a substantial amount of time to install on the Xbox One's hard drive.  The mandatory hard drive installation was another penalty required to institute Microsoft's new sweeping digital rights management (DRM) scheme to help ban used games and check for unauthorized gifting/trades.

In short despite its incredible look voice controls and user interface, plus an impressive selection of first-party titles and exclusives, Microsoft's console is looking increasingly like a trainwreck in the making.

While Microsoft's loss is Sony's gain, it's also good news for Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974) tablet-equipped Wii U console, which has been struggling in sales and recently blasted by Electronics Arts Inc. (EA), who dropped support for it.  

But currently priced at $359.99 USD, Nintendo and Sony could easily split the holiday sales crown if Nintendo drops its price a bit (say to $300 USD).  Incoming 3D Mario, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros should give the Wii U a boost.  While it lacks the powerful hardware of its counterparts, at a lower price point, it's unique tablet gameplay could win over some fans.

Source: Microsoft via The Verge

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