UK roaming charges will return immediately following no-deal Brexit

UK mobile users could be hit with high roaming bills for using their mobile phones abroad in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The government has warned that British consumers may face unexpected costs if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a deal thanks to the return of data roaming charges.

Under EU legislation passed in 2017, mobile providers have been banned from charging extra fees to customers using their devices to make calls, send texts or use data when travelling overseas.

However a no-deal Brexit would see the UK revert to pre-legislation terms, meaning operators could force roaming charges upon customers from March 29.

  • Where can you use your phone abroad, and how much will it cost?
  • Brexit and GDPR: what businesses should be doing to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario
  • UK businesses will have to cancel .eu websites after Brexit

Roaming charges return

The news was uncovered in a note concerning the new Mobile Roaming (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 legislation.

In it, the government admitted consumer groups lobbied hard for a new scheme to maintain current arrangements, however following “careful consideration,” this was not adopted.

The note says that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, “it will not be possible to impose a limit on the wholesale charges faced by UK operators when their customers use networks owned by EU operators”.

“Mobile operators noted that absent a cap on the charges EU operators can apply to UK operators (as currently regulated by the EU), any increases in costs would likely be passed on to customers,” the note added.

“Additionally, operators also raised concerns that a limit on the costs that could be passed on to customers would affect the sustainability of certain roaming services. This means that roaming services could be removed altogether from some customers.”

Reports last year suggested that many UK operators would look to ensure roaming remained free after Brexit, but so far only Three has said it will do so.

  • The best mobile phone deals in February 2019

PS4 vs Xbox One: which gaming console is better?

PS4 or Xbox One: which is it going to be? Both of Sony and Microsoft’s current-gen gaming consoles inspire fierce loyalty in their respective camps, and it can be fiendishly difficult to make a clear-headed decision between the two.

To help you make that impossible choice, we’ve made a comprehensive list of all the key differences (and similarities) to keep in mind when buying an Xbox One or PS4.

There’s no doubt that the PlayStation 4 has taken the lead in sales, but both have their pros and cons – and the mid-gen refresh has certainly given us a lot more to think about.

We should also mention that the next generation of consoles – namely the Xbox Scarlett and the PlayStation 5 – could be with us as early as 2020. If you don’t want to cruelly deprive yourself of a great home console before that, here’s how to pick between the PS4 and Xbox One.

  • What’s coming next? Our predictions for Xbox Two vs PS5

At the moment, Sony has two separate versions of the PS4, the standard slim version that’s capable of HDR playback, and the more expensive 4K-capable PS4 Pro.

On the other side of the fence is the Xbox One, now available in the 4K HDR-ready Xbox One S, and the ultra-powerful Xbox One X – a console that not only does 4K HDR native gameplay but, in some cases, plays games at 60 frames-per-second too.

What that means is if you already own a 4K HDR TV, you should probably opt for a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X to really get the highest visual fidelity from your console. If you’re gaming on a 1080p TV, however, an Xbox One S or PS4 Slim make more sense and will cost you less.

But what about games themselves? And the entertainment options you’ve got? How’s the online reliability and how are the respective marketplaces? Which platform is easier to get around? Which has better first-party applications?

We’ve got all the answers below…

PS4 vs Xbox One price comparison

The PS4 and Xbox One prices seem to change by the week, with price drops and bundle deals coming and going faster than handheld PlayStation systems. Add in special events such as Black Friday and it can be hard to keep track.

While all these bundles are great for consumers, it can be hard to keep up with the latest pricing info. So, in an effort to cut through the noise, here are the latest prices and bundles for each console.

While the original iterations of the Xbox One and PS4 launched in the same month, the console upgrades have been a bit more staggered, adding a little bit more confusion to the Xbox One vs PS4 question.

The Xbox One X is clearly the newest console with few discounts available. The PS4 Pro, however, is now two years old, and is therefore easier to pick up at a reduced price.

If you want to dial back the cost of either console, check out the latest prices for the Xbox One S and PS4 Slim.

Look, we want to save you some time here in your PS4 vs Xbox One deliberations. So the box on the right will take you through some of the finer details of each console with their upgraded models, if that’s what you’re after. Otherwise, we’ll be comparing the ecosystems of each platform in the rest of the article below.

  • For our top deals check out our US PS4 bundles, UK PS4 bundles, and Australian PS4 deals pages.
  • Or check out our Xbox One X bundles, US Xbox One bundles, UK Xbox One deals and Australian Xbox One deals pages.

Xbox One vs PS4: hardware and design

  • Both consoles are available in two different versions
  • The PS4 has a slim version and a 4K PS4 Pro
  • The Xbox has the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

Both the Xbox One and the PS4 have two separate hardware versions that you can buy right now. This is different than in the past, when each console existed on its own, and lasted an entire generation. 

The Xbox One S improved on the design of the original Xbox One by cutting down a lot of the heft, and removing the gigantic power brick, making use of an internal power supply instead. It measures 11.6 x 8.9 x 2.5 inches, and unlike the previous version includes a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray player – it will even upscale 1080p games to 4K, as long as you have a TV that can support it.

The Xbox One X might be heftier than the Xbox One S, but it’s still considerably smaller than the original Xbox One, coming in at 11.81 x 9.44 x 2.36 inches and weighing around 8.4 lbs (this console also has an internal power supply). This is the high-powered version of the Xbox One, with native 4K gaming as well as a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray player (something not even the PS4 Pro can boast).

Xbox One vs PS4

Which console has better specs under the hood?

  • Our guide to the Xbox One X vs Xbox One S will clue you in as to the differences in the Xbox family. 

Starting out on the PS4 side of the equation, the PS4 Slim is straight up the smallest of the major consoles available right now, measuring in at 10.4 x 11.3 x 1.5 inches and serving as the baseline PS4 for most consumers – a complete replacement for the original PlayStation 4. It doesn’t give you 4K resolutions, even for video, but it can still play every game in the impressive PS4 library.

The PS4 Pro was the original 4K console, coming out an entire year before the Xbox One X – even if Microsoft’s box eventually outpowered it. It measures 12.8 x 11.6 x 2.1 inches. While the PS4 Pro does to at least some extent support native 4K gaming, it doesn’t include a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-Ray Player, an omission that has attracted some flak for Sony over the last year or so.

PS4 comparison

The PS4 Slim is the smallest of the major consoles.

  • Our guide to the PS4 Slim vs PS4 Pro outlines the differences between the consoles in more detail

Xbox One vs PS4: connectivity

  • You can’t upgrade Xbox One’s internal hard drive, but you can on the PS4.
  • Both consoles support the use of external hard drives.
  • The Xbox One has more ports on its rear.

Depending on how your gaming setup is organised, the connectivity of your console could be an extremely important detail.

Both the Xbox One S and X have identical ports, each including two HDMI ports, one for receiving an input from a cable or satellite box, and one that inputs to your TV. On top of those, they’ve each got two USB 3 ports, IR outputs, optical audio out, Ethernet ports and, of course, the power cable – which is compatible with both versions of the Xbox. However, due to the quick and tragic downfall of Kinect, if you want to use a Kinect with either version of the Xbox One you’ll have to go out and get an adapter. 

The PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim have similar inputs, although they are slightly different. Each has a single HDMI out, a single USB port in the back (two in the front), an Ethernet port, and power. The only difference between the Pro and the Slim is that the Pro has an Optical Audio out, while the Slim drops it. One of the most compelling things about the connectivity of the PS4, however, is that both versions allow users to swap out the internal hard drive with another one of their choice.

All versions of both the Xbox One and PS4 support 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet – so no matter which console you decide on, you won’t have to worry about network compatibility.

Xbox One vs PS4

The Xbox One S now requires an adaptor for the Kinect, though you’re unlikely to need one.

PS4 and Xbox One are devoid of remarkable characteristics on the front. There’s a Blu-ray/DVD combo drive to the left (which can play Ultra HD Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X) and their respective, muted-color logos to the right. PS4 has a pair of USB ports tucked between its sandwich-like halves next to where the disc drive is located.

One thing the Xbox One pulls ahead with is smart home integration. 2018 saw Microsoft announce support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, meaning your Xbox One can communicate with Amazon’s line of Echo smart speakers or other Alexa-enabled devices – and might be a practical alternative to using voice commands through the Kinect. In the US, Microsoft is even giving away free Echo Dots in Xbox One bundles.

Xbox One vs PS4: is PS4 or Xbox more powerful?

  • The Xbox One X is the most powerful machine, beating out the PS4 Pro

PS4 and Xbox One multiply the power of Xbox 360 and PS3. More importantly, they’re built with smarter internal designs, learning from some of the mistakes of last-generation consoles.

Chip manufacturer AMD is behind most of these upgrades. Both the original Xbox One and the Xbox One S have a custom, 1.75GHz AMD 8-core CPU, while the Xbox One X bumps that up to a 2.3GHz 8-core chip.

The base PS4 CPU remained clocked at 1.6GHz and contains a similar custom AMD 8-core CPU with x86 based architecture, while the PS4 Pro bumps that clock speed up to 2.13GHz.

PS4 CPU

PS4 CPU

The original PS4 boasts a 1.84 teraflop GPU that’s based on AMD’s Radeon technology. Meanwhile the original Xbox One graphics chip, also with an AMD Radeon GPU, had a pipeline for 1.31 teraflops, although this increased to 1.4 teraflops with the Xbox One S and to a whopping 6.0 teraflops on the Xbox One X.

The PS4 Pro, meanwhile, has a GPU with a considerably increased 4.2 teraflops of graphical horsepower. 

When it came to the original consoles, the PS4 won out in terms of raw power, although the Xbox One S closed the gap considerably. 

Microsoft, with the release of the Xbox One X took the title of “most powerful console” from Sony. 

PS4 vs Xbox One: RAM

  • Both systems have 8GB of RAM overall.
  • But they allocate that memory to developers differently.

Even more controversial is the memory under the consoles’ matte black hoods. It’s not the amount of RAM at issue – both are future-proofed with 8GB of RAM – it’s the type of RAM used.

Both the PS4 and PS4 Pro have a distinct advantage with faster 8GB GDDR5 memory, while both the original Xbox One and the Xbox One S went with the slower bandwidth of the 8GB DDR3 variety. But, wait, there’s more to it.

Neither system allocates all of that RAM to game developers – some is reserved to run their respective operating systems.

PS4 reserves up to 3.5GB for its operating system, leaving developers with 4.5GB, according to the documentation. They can sometimes access an extra 1GB of “flexible” memory when it’s available, but that’s not guaranteed.

God of War (PS4)

God of War (PS4)

Xbox One’s “guaranteed memory” amounts to a slightly higher 5GB for developers, as Microsoft’s multi-layered operating system takes up a steady 3GB. It ekes out a 0.5GB win with more developer-accessible memory than the PS4 consoles, unless you factor in Sony’s 1GB of “flexible” memory at certain times – then it’s 0.5GB less.

Then, you get to the Xbox One X, which blows away the other consoles by offering a drastically higher 12GB of RAM, meaning that game developers have access to a whopping 9GB of RAM for games (which is necessary when playing in native 4K).

The consoles currently on the market now have similar AMD architecture at their core, but contrast like apples and oranges when it comes to memory. Only developers can determine how this battle is won.

PS4 vs Xbox One: graphics comparison

In this section we’ll be comparing the graphical performance of the Xbox One S with the base PS4, as well as comparing the more powerful Xbox One X and PS4 Pro consoles. 

It’s still relatively early days when it comes to the 4K consoles, so we’ll be keeping this page updated as more and more games are released that support the Xbox One X. 

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: graphics comparison

  • The Xbox One X has the edge in terms of both resolution and texture detail.
  • However, currently developers aren’t making the most out of the Xbox One X, and many games present minimal differences.

FIFA 18

FIFA 18 does very well on the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, with native 4K video output available on both. Despite the differences in the specs of the two machines, there isn’t too much to separate the two versions of the game. 

Digital Foundry’s analysis of the two versions suggests that the only real difference is a slightly better draw distance for the grass on the Xbox One X version of the game. 

We’d be wary about drawing too many conclusions about what this says about the relative capabilities of the two consoles. We’d say this is probably a matter of EA having not quite pushed the Xbox One X to the limits of what it’s capable of. 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

It’s a completely different story when it comes to Middle Earth: Shadow of War. 

Although the game doesn’t run at native 4K on either console, it runs at a slightly higher resolution of 1980p on the Xbox One X compared to the PS4 Pro’s 1620p. 

Beyond resolution Digital Foundry notes that there are a number of other improvements present on the Xbox One X version of the game. This version has much better textures thanks to the improved memory bandwidth the hardware offers. 

The overall result is an image that’s much clearer overall on Microsoft’s console.

The Xbox One X version is also more configurable, with the option to turn its Dynamic Resolution mode on and off. We’re not sure why you would, since this negatively impacts frame rate in favor of resolution, but it’s nice to have the option. 

Diablo 3

Diablo 3 is another game where Digital Foundry has noted the Xbox One X scores another performance win over the PS4 Pro. Both versions are capable of 4K, but the PS4 Pro dynamically scales down significantly more in outdoor areas. 

Dynamic scaling is something both consoles do, but it’s more of a issue on the PS4 Pro. That said, beyond resolution both games come packing exactly the same textures. 

Conclusion

Overall, the Xbox One X is certainly capable of much better graphics and much greater visual customization than the PS4 Pro thanks to its greater power. Looking at FIFA 18 and Shadow of War together, however, shows that better graphics won’t necessarily be the case across every single game – it’s really down to the individual developers. That said, the Xbox One X is certainly the more future-proofed option for those interested in getting the best 4K assets. 

PS4 vs Xbox One S: graphics comparison

  • Games on the original PS4 tend to run at higher resolutions than their Xbox One S counterparts.

While the Xbox One X appears to have the edge over the PS4 Pro, it’s a different story when it comes to the Xbox One S and PS4. 

A gameplay video on YouTube of GTA 5 pans between the two next-gen versions of the game with a definitive answer. The base PS4 GPU is able to handle more foliage in environments than the base Xbox One.

Yes, you literally have to get into the weeds to see the differences, though both the PS4 and Xbox editions of GTA 5 look stellar compared to their last-gen counterparts.

In the Metal Gear Solid 5 comparison, there’s slightly more clarity to the PS4 version. Specifically, distant textures and moving objects appear softer among the otherwise identical Xbox One visuals.

It’s a trend we’re seeing from PS4 games that achieve a 1080p resolution at 30 or 60 frames per second, when their Xbox One counterparts run at 720p or 900p at 30 or 60 fps.

This is a trend that’s continuing today, with video analysis, such as the one below, indicating that Battlefield 1 runs at a consistently higher resolution on the PS4 than the Xbox One, with both consoles hitting the same variable 60 fps frame rate. 

It’s a similar story when it comes to Titanfall 2, which likewise runs at a lower resolution on the Xbox One. 

Overall, the PS4 appears to have the edge on the Xbox One, but both are left in the dust by their more powerful younger siblings. 

Xbox One vs PS4 price difference

  • PS4 was initially much cheaper than Xbox One
  • But price drops have since leveled the playing field

Four years ago, the PS4 price was the more tempting deal: $399 (£349.99 / AU$549) for the console and DualShock 4 controller. The Xbox One was relatively expensive, at $499 (£429 / AU$499) for the system, Xbox One controller and Kinect.

But now, after several price drops from both consoles (not to mention now that the Xbox One has dropped its compulsory Kinect peripheral), the two consoles are much more evenly matched. 

In fact, recent sales have seen the consoles swapping places to be the cheaper of the two. 

In the US, the 500GB version of the Xbox One S is just about the cheaper of the two at $239 compared to $299, and the 1TB version of the Xbox One S comes in around $279. 

Meanwhile in the UK, the 500GB version of the Xbox One S is a shade cheaper, while the 1TB versions of the consoles are identically priced. 

Finally, in Australia the Xbox One S is the cheaper of the two whether you want a 500GB or a 1TB model. 

With that said, frequent deals mean that the console’s prices are always in flux. Keep an eye trained on our Xbox One bundles and PS4 bundle deals pages. 

In terms of the more powerful PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, the Xbox One X is more expensive, launching at $499 rather than the PS4 Pro’s $399.

Xbox One vs PS4

Xbox One vs PS4

What’s in the box?

  • Both systems come with a controller, trial offers and an HDMI cable
  • However, only the PS4 comes with a headset

At launch, Xbox One came with the console, a controller and the Kinect camera – which bumped up the price while annoying many who weren’t impressed by the motion capture tech. Subsequent Xbox One bundles included Forza Horizon 3 or FIFA 17 for the same price, while newer, cheaper systems have eliminating Kinect completely while promoting the latest games – such as Forza Horizon 4.

All Xbox One boxes contains an HDMI cable and 14-day free trial for Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold online service. There’s no USB charging cable, as the Xbox One controller uses batteries out of the box.

Inside both the PS4 and PS4 Pro boxes are the consoles and a single DualShock 4 controller. Wires include an HDMI cable (Sony learned its lesson after backlash for not including one with the PS3) and a micro-USB cable for the controller.

Don’t throw out the box right away. Tucked inside is a 30-day subscription to PlayStation Plus and a wired mono earbud. You’ll get much better sound out of a full-size gaming headset, but it’s nice to have a basic one included. 

  • These are the best console gaming headsets

Xbox One vs PS4: the controllers

Xbox One and controller

Xbox One

  • Both controllers are well-made and comfortable.
  • Which is better is a matter of personal preference.

When you’re comparing controllers between the PS4 and Xbox One, you should consider size, comfort, and battery life – but, even beyond these aspects, personal preference is going to go a long way.

The good news is that both conform to your hands better versus the less ergonomic Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

Microsoft, even further from just improving on the Xbox 360 controller for the Xbox One’s basic controller, released the Xbox Elite Wireless controller back in 2015. This gamepad, directed towards pro gamers, includes four back pedals, two settings for the left and right shoulder buttons, swappable analog sticks and a new and improved D-pad. All of these amazing features come at a premium though, costing $149 or £119.

The DualShock 4 also improves on the previous generation. The handles of the gamepad are a lot easier to grip and are more comfortable when playing for extended periods. Plus, the analog sticks now have a nice divot, making precise movements a lot easier.

PS4 DualShock 4 Controller

PS4 DualShock 4 Controller

With the new DualShock 4 that’s come out alongside the new slimline PS4, the controller has seen a further improvement with the addition of a wired connectivity mode, which eliminates the input lag associated with Bluetooth connections. 

The PS4 controller’s front touchpad and mono speaker are a unique way to interact with games, and developers are starting to find ways to adopt this technology into their control schemes.

Which controller is better? There’s a lot of satisfaction with the PS4 gamepad, but that may have more to do with people’s surprise at how much more comfortable the DualShock 4 is compared to the DualShock 3 – that wow factor may eventually wear away. It also comes with a rechargeable battery pack, rather than relying on AA batteries, as the Xbox One controllers do. 

The Xbox One vs PS4 controller comparison ends up being a matter of taste. Some gamers are accustomed to Sony’s parallel dual analog sticks, while plenty of others opt for offset analog sticks that have been part of the Xbox universe since the beginning.

PlayStation Camera and Kinect

PlayStation Camera and Kinect

Xbox One Kinect vs PS4 Camera

  • Kinect was promising but is no longer produced.
  • Meanwhile PlayStation Camera has become an essential accessory if you’re looking to use a PlayStation VR headset.

Back when the PS4 and the Xbox One launched, their respective cameras were hailed as being one of the most important aspects of the machines. However, in the years that followed, both Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s PS4 Camera have fallen out of favor and popularity.

The latter has gained a new lease on life as an essential part of the PlayStation VR ecosystem, but outside of this remains almost entirely unused. 

That’s a shame because, at one point, the new Kinect technology looked very promising, tracking up to six skeletons at once and processing 2GB of data per second. It could even pick up heart rates, facial expressions and 25 joints, thumbs included.

The camera’s 60% wider field of vision compared to the Xbox 360 Kinect remedied the annoying “stand 6 feet away” error messages we experienced last time around.

Xbox One Kinect was certainly powerful, it just needed more games. Right now, there are few reasons to keep the 1080p camera plugged in, especially since the whole platform has been shuttered. 

Xbox One and Kinect camera

Xbox One and Kinect camera

The PlayStation camera doesn’t have as much to offer at this point either, but it’s hard to find in stock. Formerly called the PlayStation Eye, it features two 1,280 x 800-pixel cameras in a body that’s slimmer than the Kinect. 

The included robot mini-game The Playroom has been updated since the console launch, but little else besides the Just Dance series requires the device.

You will, however, need a PlayStation camera if you want to use a PlayStation VR, since the headset uses the camera to know where your head is. With the PSVR, the camera has fast-changed from an optional accessory to an essential piece of kit. – though you’ll find it comes bundled in with a PSVR starter pack.

The best PS4 and Xbox One games

  • Both consoles have some great exclusive games.
  • Sony’s exclusives have tended to be third-person games, while Microsoft has seen a number of high-profile racing exclusives.

Both the PS4 and Xbox One now have substantial games libraries. The PS4 has just over 1,800 titles, of which over 500 are exclusives or console exclusives, while the Xbox One has about 1,600 games – with under half the number of exclusives as the PS4.

The Halo and Gears of War series stand above all others on Xbox One if you’re into shooter games, and Cuphead features some fantastic, colorful boss battle action. Halo: The Master Chief Collection lets us relive all the old classics, although the experience was somewhat spoiled by a number of technical problems that have never been fully solved. 

But, it’s with its exclusive racing games that the Xbox One really excels, with the Forza Motorsport and Horizon titles being excellent entries in the series.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

One Xbox One game on the horizon that we’re excited to play is Halo Infinite, which is sure to be one of the best games on the Xbox One.

Microsoft’s number of exclusives pales compares to Sony, though the former is clearly making a concerted effort to amend this with the creation of five new gaming studios and numerous acquisitions.

Either way, the quality and quantity of Sony’s exclusives have really impressed us this generation. We awarded Uncharted 4 a ‘Play it Now’ rating, the highest on the TechRadar scoring system. More recently, the thought provoking The Last Guardian and the gorgeous Horizon: Zero Dawn also impressed.

Finally, remakes of The Last of Us and Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy round out what is a very impressive series of PS4 exclusives – but, trust us, there are plenty more where those came from. 

Want to say up-to-date on the latest top titles on each platform? Don’t miss our round-ups of the Best PS4 Games and Best Xbox One Games! 

Fez (2012)

Fez (2012)

Indie games on PS4 and Xbox One

  • Sony’s console has the higher-profile indie games.
  • Microsoft’s move to make every console a developer kit could be huge.

Our most-wanted PS4 games list doesn’t end there, because Sony got out in front of supporting independent game developers.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Young Horses) and Transistor (Supergiant Games) came to Sony’s console years ago. 

Meanwhile, the Xbox One has also seen some excellent smaller games, including Ori and the Blind Forest. 

Indie games have exploded on each console over the last few years, thanks to both Sony and Microsoft enacting policies and releasing tools that all but eliminates the barrier to entry of developing for each system. 

Xbox One vs PS4: media

  • Both Xbox One S and Xbox One X feature Ultra HD Blu-ray players
  • PS4 Pro has to rely on streaming for 4K content
  • Standard PS4 and Xbox One both limited to 1080p playback

In the past with Sony’s PS2 and PS3 consoles, they built a huge audience just by virtue of those consoles doubling as DVD and Blu-ray players that were priced competitively with standalone devices at launch.

That’s what makes it so shocking that Microsoft has beaten them to the punch this time around, with the Xbox One S and Xbox One X being the first consoles to feature Ultra-HD Blu-ray compatibility .

Ultra HD Blu-rays are the latest and greatest disc format, and offer the best audio and video quality if you’re looking to watch movies at home. The amount of discs available is slightly thin on the ground as it currently stands, but the situation is sure to improve in the future as the number of 4K releases ramps up. 

Of course, streaming is now the dominant way of consuming media at home, and the Xbox One S, the Xbox One X and the PS4 Pro are all able to handle 4K streams from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. The limitations of streaming mean that the image quality won’t quite be as good as physical media, but it’s a much cheaper way to access 4K content. 

We’ll delve into more detail about the availability of apps for each console below.  

Xbox One UI

Xbox One UI

Xbox One vs PS4: apps

  • Very little to differentiate the two consoles in terms of apps.

The Xbox 360 and PS3 proved to be more than just gaming machines, and Xbox One and PS4 are no different. Of course, most third-party apps are shared across both platforms. 

One key difference between the consoles as they currently stand is access to 4K streaming services. While you’ll have to opt for the more expensive PS4 Pro if you want 4K streaming services on a Sony console, both the Xbox One S and X are capable of 4K streaming. 

In terms of the apps themselves, all next-gen gamers have access to Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Spotify, Hulu Plus, Crackle, Vudu and Redbox Instant as well as baseball subscription service MLB.TV.

Xbox One corners the app-filled market with ESPN, Fox Now, FX Now, NFL, TED, The CW, Twitch, Univision Deportes, Verizon FiOS TV and YouTube. It also has Microsoft’s own OneDrive, Skype and Xbox Music and Xbox Video services.

That contrasts with PS4. Sony’s console features Crunchyroll, Epix, NBA Gametime, NHL GameCenter Live, YuppTV, the WWE Network, VidZone, and Sony’s own foray into being a cable provider with PlayStation Vue.

Initially, Xbox One had first access to HBO Go before PS4, but now both consoles have the premium channel as an app – at least, if your cable provider in the US isn’t Comcast. And, even if it is, both systems now support HBO Now, which lets you view HBO programming without a cable subscription.

More niche apps are expected as time goes on, so this is hardly the final list of apps for Xbox One and PS4.

Are PS4 and Xbox One backward compatible?

  • Xbox One backwards compatibility list is growing.
  • PS4 offers backwards compatibility through PS Now streaming service.

The Xbox One vs PS4 comparison first got really interesting at E3 2015. After teasing Xbox 360 emulation, Microsoft announced Xbox One backward compatibility for Xbox 360 games. This was expanded to original Xbox games at E3 2017.

“We won’t charge you to play the games you already own,” jabbed Microsoft at Sony during its E3 press conference. Over 400 disc and downloadable Xbox 360 and Xbox titles will work on Xbox One, and the features of the newer console – like streaming and taking screenshots – crosses over to older games.

Microsoft launched Xbox One backward compatibility in November 2015, and a recent update saw its functionality expanded to include multi-disc games. Since then, the manufacturer has continued to bring more and more games to the console. 

Sony’s PlayStation Now service, meanwhile, is a streaming service that costs money to rent games. That’s a bummer if you already paid for The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Dead Space 3 and Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes on the PS3.

It also relies on streaming, meaning that the quality of your gameplay experience will vary based on the bandwidth of your internet connection. 

Sony has expanded its video game streaming service to PS Vita, PC and PlayStation TV, and has even stretched to include Sony and Samsung made TVs. The service now includes PS1, PS2 and PS4 games in addition to the previously PS3-only lineup.

None of these options are foolproof yet. That means you’ll need to keep your Xbox 360 and PS3 in order to play more niche games that haven’t been made backwards compatible on Xbox One or haven’t been added to PlayStation Now.

You can’t sell the old systems, and that means people won’t be able to readily buy them – they’re more likely to purchase them directly from Microsoft and Sony.

PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now

Xbox One vs PS4: other differences

  • Both consoles charge for online multiplayer.
  • Other media player features offered by Xbox One.

The look of the console, the feel of the controller and the appeal of the games list are the main differences from which consumers will decide between the PS4 and the Xbox One. However, there are other factors at play one should consider before buying into a new system. At the top of that list is a significant question: where do most of your friends play?

While limited cross-platform multiplayer options do now appear to be on the horizon, you don’t want to be split up from your friends when playing the top titles on either platform.

Both Microsoft and Sony are charging for multiplayer this console generation, whereas PS3 gamers got to log into matches scott-free.

Sony sadly moved closer to Microsoft in this way, while Microsoft moved closer to Sony by tearing down the Xbox Live app paywall. You no longer have to subscribe to stream Netflix and other apps. 

The PS4 vs Xbox One comparison has evolved in the last four years, mostly because Microsoft’s plans have shifted: from Xbox One price drops to more lenient paywall policies to graphics specs upgrades.

These two next-generation consoles are now on a more even playing field, which means Sony and Microsoft are going to start throwing games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Sea of Thieves at you, and that’s a win for all gamers.

PS4 vs Xbox One: make your choice

Now that we’ve taken you through the positives and negatives of each console you’ve probably got a good idea of which is the one for you.

Fortunately, we’re not going to leave you hanging there – further down you’ll find the best deals available for each console to help you take your decision to its final destination. 

Decided that the PS4 and Sony’s attractive exclusives are perfect for you? Below you’ll find the best PlayStation 4 deals you can get at the moment. 

Is it the Xbox One that’s won you over? We understand, that 4K Blu-ray player is hard to resist. There are some fantastic deals on the latest model of Microsoft’s consoles and below you’ll find the latest and greatest:

AMD Radeon VII launch stock looks worryingly thin in UK and Europe

We’ve heard some more worrying rumblings in terms of the amount of AMD’s Radeon VII graphics cards that will be available upon launch today, at least in the UK and Europe (though presumably these alleged stock levels also reflect worldwide availability to some extent).

Apparently in the UK, there will only be between 100 to 200 Radeon VII GPUs when the cards go on sale in a few short hours time. As spotted by TechPowerUp, Andrew ‘Gibbo’ Gibson, a purchasing manager at retailer Overclockers UK, provided this estimation. In a forum post, Gibson noted that his firm has just shy of 100 cards, which “pretty much makes us the largest stockist in Europe”.

According to French tech site Cowcotland.com, a mere 20 Radeon VII graphics cards have been allocated to France, and the same is true of Spain.

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This is all speculation from the graphics grapevine, and we have to bear that firmly in mind – but if these alleged figures are anywhere near the mark, it obviously paints a concerning picture when it comes to the availability of the new Radeon VII.

It also seemingly backs up last month’s speculation about stock being thin on the ground, with the rumor mill suggesting that there would be fewer than 5,000 Radeon VII boards produced by AMD initially. AMD subsequently denied that there would be issues with stock, and insisted that “we expect Radeon VII supply to meet demand from gamers”.

So what’s really going on here?

China conundrum

Obviously, we don’t know what’s actually happening behind the scenes when it comes to AMD’s production lines and Radeon VII shipment targets.

What we do know, however, is that it’s the Lunar New Year holiday over in China, which the major manufacturing factories are closed for – and may remain so for a while yet. And that’s very likely to have affected the Radeon VII assembly lines.

Moving back into the domain of speculation, TechPowerUp theorizes that production may not fully fire up again until mid-February, or perhaps even later in the month. And of course the cards have to be shipped out across the globe after they’re made, to add to any possible delay.

But the truth is we simply don’t know how supply of the graphics cards is going to pan out – and even if initial stock is limited, it might quickly increase.

However, if there are supply issues, and demand is strong for the Radeon VII, then we could encounter the familiar specter of prices rising way above any recommended retail price provided by AMD.

We know that the Radeon VII has a recommended price of $699 in the US, but we don’t have any pricing for the UK (or anywhere else, for that matter) yet. According to Gibbo, though, Overclockers UK will be selling the graphics cards for between £660 and £750 at launch (depending on the exact model).

Gibbo observed that “if supply improves vastly in coming weeks and the pound remains as is then in coming weeks £629-£649 will be achievable”. But elsewhere in the forum thread he noted that “if demand is crazy and stock slim they could just as easily end up at £899 each”.

It could go either way, in other words, underlining again the uncertainty over how supply is going to shape up. Production should, however, ramp up after the Chinese New Year, and if that does indeed happen, those who adopt a sit-and-wait policy will doubtless see cheaper prices as mentioned above.

If you’re concerned about bagging a card today, at launch, you may want to know that they go on sale at 2pm GMT (9am ET). We haven’t heard any numbers for US stock at launch, but it will presumably be proportionally more for that larger market, of course.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering which third-party Radeon VII GPUs are incoming, according to Overclockers UK, the retailer will be stocking Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and Powercolor graphics cards. We also know that Sapphire and ASRock are set to release Radeon VII cards.

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Via Videocardz

The sensors in the Nissan Titan are obnoxious, but attention-getting

It was a cascading symphony of beeps. I was driving a 2019 Nissan Titan truck, a hulking beast that could drive over a snowbank without blinking. Pulling out of my garage, a rain and snow mix pelting my driveway, I didn’t notice a shovel was sticking out a little… sideways.

Those beeps are slightly obnoxious, to be honest. Fortunately, you can adjust whether they scan around the truck with a near, medium, or far range. The Titan knows the difference between a shovel sticking out and someone walking past in a parking garage (thanks to moving object detection sensors), but in the future, vehicles will be able to scan even more specifically. In the age of distraction, human drivers will have to get used to the beeps.

All-seeing eyes

It’s going to be an adjustment for some. The sensors are important because it’s impossible to really know what is around you at all times. In my case, that day in the garage, I had no idea a shovel was sticking out. I didn’t see it in the rear view mirror or a side mirror. 

As I’ve mentioned countless times in this column, artificial intelligence algorithms and lidar (light detection and ranging) sensors can scan in all directions at once, and they are always vigilant. I’m not. Early in the morning, half-asleep but running on autopilot (from a human perspective), I don’t always jump out and look around the vehicle every time before heading to work.

In the Titan, there are two large buttons that can help you disable the sensors as needed. One is a parking sensor button and one is a rear-cross traffic alert button. Both augment the Intelligent Around View Monitor system to spot objects (both moving and not moving) that could interfere with the truck at lower speeds (such as in a parking situation) and at normal speeds.

In practice, you hear the chime and see a warning light in the direction of the object. In my case, that shovel in my garage caused all of the beeping and, in the dash display, I saw a flashing green then yellow light. I stopped, jumped out, and moved the shovel.

Context matters

It’s invaluable, but it takes some time to adjust to your senses. I set the distance to far so that the beeps didn’t happen quite so often, but I could see that someone owning this truck who uses it in a construction yard or who is maneuvering around tight corners towing a trailer who would like to know about any possible impediments and judge if they are serious or not.

Future cars might use sensors that are much more refined. I can imagine a truck knowing if an object is a human or an animal (some Volvo, Mercedes, and Audi vehicles already detect the difference) but also knowing the speed of the object and if it will collide with the truck. In a construction yard, the truck might know a lot more about the surroundings and even take over the steering to avoid a nasty ding. Sensors would know if it is a plastic object or a metal barrier. 

Many vehicles are already capable of intervening – some can steer away from an object, some will brake automatically – but few can tell the difference between a shovel and a fence.

The good news is that sensors (and the algorithms) will become even more refined, spot smaller object, judge whether a collision might occur, intervene even in tight spaces like a warehouse or your garage, or even decide that a little plastic object is no danger at all.

Computers always follow the same set pattern of instructions, day in and day out. In the Titan, that meant noticing the handle of a shovel blocking one of the tires below and to the right side of the truck. We might have to adjust to this future reality, when vehicles will feed more data to us than we can handle, but we will appreciate the intrusion. After a while, anyway.

On The Road is TechRadar’s regular look at the futuristic tech in today’s hottest cars. John Brandon, a journalist who’s been writing about cars for 12 years, puts a new car and its cutting-edge tech through the paces every week. One goal: To find out which new technologies will lead us to fully driverless cars.  

Samsung Galaxy S10 leak shows phone reverse wireless charging ‘Galaxy Buds’

The Galaxy S10 leaks have been so plentiful in the run up to February 20 that they’re starting to clue us in on Samsung’s other forthcoming announcements.

Case in point, the rumored Samsung Galaxy Buds got a little more real today with an official-looking photo showing off the true wireless earbuds, thanks to WinFuture.

The Galaxy Buds are shown on top of what looks to be the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus in white (one of the rumored Galaxy S10 colors) and inside a compact charging case.

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Not only that, the earbuds case appears to be placed on the back of the phone in a way that suggests the phone will be able to wirelessly charge the new buds.

Samsung Galaxy S10 is taking on Huawei Mate 20…

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that the Samsung Galaxy Buds could be able to reverse wirelessly charge via the Samsung Galaxy S10. It’s been reported before.

Here is just the first time we’ve seen Samsung’s take on reverse wireless charging, and it appears to work a lot like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s reverse wireless charging feature.

Samsung Galaxy S10

The Galaxy S10 could potentially reverse charge other phones, just like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. | Image Credit: Huawei

We tested this with the Mate 20 back-to-back with an iPhone XS Max, and it worked. We suspect Samsung’s phone will be able to charge other Qi charging phones, too.

Here’s one difference: reverse wireless charging may come to all three new Samsung phones, meaning even the cheap Galaxy S10E would get it. Only the Mate 20 Pro, not the Huawei Mate 20, has this feature.

… And Apple AirPods on price

Attached to this Samsung Galaxy S10 leak and first Galaxy Buds sighting is a price for the buds. WinFuture suggests that the wireless earbuds ‘should’ cost €149.

if true, Samsung’s pricing wouldn’t be far off from the cost of Apple’s AirPods. This price converts to $169, £130 or AU$238, a bit higher than AirPods in the US and Australia, but cheaper than Apple’s inflated AirPods price in the UK.

However, Apple is charging €179 for the AirPods in France and Germany, which could mean Samsung’s buds will be cheaper and have more features. We’re still waiting on Apple AirPods 2 with the long-promised wireless charging feature.

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Microsoft Build 2019 starts the day before Google IO – again

Microsoft’s annual developer conference and Windows news event, Build, has been officially announced to run from May 6 through May 8 in Seattle, Washington.

The company made the announcement well ahead of opening registration and posting its convention agenda, which will happen on February 27 and late February, respectively.

While we have no agenda in front of us yet, it would be safe to expect Microsoft to thoroughly discuss Windows ’19H1′ – code for first half 2019 – its next major update to the Windows 10 operating system (OS) most likely to be called the “April 2019 Update.”

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That said, Microsoft is already hard at work on ’19H2′, so we could get a taste of that upcoming major update to the OS well before it lands. 

In fact, this is almost exactly how last year’s event went down, with the April 2018 Update releasing weeks prior to Build 2018, which allowed Microsoft to focus primarily on October 2018 Update information drops.

Once again, Build will overlap directly with IO 2019, Google’s own developer-focused conference, which runs May 7 through May 9. So, expect May to be absolutely buzzing with tech news.

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