GAMES CONSOLE MAKERS Microsoft and Sony are due to spark one of the biggest console battles the modern video games industry has seen when both technology giants release their respective games consoles, the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 (PS4) later this year.
With the Xbox 360 having launched on 22 November 2005 and the PS3 almost exactly a year later on 11 November 2006, this year will be the first time that console contenders Microsoft and Sony will pit their upcoming revised games machines head to head to win over punters looking for a shiny new gaming device in time for the holiday season.
The releases of two high specification games machines are bound to cause some consumer confusion when they hit the market, as gaming enthusiasts and mums and dads deliberate over which console is worth splashing out their hard earned cash to buy.
With Sony's black box set to retail for £349 when it is launched in the UK on 29 November, £80 less than Microsoft's £429 black box when that is launched, which is rumoured to be some time in November or December, the choice might be easy for those looking for whichever of the two is cheapest.
However, for those not quite sure which is best in terms of what you get for your money, we've compiled a comparison to let you see which console will be the best for you by summing up the expected launch titles, bundled software and features, and available hardware.
While Microsoft has released a definitive list of games that the Xbox One will launch with, Sony has revealed its launch games lineup rather unsystematically, not providing dates for all of the titles it has crowed about and shown off in teaser trailers.
Sony has so far confirmed 14 definite launch titles, including Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, NBA 2K14, Call of Duty: Ghosts Skylanders: Swap Force, Need for Speed: Rivals, Battlefield 4, Madden 25, FIFA 14, NBA Live 14, Killzone: Shadown Fall, Driveclub, Knack, Watch Dogs, Just Dance 2014 and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.
Microsoft has revealed that 23 titles will be available for the Xbox One console when it hits store shelves, including Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Crimson Dragon, Dead Rising 3, FIFA 14, Fighter Within, Forza Motorsport 5, Just Dance 2014, Killer Instinct, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Lococycle, Madden NFL 25, NBA 2K14, NBA Live 14, Need for Speed: Rivals, Peggle 2, Powerstar Golf, Ryse: Son of Rome, Skylanders: Swap Force, Watch Dogs, Zoo Tycoon, and Zumba Fitness: World Party/
Although several of the major titles such as Assassin's Creed IV, Battlefield and Call of Duty: Ghosts will launch on both consoles when they hit the market, there's no question about which wins in terms of quantity. However, Sony has said that a number of titles will be coming to the PS4 console exclusively a week or so after the launch, so it might be worth the wait, depending on what games you favour.
Winner: Xbox One