One of the most compelling features that more and more people are adding into their Smart Home and Multimedia Center configuration is a gaming console. Yes, that's right - a gaming console is beginning to become one of the fastest growing features being added to people's Smart Home or Multimedia Center configurations. Not only can you play video games in HD or even Native 4K resolutions, but you can use them as a Multimedia Center to control what you're watching on your 4K or HD TV, and your can stream yourself playing video games online on Mixer, Twitch, or YouTube. With a little extra time spent by you on configuring your Home Theater receiver and HD/4K television within the console, it also allows you turn power on and power off all three components with a simple voice command!
Nothing says Smart Home like walking into a room, uttering a single voice command, and having your surround sound, television, and gaming console all power on or power off. Add in your new 4th Generation Apple TV with voice command remote control interface option, and you'll barely have to click anything to sit down and start streaming your favorite movie or television shows! Having used this feature numerous times in my house, I can honestly say that people are impressed when they come into our home for the first time and I start using voice commands to turn on music or a move in our home.
Also, both machines are able to see devices online which belong to their product family. The Sony PS4 operating system will see any Sony VAIO laptops your have on your network, and will allow you to interface with any media found on those devices. While Sony stopped selling their Sony VAIO laptop products, if you still have one or more VAIO's in your home, you can still enjoy and leverage this feature for your benefit. The Xbox One X will also be able to see and access any Windows machine, or Windows formatted disks/drives, on your network and access media on those machines via Windows Media Center. The machines have to be on, and also on the same network as the console, but you can definitely see the possibilities with this capability.
You can attach USB storage to both machines, allowing you to extend their storage beyond the 1TB capacity of their internally mounted hard drives. This is amazing when you have a lot of video game titles and you don't want to get off the couch every single time you want to play a new video game. This can also be said if you digitize your HD or Blue Ray movie titles, giving your immediate access to your movie library without having to remove and insert DVD's into your Xbox One X or PS4 Pro every single time you want to watch a movie that you own.
XBox One X can currently can be found online at a discounted price as a Xbox One X 1TB stand-alone console purchase, or is also available as a Xbox One X 1TB - Fallout 76 Bundle and Xbox One X 1TB - NBA2K19 Bundle. All three of which are currently available to buy, just in time for Christmas 2018, for less than the $500 original list price of the Xbox One X.
Sony PS4 Pro can currently be found online at a slightly higher price as a Sony PS4 Pro 1TB Console with Extra Chrystal Blue Dualshock 4 Wireless Controller Bundle and Sony PS4 Pro Console 3 Item Bundle: PS4 Pro 1TB Console, Extra PS4 Dualshock 4 Wireless Controller (Jet Black) with Mytrix Wall Charger, both available at a slightly higher price of the $400 original list price of the Sony PS4 Pro without the extra Dualshock 4 controller, and also just in time for Christmas 2018.
Xbox One X
- 8 Core 2.3 GHz Processor
- 6 TFLOPS
- 12 GB GDDR5 RAM
- 326 GB/s Memory Bandwidth
- 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
- 4K Blue Ray Drive
Sony PS4 Pro
- 8 Core 2.1 GHZ (Overclocked) Processor
- 4.2 TFLOPS
- 8GB GDDR5 RAM
- 218 GB/s Memory Bandwidth
- 1TB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
- Blu Ray Drive (Non-4K)
The Xbox One X did eliminate the inclusion of the Kinect camera, which also double-served as an audio cue voice command interface, but this can be purchased separately and connected to the Xbox One X with an adaptor. I highly recommend this configuration addition, as it allows you to turn your Xbox One X on and off with voice commands, offers facial recognition to log into your Xbox Live profile, as well as access games, apps, and your TV or Streaming Device (such as Apple TV or Roku) with simple and easy-to-use voice commands.
The Kinect is available online for less than $100 here, and the adaptor to connect your Kinect to your Xbox One X can be purchased here for less than $60.
The Sony PS4 also offers the Playstation 4 Camera, which can be purchased online for less than $60 here. This also offers facial recognition, and allows voice command navigation of your PS4 Pro console.
All in all, either one of these video game consoles serves a purpose above and beyond that of just playing video games. They are feature rich with Multimedia Center capabilities, as well as Smart Home interface capabilities, which proves that both companies are looking for the consoles to be a major component within every family Smart Home or Multimedia Center world-wide. They are increasing the features within these consoles to make them more relevant as a Smart Home and Multimedia Center device, and we can only expect this feature list to grow as newer models of the consoles are released to the public.
So, if you're hunting for the perfect gift for that certain special someone in your life - who likes gaming, technology, or Smart Home devices - look no further than one of these gaming consoles! Black Friday prices are almost upon us, and Christmas is just around the corner. You want to get one of these devices in your home ASAP, or at least under the Christmas Tree before December 25th!