Sony's PlayStation 4 has significantly more CPU and graphics horsepower than the PlayStation 3, more RAM, a bigger hard drive, built-in game DVR, newer motion-sensing camera, and a better controller with touchpad. It also costs $200 more than the PS3 and does not play games designed for older PlayStation consoles, meaning the library of games available for the PS4 is currently much smaller than it is for the PS3.

Comparison chart

PlayStation 3 versus PlayStation 4 comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartPlayStation 3PlayStation 4
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Online services Play Station Network for multiplayer support, downloadable movies and game, online surfing, and meeting other players. PlayStation Plus. $49.99 annually, $17.99 quarterly or $9.99 monthly.
Storage capacity 20, 40, 60, 80, 120, 250, or 320 GB hard drive. 500GB hard drive (removable; user upgradeable)
Price $249 for 160GB system; $319.95 for 320 GB system. Varies! - but around the $300 mark.
Sound Stereo. Can support 5.1-channel Dolby Digital (HDMI), 7.1-channel LPCM 7.1 Dolby/DTS-HD Master Audio/PCM Surround Sound
Generation 7th generation console 8th generation console
Manufacturer Sony Sony
Graphics Nvidia RSX graphics processor, with 25g MB XDR main memory and 256 GDDR3 video memory. AMD Next Gen, Radeon HD 7xxx series equivalent
Media DVD, CD, Blu-ray, downloads Blu-ray, DVD, downloads
Controllers Supports 7 wireless and/or wired controllers without removable batteries. up to 4 controllers (update expected)
CPU Cell Processor @ 3.23 GHz (8 Cores) Single-chip x86 AMD "Jaguar" processor, 8 cores, Clock speed 1.6GHz, A secondary Custom ARM CPU and RAM for background processing such as downloading and recording gameplay.
Predecessor Playstation 2 PlayStation 3
Units sold worldwide 82 million (as of February 2014) 43.5 million (as of June 30, 2016)
Available Versions 160 GB and 320 GB Different Bundles
Backward compatibility PSONE and few PS2 library Via PSNow
Internet Browser Yes Yes
Motion Sensing Playstation move PlayStation Camera; Gyroscope.
Online Subscription Fee PSN has no fee for playing games online. PlayStation Plus. $49.99 annually, $17.99 quarterly or $9.99 monthly.
Wi-Fi Built into every model 802.11 b/g/n
Processor It uses IBM designed Cell microprocessor with 3.2 GHz cell w/7 SPEs 2.0 TFLOPS. Customized AMD x86-64 Jaguar
Connectivity 4 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, built-in Wifi Super-Speed USBx (USB 3.0) port x2, AUX port x1 Networking: Ethernet x1, IEEE 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz only), HDMI out port, digital out optical port.

Interface

PS4 users will find crisper, clearer graphics with the newer console. The graphics capability of the new system is one of the major upgrades. But there's also a new operating system running the machine.

The new Orbis OS for PS4 operates well with Internet connectivity, offering users access to video and music services. However, the new PS4 requires users to attain a PlayStation Plus subscription to access these features.

The Orbis OS also offers a “dynamic menu,” an interface that not only lets you select games, but also lets you view your personal profile, social media activity, friends’ activity, and more. Sony has integrated a video sharing, or game DVR, into the PS4 - there’s even a button for it on the controller - to allow easy sharing of recorded gameplay.

This video gives a detailed comparison of the two consoles:

Hardware

PlayStation 4 offers a faster processor with more memory than PlayStation 3. PS3 features a 3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine, while PS4 has an 8-core 2 GHz core, which is rated as 9 times as fast as its progenitor.

Controllers

The PS4 DualShock controls feature a game DVR share button, a clickable touchpad, a built-in mono speaker and headphone jack, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and a stereo camera interface that senses players’ surroundings.

The PS3 DualShock 3 controllers do not have a DVR button, touchpad, or audio controls. It was the first PlayStation controller to feature haptic feedback, a feature that “rumbles” the game controller in sync with on-screen action.

Camera

Both systems are capable of using a variation of a motion-sensing PlayStation camera.

PS3 came equipped with the PlayStation Eye, which features a 640x480 pixel resolution. The Eye has the ability to capture motion to allow players to interact with the game.

The new PlayStation Camera for the PS4 features a 1280x800 pixel resolution. It is sold separately from the console bundle.

Removable Hard Drive

PS4 offers a removable hard drive, a feature not included with the PS3 console. This means that users can add more storage, increasing the capacity of the stock 500 GB hard drive.

Bluetooth Capability

Both PS3 and PS4 have Bluetooth capability. However, PS3 uses Bluetooth 2.0, and PS4 uses 2.1. The PS4 version generally uses less power than version 2.0, and features a stronger device connection.

Graphics

The PS4 graphics processor is faster and better able to display movies and video than PS3. The PS3 came equipped with an NVIDIA 7800 RSX engine with 256 GB of memory operating at 400 Giga-flops, while PS4 has a Radeon DirectX11 with 1 GB of memory operating at 1.84 tera-flops per second. The PS4 graphics card is rated at five times as fast as the PS3 version.

Backward Compatibility

PS3 owners can play games from the previous two Sony consoles, PS2 and PS1. PS4 however, does not offer backward compatibility, though Sony may offer a cloud-based emulation service for older games

Applications

Both PS3 and PS4 can access the PlayStation Network to download games and applications like Netflix and Facebook. The PS3 is a much better media player than the PS4 because

  1. it plays Blu-ray discs out of the box but the PS4 requires you to download additional software before it can play Bllu-ray DVDs.
  2. the PS3 lets you wirelessly stream media files from other devices or connect flash drives or external hard drives to play videos stored on them. This is not allowed on the PS4

Online Game Play

Both consoles offer single or multi-player online game play, but a subscription to the PlayStation Plus network is required for PS4 users.

Online game saves, beta testing, and full game trials are available for both systems, but only with a Plus subscription.

Game DVR

The PS4 has a built-in DVR that allows recording of your games. The controller also has a dedicated share button to share your game play videos with friends on YouTube or Facebook. The PS3 can be rigged to a DVR but having an in-built game DVR makes the process very efficient for gamers.

Available Games

There are nearly 800 PS3 games including exclusive games. PS4 has nearly 200 games available since the console's debut in November, 2013.

Exclusive Games

As of the most recent count, PS3 offers 150 exclusive games, while PS4 offers only 26. This is due to PS4's newness on the market. The PS4 has 16 Sony-exclusive games available, plus another 45 exclusive to the console.

Price

PS 4, the latest release is available on Amazon for $500. PS 3, because it's the older version sells for $250.

Subscription Services

Both consoles offer single or multi-player online game play, but a subscription to the PlayStation Plus network is required for PS4 users.

Online game saves, beta testing, and full game trials are available for both systems, but only with a Plus subscription.

References

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