Xbox One or PS4: Which is better for a college student?

As the console wars are heating up, many people are left wondering which product is right for them. This is a complicated decision that involves looking at a number of the console’s traits. It is even more complicated for college students, who typically have specific needs for their lifestyle and a limited budget. So, there are a number of important factors that might make either the PS4 or Xbox One a better choice for the typical college student.


College students lead a lifestyle that is filled with inexpensive noodles for dinner and discount drinks at the local pub. That makes the cost of a console an important factor for many college students. The PS4 is currently slated to list at $399, while the Xbox One is scheduled to retail for $499. The price difference is certainly a point in the favor of the PS4.

Xbox Kinect

Quite a few people enjoy the motion-based games that the Kinect device allows users to play. While the PS4 has an analog in their camera peripheral that approximates the Xbox Kinect, it is sold as a separate entity. This can be seen as a plus for the Xbox One. However, there are quite a few people who are concerned about the integrated Kinect in the Xbox One. The fear is that the always-on camera could be used for spying on people. Therefore, many people who do not participate in motion gaming could be drawn further towards the PS4. This is not a college student specific concern, but merits consideration nevertheless. If a student enjoys these games and is not concerned about theoretical privacy issues, the Xbox One could be the right choice.

Cloud Gaming

The Xbox One is heavily dependent on cloud based gaming. While Microsoft has dialed back on the requirements for gamers to have a persistent internet connection to play any game, the PS4 has always supported offline gaming to a greater degree. Many dormitory living conditions have internet connectivity issues. Furthermore, many people in dormitory living situations enjoy being able to play their games on any console at any time. In this category, the PS4 is the clear standout.

Comprehensive Entertainment Options

Xbox One has positioned itself as a full-featured entertainment hub for people’s living rooms. The PS4 has become a gaming device dedicated to the gaming experience. Since many dormitories and apartment choices for college students involve no-frills cable packages and limited need for enhanced viewing options, the PS4 may meet the specific needs of the college gamer more specifically.

History of Reliability

Many college aged students have either experienced the “Red Ring of Death” themselves, or have a friend who did. Xbox consoles have a long history of hardware failure. The PS3, on the other hand, has a reputation for being rock solid in terms of function. While this is certainly no indicator of the future performance of new consoles, history might make college students choose a PS4.

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