It’s no secret that Sony’s big rival in the console war is Microsoft. They are both dropping systems at around the same time and vying for the same customer set. With similar platforms, the choice for one over the other at first seems a hard one but then when you take into account Sony’s more user friendly terms of service, the choice was a very simple one for many players to make. But Microsoft still has some tricks up its sleeves and in its quest to make an all-inclusive media experience in player’s living rooms, they may have inadvertently opened the door to the competition. The Xbox One features a HDMI pass-through that allows many other devices to be streamed through the box and one of those is the PlayStation 4.
It seems like a major design oversight on the part of the developers for the system. After all, why would you design a way for your biggest competition to basically use your system as a way to bypass your system? Ideally, players can use the Xbox’s snap features in order to create a media center that they can still play games on, after all, much of what Microsoft has shown is an amazing new way to watch TV and chat with friends, unlike Sony which showed that they were in it for the games.
The “snap” feature allows other media to share the screen with a game on the One. This can be used to search the web, chat on Skype, or even watch a TV or a movie while playing a game. Any two features that the one supports can share screen time without interfering with each other. This includes anything that comes through the HDMI pass-through which includes the PlayStation 4. So, yes, theoretically, one could plug in a PlayStation 4 and go to town.
However, according the same exec who let it slip that the two systems could be attached like some sort of Frankenstein entertainment monster, later came forward and reasserted that fans could make the connection but were advised not to. This is because the HDMI latency issues, players could experience serious lag if trying to combine the two systems into one.
The feature was designed on the One to support latent media, which is to say thing that were mostly for viewing pleasure. Not things that are totally interactive such as the PlayStation 4. The game lag that would be caused by putting the two together is thought to be severe enough to make the entire thing unplayable. This however has not been tested in real world conditions so this hypotheses by Microsoft could be a bit overly cautious. Or it could be solidly correct.
Until both systems are out and some enterprising fan gives it a go, it will probably remain a mystery. The major fear seems to be playing both systems at once and that the One may not be able to handle all of that. However, then there’s the question of why would one want to play both systems in tandem in such a manner. The idea seems like a lot of fun but two separate games on the same screen in such a manner also seems like it would be very distracting and after the novelty wore off, far less than an awesome good time.
The Xbox One HDMI pass-through seems more like a throwaway component as far as the PlayStation 4 is concerned. Microsoft is into making a media machine and the inclusion of such a port certainly supports their task in doing so. However, it does not really create an interesting use for the PlayStation 4. To try it may be fun but the fun would wear out in short order. Since you would still need the all the components of the PlayStation to play, it seems like it would be less of a hassle to just hook the system up to the TV directly and just play the standard way.
Article by - Dusty W.
Insert Date: 10/4/2013
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