One of the most common questions out there relating to the Xbox One and PS4 is whether there are any differences in multi-platform games. As far as sports games go on a technical level there shouldn’t be – they are running at the same resolution and framerate – but that doesn’t mean they are exactly the same. Continue on for my observations after having played both Madden NFL 25 and NBA 2K14 on the two consoles.
Madden NFL 25
What stood out instantly on the Xbox One was a sense of greater player control. More precise movement with the left stick is possible in the running game – running the ball was notably easier on Xbox One – compared to the heft of steering players on the PS4. On defense where a greater number of tackle attempts in the open field on PS4 are missed (too often running right by the ball carrier) no such problem is being had on the Xbox One.
In going back and forth between the two games over a few days this initial impression did not change. The theory that makes the most sense for why this is would point to the controllers. It could have to do with the tension in the sticks, a greater range of motion, or a combination of the two. Regardless player movement is tighter on the Xbox One. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “better” for the game but certainly some would prefer it that way.
Graphically the game on the Xbox One is brighter but that is the only difference noted between the two. Otherwise the two versions probably couldn’t be told apart.
The Xbox One version does have exclusivity this year on the CoachGlass feature which utilizes the SmartGlass app. Unfortunately this feature is completely broken. The games either don’t sync up or lose the sync after a single play. Even worse is that connecting to the SmartGlass app before the game will result in a freeze when exiting the game. This is either related to being tied to the mobile app itself or to the extra step of signing into a profile when that connection in Madden to SmartGlass is made.
Unlike Madden there is no variation in how NBA 2K14 plays between the Xbox One and PS4. The game is incredibly smooth and responsive on both systems. The Xbox One version does have a flatter look to its colors (which I somewhat prefer for basketball) but 2K14 looks brilliant regardless of which console it’s played on.
The one thing that separates them is the rumble in the triggers of the Xbox One controller. When dribbling the trigger representing the hand that has the ball will rumble. It’s a jarring feeling at first but neat in a way that is something new. Unfortunately there is really no point to it. Most of the time it feels like both are rumbling and even if not there is no distinct way in which that information could really be used to any benefit.