It was only a matter of time before the home consoles converged, but we didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. Nor did we expect it would go down simply due to a technicality. But it looks like Microsoft really did create that “all-in-one” entertainment device with the Xbox One. Microsoft has confirmed that any HDMI signal can be picked up by the system. And yes, that means you can play PS4 games on Xbox One.
Sort of. Microsoft and Sony are both using HDMI on their respective next-gen consoles, with Microsoft really pushing for the Xbox One acting as an A/V receiver of sorts. That means you’ll be able to run any set-top box’s HDMI signal through the console in order to see its video signal on your TV screen. Since the PS4 uses HDMI out, you’ll be able to run the PS4 through the Xbox One as well, although the game discs themselves will still require a PS4 console and controller.
During Microsoft’s Tokyo Game Show presentation, the company’s Albert Panello said “any application can be snapped to a game…this could be the live TV feed, so if you wanted to be playing Ryse and Killzone at the same time, you could snap that.”
The statement isn’t surprising — we surmised this would be possible as early as E3, for instance — but it’s the first time an Xbox One rep has said it that specifically. What’s interesting is that Panello had dodged a question earlier in his presentation about running the PS4 video signal through the Xbox One.
When the Xbox 360 launched, the PS3 had a video advantage in both resolution and its native support for 3D signals. Now that the Xbox One and PS4 both support the new 4K Ultra HD TV signals, that advantage is completely gone, which makes passing the PS4 video signal through the Xbox One possible.
Now, whether gamers actually choose to pass the PS4 video signal through their Xbox One will largely come down to the number of available HDMI ports on their HDTVs or A/V receivers. If there are enough HDMI-in ports, it’s best to run the PS4 directly to the TV or receiver. However, if there’s a shortage of available slots, passing the PS4 video signal through the Xbox One — even to play PS4 games on Xbox One — appears to be a completely viable option. You’ll just need to make sure you still buy that PS4, because that hardware is still necessary. Microsoft is acting as a pass-through, not a magician.