Screenshots on Xbox One vs PS4: Microsoft has just taken the lead


Sure, screenshots on the Xbox One are still in Preview Program testing, but they’re set to make a proper appearance on the platform next month, finally offering up the same type of functionality found on the PS4 from day one.

Some of the Xbox One functionality is okay, and some outright awful — that Xbox Guide button sure is overworked — but in the end, it looks as if Microsoft has the lead on screenshots now simply because of the way they’re delivered.

Below are a bunch of examples of screenshots on both platforms; some, from different games, and others from the same game — Outlast, as it’s the only title I own on both consoles. Let’s explore why I’m in Microsoft’s camp when it comes to sharing screenshots.

PS4 screenshot shared to Twitter

The screenshot below, from The Last of Us, is easily shared using the Share button on the PS4, is uploaded directly to Twitter. The file is a 46.7 KB, 1024 pixels tall by 576 pixels wide .JPEG. It appears to be compressed, with artefacting appearing on the image.


Click the image above to see it directly as it was saved from Twitter. We’ve presented it only 800 pixels wide due to the layout of this site.

The PlayStation Share button lets you send screenshots to a number of different platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, USB and via message to another user via the PlayStation mobile app, giving the console a clear victory in terms of the sheer number of options you have when wanting to share a shot with others. The downside is that photos are always 1024 x 576 pixel .JPEGs.

Here’s the original shared tweet:

Xbox One screenshots shared to Twitter

The shot below, from NHL 15, is a 2.02 MB, 1920 pixels tall by 1080 pixels wide .PNG. In other words, far larger than its PS4 counterpart in terms of file size and pixels. It’s far less compressed — maybe not at all, but I confess to being a bit useless when it comes to this type of thing — compared to the Sony screenshot.

Saying it was shared to Twitter is a bit of a lie, to be honest — Xbox One screenshots are saved to and then linked to via Twitter when you choose to share to the social media platform. It is admittedly harder to take and share the shots, having to double-tap the Xbox Guide button and hit the Y button afterward, then going into Upload and sharing from there.

Click the image above to see it directly as it was saved from Twitter. We’ve presented it only 800 pixels wide due to the layout of this site.

At the moment, Xbox One screenshots can only be shared via Twitter. But what screenshots, eh?

Here’s the original shared tweet:

The same screenshot (as best I can) shared to Twitter on both Xbox One and PS4

You’ve got file specifics outlined above, so here’s the same screenshot (or as close as I can muster) from Outlast on both platforms. PS4 is first, followed by Xbox One.

My final verdict… for right this second

While it’s much easier to share via the PS4, the actual output seems to be of much higher quality on Xbox One. It might be more of a struggle to share on Microsoft’s platform, but I’d put up with the clunky UI to get better shots for use in reviews, YouTube thumbnails and the like.

What do you think of screenshots on the different consoles? Am I being too nitpicky, or do you too want high-quality shots from the games you’re playing? Do you think Sony will change how screenshots are shared with Microsoft’s new functionality?

Update: I’ve killed my original PS4 screenshot as I’ve now been informed the title is under embargo. Apologies for the confusion.

Update 2: Here’s a very valid point from dem Twitters: