PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: What Next-Gen Console Should You Get?

Chrs' Reviews

The next-gen consoles are finally here, with a worldwide release, going head-to-head for becoming your main console. Undoubtedly, both consoles from Microsoft and Sony are truly next-gen, with enough power to run games at native 4k resolutions with 120 frames per second. What a time to be alive! However, what makes these consoles even better is the fact that they support ray tracing and have possibly some of the fastest storage drives. With both consoles boasting their innovative approach to the consoles, it may be difficult to pick the right console for yourself.

While both consoles deliver a seamless experience, there several key indicators that set them apart. And though you cannot go wrong with either console, there are some key indicators that set the two machines apart. The next-gen experience is all about speed, raw power, alongside unbelievable levels of visual fidelity unseen before. The core specs for both consoles are not that different, but the Xbox Series X has a slight edge on paper. But despite the edge in computational power, is it the better option to avail yourself? Let’s see.

Microsoft and Sony have gone with unique designs to differentiate themselves from each other. On one side, you have possibly the most peculiar and largest Sony console to date. While on the other hand, the Series X looks quite reminiscent of a miniature gaming PC due to its cuboid shape. No matter how odd both designs may seem to you, they perform flawlessly and remain cool with their temperatures.

Nevertheless, onto the more discerning details, Sony has made great strides with its new DualSense controller, providing a higher degree of immersion never experienced before. Xbox Series X, on the other hand, has leveraged its Xbox Game Pass to bring more gamers into making the purchase. Moreover, the Xbox Series X provides backwards compatibility for titles released up to two decades ago. And though the PS5 offers something similar, the game library is limited to PS4 titles only. Alas, without further adieu, here is everything you need to know before making your purchase.

PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Key Points

  • What are they? Both machines are next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft, offering unparalleled visual prowess and a seamless gaming experience.
  • What are the release dates? The PS5 made its debut on November 12th for pre-orders and November 19th for the rest. Xbox Series X became available starting November 10th, 2020.
  • What titles are offered on release? While the likes of Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed will be available for both consoles, the exclusives are what truly matter. The PS5 offers some big titles right away, including the likes of Demon Souls and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. While the Xbox seemingly offered Halo Infinite, though it has been delayed for an indefinite period of time.
  • Which console packs more juice? The specs may seem quite similar, however, Microsoft has a slight upper-hand when it comes to raw computing power.
  • What will they cost? A kidney! All jokes aside, despite the performance these machines offer, they both go for $499.

The Price and Release Dates

Sony is offering its new console in two distinct editions: digital-only and the standard edition. The digital edition costs a measly $399, while the standard retains its price at $499. Furthermore, the PS5 has faced several availability issues on release, making it extremely difficult to find. Even worse, this shortage is likely to last a few more months.

The PS5 launch took place on November 12th in places like the USA, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico while the rest of the world will enjoy their console starting November 19th.

Microsoft released their consoles in a similar fashion as well, with two options to avail yourself of: Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The Xbox Series S is the more affordable yet powerful console, going for as low as $299. However, like the standard PS5, the Xbox Series X goes for $499. Both alternatives became available for pre-ordering on September 22, and as expected, they quickly sold out.

The Specs

The consoles share more similarities than their differences. That being said, there are some key differences that may influence your purchase.

The PlayStation 5 packs a custom-built 3rd generation AMD Ryzen chipset, with 8 cores alongside the big Navi GPU, running on AMD’s Zen 2 architecture. The CPU is clocked at a whopping 3.5GHz, while the GPU is at 2.33GHz, providing 36 compute units and 10.28 TFLOPs of performance. Moreover, the GPU packs a VRAM of GDDR6 16GB and a bandwidth of 448GB/s, making it finally possible to support ray tracing and native 4K resolution gaming, with the option to go for 8K as well.

The resolutions supported by the PS5 have taken a massive leap from 1080p gaming to support for 8K resolutions. Even better, gamers will now be able to play games at high refresh rates, making the gameplay super-smooth and beautiful. Compared to last-gen, the PS4 offered the bare minimum of 1080p 30fps gaming.

However, despite the amazing specs, PS5 focused solely on marketing a certain component: the SSD drive. The solid-state drive installed in the PS5 is a custom-built drive, and easily one of the fastest drives on the planet. Boasting a raw 5.5GB/s and up to 9Gb/s of compressed data, game loading times have never been snappier. Not only does this benefit the user, but it also provides developers a larger playground with fewer restrictions holding them back.

As for the peripherals, the DualSense controller is easily the most thrilling element for the PS5. The refined and adaptable haptics have replaced the old rumble technology, making it possible to simulate an endless library of sensations on the hand. From walking on a wooden floor to running across the sandy dunes of a desert, you will feel the difference. Also, the controller incorporates adaptive triggers, enabling users to feel different levels of resistance when playing the game. For instance, you can feel the tension as you continue to pull back the string of a bow.

Packing these many features, Sony has made it clear that the old DualShock 4 controller will not be compatible with the PS5.

Moving on, Microsoft continues to ensure seamless backwards compatibility, even with its controllers. But onto more pressing matters, the Xbox Series X is a beast on paper.

Similar to the PS5, it comes with the same Zen 2 and RDNA 2 Architecture, making it twice as fast as the Xbox One X. The GPU, however, is where the Xbox is simply unbeatable. The Series X boasts a whopping 12 TFLOPs of raw computational power, with 52 compute units and 3328 shaders. The GPU is clocked at 1.825GHz and stays at that speed irrespective of the system’s temperatures.

The Xbox Series X also supports 8K resolution, as well as 4K 120Hz functionality. The console also offers ray tracing capabilities and comes equipped with a lightning-fast NVMe SSD. Additionally, the SSD can also be used as virtual RAM, further decreasing load times exponentially. The RAM modules are essentially the GDDR6 variety, with a total memory of 16GB — a noticeable upgrade from last gen’s 12GB DDR5. Moreover, the mentioned specs indicate the slight difference in the power Xbox Series X possesses over PS5.

Microsoft has also implemented some incredible features such as Auto Low Latency Mode, Variable Refresh Rate support, and some improvements to the Xbox controller. Microsoft has always been pro-backwards compatibility, thus, making it possible for gamers to use their old hardware accessories. Although the controller may seem the same, it comes with some minor changes, such as a dedicated share button. And while the controller isn’t as unique as the DualSense 5, the Xbox controller is more accessible and refined.

Games and Exclusives

Starting off with the Xbox Series X, Halo Infinite will no longer be the launch title. The Halo series has always been the best-selling franchise for Microsoft. Therefore, the delay is seemingly indefinite. Even worse, the game was supposed to arrive on the Xbox Game Pass from day one. The game seemed truly amazing, with its signature gameplay and jaw-dropping visual fidelity.

With that said, the Xbox Series X boasts a lineup of Dirt 5, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on release. In a few months, you can expect to see different titles like Vampire: the Masquerade, The Medium, and Bloodlines 2. But more importantly, the announcement of Fable’s reboot, a new Forza game, and Avowed makes the Xbox Series X all the more interesting to buy down the line.

As for the PS5, Sony has clearly cemented itself as the platform with the best exclusives. The launch titles range from Astro’s Playroom and Spider-Man: Miles Morales to the remake of Demon’s Souls. Ratchet & Clank, Horizon: Forbidden West, and the next Final Fantasy game are expected to release in 2021. Even better, the next God of War game — Ragnarok, has also been confirmed, with an expected release in 2021.

While Sony does not go as far as Microsoft with its backwards compatibility, the PS5 still offers almost the entire PS4 library. Additionally, PS5 users will also be provided multiple titles for free with the PlayStation Plus Collection. The collection offers up to 20 of the best PS4 games, including the likes of God of War, Bloodborne, and Persona 5.

Verdict

Although the PS5 and Xbox Series X are incredible gaming consoles, the PlayStation 5 is the clear winner for us. Providing an entirely new controller, fresh UI, and its amazing launch line up, the Xbox Series X will require some time to compete with Sony. Needless to say, both consoles function flawlessly. Stress tests and other quality checks indicate that both consoles are almost silent when operating, extremely fast, and powerful. Nevertheless, the designs are quite peculiar for both consoles. Some may prefer the futuristic yet tall PS5, while the rest may prefer the simplistic cuboid form factor of the Xbox Series X. All in all, both consoles are worth the price tag and consider your attention. And needless to say, the generation has but just begun. Happy gaming!

Cheers,

Chrs

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