It’s time for the PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X battle to begin. After a long and successful console generation, it’s almost time for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to ride off into the sunset. As the consoles fade into history, new challengers will enter the arena. With their arrival, a new console war will begin, ushering in the next generation of gaming.
We don’t have all of the information about the two consoles, but we know enough to get our imaginations running wild about what the next generation of consoles could be. In fact, we’re going to run through everything we know so far to make it easier to decide which upcoming platform might be worth spending your hard-earned money on.
What’s in a name? Realistically, the name of the console is nothing more than a tool for marketing. Unfortunately, Microsoft has elected to make its marketing a little confusing by calling the console the Xbox Series X. Technically, Microsoft said the name of the next console is simply Xbox, and the Series X is one model within the Xbox line.
A Microsoft representative spoke to Business Insider and said, “Similar to what fans have seen with previous generations, the name ‘Xbox Series X’ allows room for additional consoles in the future.”
Until it plays out and we see how Microsoft brands future interations of the Xbox, the name will remain a bit confusing. Still, if done correctly, it could make the smaller jumps between console generations better than the last generation. There, we had the Xbox One, the Xbox One S, and Xbox One X, which make it a bit complicated.
Sony has decided to keep things simple, calling its next-generation gaming platform the PlayStation 5 (or PS5). Seeing as it’s the fifth generation PlayStation console, it’s a name that makes sense. Should Sony decide to iterate on the console with a slightly more powerful model, it could follow the same trend as the current generation and call it a PlayStation 5 Pro.
While not necessarily the most critical aspect of a game console, the way the device looks on a TV stand will undoubtedly alter the decision-making process. Both consoles have very striking designs that don’t look anything like the current generation of video game hardware.
Sony has opted for a very futuristic console design that is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s quite striking, with a white and black design that will certainly stand out on any TV stand. It has a rather unusual shape, with a winged design that looks like something out of the future.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot we don’t know about the console’s design. Specifically, we don’t know how big it is yet. It appears to be rather large (there have been size mockups estimating that it’s as long as 16-inches, but these haven’t been verified), and if that ends up being the case, it could allow the console disperse heat better than the PS4, keeping it cooler and quieter.
The console will come with two different models at launch. There will be a version that features a disc drive for playing physical games and other media, whereas the other will be a digital only version with no disc drive.
Read more: PlayStation 5 – here’s what you need to know
Xbox Series X
Microsoft has also chosen a rather attractive design for the Xbox Series X. It altogether forgoes the shape we’re used to for a modern video game console and instead features a long, thin design. It will undoubtedly stand out on an entertainment center, as most consumers won’t have any other devices that look quite like the new Xbox.
As far as the official size of the console, Microsoft hasn’t said, and no one has put their hands on the console to measure it. There have been reports that the console is 15.1cm x 15.1cm x 30.1cm, but these have not been confirmed and could be different when the console officially launches.
Unlike the PS5, we don’t know if there will be an all-digital version of the Xbox Series X at launch. All of the images released of the console so far show it with an optical drive. Still, Microsoft did eventually release an all-digital version of the Xbox One, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the company do the same for the Xbox Series X at some point.
Read more: Xbox Series X – Everything you need to know
We’ve seen the designs of both controllers in the PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X battle, and they both look promising.
The PlayStation 5’s controller looks like a bit more of a departure from the previous generation than the Xbox Series X’s. The controller, which Sony calls the DualSense, seems quite comfortable.
The new controller maintains the parallel joysticks for which Sony’s controllers are known, but it changes just about everything else about the controller.
Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X looks incredibly similar to the Xbox One’s controller. It’s so identical that players can use the original Xbox One controller to play games on the Series X, as Microsoft announced that hardware is backward compatible.
The most significant departure comes from the addition of a new button in the middle. It also gets a d-pad that looks similar to the one that was available on the Elite controller. Microsoft says that the controller will accommodate a broader range of hand sizes, which is always a good thing.
Console specs and performance
One of the most significant factors that’ll help gamers decide which console is right for them is the specs. These numbers go a long way towards determining what kind of experiences game developers will be able to create for the console. It’s not the only factor that determines how games will run, but it definitely matters.
Sony recently did a system architecture deep-dive, and it provided all sorts of information on the hardware that the PS5 will contain. It will come with a 3.5GHz 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor, an AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 10.28 teraflops, 16GB of RAM, an 825GB SSD, expandable storage support, and a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive (on the console with a drive).
With all that power, the PS5 is slated to support ray-tracing, which is vital for a next-generation gaming platform. The technology allows the console to improve significantly light and shadows displayed during gameplay.
Xbox Series X
For the Xbox Series X, gamers will find an AMD Zen 2 CPU and as well as a custom AMD Navi-based GPU with 12 teraflops. It will come with a 1TB NVMe SSD and 16GB GDDR6 RAM.
Ray-tracing is supported out-of-the-box, which is a new technology that’s already making waves in PC gaming. Microsoft also said that frame rates up to 120FPS are possible with the hardware it’s offering. The company also talked about the potential of 8K video, though there are few displays available that support such a high resolution.
Sony had an event where it announced a ton of games. We have the entire list of PlayStation 5 games available so far, and there some releases announced already. Quite a few of the games announced are coming after launch, with many games slated to launch well into 2021.
What will make deciding between the two consoles hard is the exclusives, as those are the games you won’t be able to play should you choose the other console. With that in mind, here are the confirmed PS5 exclusives announced so far:
- Horizon Forbidden West
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Gran Turismo 7
- Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
- Demon’s Souls
- Project Athia
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Astro’s Playroom
- Destruction AllStars
Xbox Series X
Microsoft hasn’t had its main game event just yet, so the list of formally announced games available for the console isn’t as robust as Sony’s, but we still know of a few games.
For anyone looking for exclusives, here are the ones we know of on the Xbox Series X (most of these are console exclusive, meaning they will also come to PC, but not PS5):
- Halo Infinite
- The Medium
- Call Of The Sea
- The Ascent
Hopefully, we’ll have a bigger list of exclusives once Microsoft has its event in July. Keep in mind there’s also tons of cross-platform games and more. Also just because the PS5 has announced more exclusives at the moment, doesn’t mean it’ll be that way when both consoles launch.
PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X Backward compatibility
A key factor for many gamers when picking between the two consoles is whether their existing library of games will work on their new machines. Both companies have revealed some information on their Backward compatibility policies, and we’d expect to find out even more details as we inch closer to the launch of the new hardware.
Sony hasn’t spelled out its backward compatibility plan to the letter just yet, only stating that it “believes an overwhelming majority” of games from the PS4 will play on the PS5. The company also mentioned that games would receive a performance bump when played in the PS5, though Sony has not released many details about what sorts of bumps we will see.
For the PS5 (and previous generations), Sony has made it clear that it believes in hard jumps between console cycles. While it does appear to be relaxing on that policy a bit, the company did reiterate this at the end of its recent event.
We do believe in generations, and whether it’s the DualSense controller, whether it’s the 3D audio, whether it’s the multiple ways that the SSD can be used… we are thinking that it is time to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5.
Xbox Series X
Microsoft has been very upfront about its backward compatibility policy, stating that the console will play every Xbox One game available, as well as all the Xbox 360 and original Xbox games that played on the Xbox One. Microsoft also says that games will look better on the Xbox Series X than they did on the Xbox One, with HDR support automatically being added to older titles.
The company is also touting a feature called Smart Delivery that makes it so cross-generation games will only need to be purchased once to work on both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
Additionally, accessories made for the Xbox One will work with the Xbox Series X, which is a nice bonus for anyone who spent big money on devices like the Elite controller.
Price and release date
While no shortage of leaks and rumors have found themselves on the internet, the most believed price leak for the console is $499.
Unfortunately, Sony hasn’t announced a price or release date for the PlayStation 5 just yet. We know the console is coming in the holiday season of 2020, but the company hasn’t narrowed it down further with an exact date. That applies to preorders as well.
The most prevalent rumored release date for the PS5 is November 20th, 2020, but we’ll need to wait until Sony confirms that before we spend the night camping in front of the local GameStop.
While no shortage of leaks and rumors have found themselves on the internet, the most believed price leak for the console is $499 for the version with a disc drive and $399 for the digital-only release, but that’s still just a rumor (though it is a price point that would be very competitive).
Xbox Series X
One appealing rumor suggests that the console could release at $399.
Things have been quiet as far as the price and release date for the Xbox Series X. Like the PS5, Holiday 2020 is a release window for the Xbox Series X, but Microsoft has yet to get any more specific.
As far as price is concerned, all sorts of rumored numbers have popped up, but none have been verified. One appealing rumor suggests that the console could release at $399, mainly to undercut the PlayStation 5. Another group believes that the console will launch at $499 since that’s the price at which the original Xbox One and Xbox One X launched.
Playstation 5 vs Xbox Series X
At the end of the day, choosing between the two consoles is a personal choice and it’s way too early to declare one system better than the other. Both bring a lot of the table, and both are shaping up to be fantastic pieces of hardware.
There are so many small factors to consider, and based on what we know so far, neither choice will be incorrect. Perhaps you like the feel of one controller better. Maybe your friends prefer one console over the other, making it easier for you to take part in multiplayer sessions.
In the end, the winners of the PlayStation 5 vs. Xbox Series X battle are the gamers, as we’re looking at the chance to play two solid new consoles shortly, and that’s a win. Which one you choose will come down to your preferences, but you can’t go wrong with either.