Sony PlayStation 5 vs. Microsoft Xbox Series X: Comparing before They Come
This year is to be a big one in gaming, due to the new console generation to come. It would have been even bigger if Microsoft and Sony took their time and released their consoles before the COVID-19 got so many of us staying in. But still, the consoles are on their way, and their specs are slowly getting revealed.
Now the vendors have done most of the work, and the announcements have been done. If nothing as unexpected happens, both consoles are to hit the stores by the winter holidays. While visions of the 9th-gen dance in our heads, let’s see which sugarplum is sweeter.
Here are the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and each one is stronger than the previous generation. But how do they compare? Despite we still lack a lot of facts (like both Xbox Series X and Sony PS 5 release date and price), there are already enough leaks and announces to come to some conclusions. So, let’s start wide.
This Is the World We Live In
The landscape of the gaming world has changed dramatically since the previous generation took over. And it’s not about resolution and performance, and not about consoles at all. It’s great to support 8K with the newest TVs, or to have hardware ray tracing, or to exceed them all in memory.
But suddenly it turns out not so necessary. First of all, mobile games (that were poor and even miserable in terms of revenue back then) are now a thing in its own right. Even TV boxes are now quite a gaming class of devices. There are lots of control devices and games for Android boxes. Apple TV is now compatible with console gamepads. There are even special mobile gamepads that revive the experience of Sony PSP.
The PC sector is way more vivid now, too. Cryptocurrency boom caused video card boom, and then disappointed home miners started selling the cards out. So now a decent (though a bit used) graphic card is easy to find cheaper than expected. On the other hand, Windows 10 has become a default PC OS, and it is here to stay, with no major change required. It all makes developing games for OC easier. Steam, Uplay and others, in their turn, offer an affordable and worthy alternative to pirate editions. All in all, it makes PC quite a platform of choice for many developers, publishers, and players alike.
And, to turn it all into a land of confusion, there is cloud gaming. You don’t have to own your own beast of a device: enjoy it on a cloud where your games are. So, is powerful hardware all that consoles have to impress?
And These Are the Games We’re Given
As for content, the world is now even more complicated than in terms of platforms. The diffusion of games and cinema or TV series is not so strong as expected. On the other hand, games get just as important on their own, both in terms of popularity and influence.
Indie games are flourishing, both on PC and mobiles, making their way onto consoles as well. It gets much easier to start one, though, with Steam Early Access and then port it to other platforms with concept refined and feedback granted.
Games also evolve from forcing money out of users to making nonviolent offers they nevertheless can’t refuse. Everyone seems to start their subscription services, from Apple and Google to Nvidia and even Discord. Players seem quite hungry for it, and publishers don’t mind participating. The good news for the console world is that Microsoft and Sony have also developed their own subscription plans.
Make It a Place Worth Fighting For
So, what do the rivals bring to this fight in all-interactive environment? Let’s see anything we have a little notion of. In particular, we don’t know the final design of any device; what we have been shown are just concepts or unconfirmed leaks. The official PS 5 trailer showed some technical information and visual capabilities, leaving the looks off screen. But some other aspects are quite clear.
While both Sony PS5 and Series X switch to SSD from HDD, it will boost the performance for both consoles. They also both are based on AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU, with AMD Radeon Navi family GPU. Xbox may have RDNA as an option as well. RAM details haven’t been revealed yet. As for the output, both consoles will provide either 4K at 120Hz, or 8K at 60Hz.
There is nothing revealed about SSD capacity, as well as RAM and video memory so far. But probably both devices will have enough. Both consoles will come with a Blu-ray drive (a necessary step to ensure players still have their discs for the previous generation). In addition, players will probably have some basic cloud options included. Other features will include 3D audio (supported by ray tracing modules).
Controllers and Other Peripherals
While it’s a pure matter of taste which gamepad is better, this year Sony may outdo the rival with the new controller. It will probably be named DualShock 5, and, instead of rumble, it will feature adaptive triggers and a haptic feedback with wider options. The connector is finally updated to USB-C. The speakers are also new (though there’s rarely a developer that actually utilizes them). As for Microsoft, it rather tends to make the experience smoother by reducing latency, though it also intends to provide more freedom in haptic feedback.
Sony has a powerful reason for those into VR: the existing PSVR will be fully compatible with PS5. Microsoft has nothing to reply with, as Windows-compatible VR headsets are not yet integrated with the Xbox.
Both consoles can function as servers, streaming video to external devices (tablets, desktops, even mobiles) and fetching inputs from them. There may be something new from Xbox or PlayStation software, based on new features that haven’t yet been announced.
No console makes sense without games, but few have been confirmed so far. There are Godfall (for PS5) and Halo: Infinite and Cyberpunk 2077 for Xbox Series X. Anyway, absolutely most new titles will be released for both consoles.
As for backward compatibility, Sony has already promised it for PS4 titles. But Microsoft goes further, granting compatibility with the newest Xbox console for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. It doesn’t mean that the Microsoft platform will fall short of exclusives or new titles at all; but if you feel nostalgic, you won’t have to search your attic for the good old 360.
The two companies are quite aware of the platform vagueness ruling the world now. Probably the competition will unfold around services, accessories, and overall experience, rather than separate titles.
Of course, both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 release date may be shifted, due to all the unexpected factors of 2020. But if so, we’ll know it first.
And what about you? Which console would you rather have next to your TV? Maybe, you are so far satisfied with your current one? Or prefer Nintendo Switch that delivers great games without hardware upgrades? Or play too casually to think of that? Anyway, we’ll appreciate it if you leave a comment with what you have to say.
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