Sony PS5 vs Xbox Series X Preview: Who Will Win the Next Generation Console Battle?
On 11 June 2020, Sony released more information about the next-generation PlayStation 5 console, a day after Microsoft had their own announcement about the Xbox Series X.
And boy are we excited.
If you read our game console price comparison, you would know that Sony is currently ahead, as the Sony PlayStation 4 console is the fourth best selling console of all time with an estimated 108.9 million units sold.
While the Microsoft Xbox One way behind at a distant 15th place with only an estimated 46.9 million units sold.
The onus is on Microsoft to take the game to Sony, but which console will be better for you?
Here is all we know so far.
Tl;DR: Sony PS5 vs Xbox Series X Preview and Comparison
Sony PS5 Xbox Series X
Processor (CPU) 8-core 3.5 GHz AMD Zen 2 8-core, 3.8 GHz AMD Zen 2
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) 10.3 teraflops AMD RDNA 2 12 teraflops AMD RDNA 2
RAM 16 GB GDDR6 16 GB GDDR6
Storage 825 GB custom SSD 1 TB custom NVMe SSD
Resolution Up to 8K Up to 8K
Maximum Frame Rate Up to 4K/120 fps Up to 4K/120 fps
Audio 3D audio with Sony's Tempest Engine 3D audio with Microsoft's ray-tracing technology
Optical Disc Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray (only for the 'standard edition') 4K UHD Blu-ray
Price To be announced
Launch Date October - December 2020
We will be comparing these aspects of both consoles to get a better idea of how they stack up:
- Xbox Series X and Sony PS5 key specifications
- Xbox Series X and Sony PS5 price and launch dates
- Xbox Series X and Sony PS5 design and hardware
- Xbox Series X and Sony PS5 platform exclusive games
- Xbox Series X and Sony PS5 backwards compatibility
- Xbox Series X and Sony PS5 subscription services
- Xbox Series X and Sony PS5 virtual reality
Sony PS5 Specifications vs Xbox Series X Specifications
Sony will be launch two versions of their PS5: A ‘standard’ edition with a 4K Ultra HD Bluray disk drive and a ‘digital’ edition with the drive.
As for Microsoft, they will be launching only one version of the Xbox Series X for now.
When it comes down to the specifications, a comparison will be too premature as the consoles are not even out yet. However, on paper, these consoles are very similar, with the Xbox Series X edging the PS5 with its more powerful GPU.
The PS5 is rated at 10.28 teraflops (TFLOPS) (unit used to measure graphics processing power) and while the Xbox One X is rated at 12.18 TFLOPS.
However, the consoles share more similarities then differences as both use custom processors built by AMD and are capable of ray tracing (a lighting technique and technology that adds more realism to games) and playing games at 4K/120 frames per second (FPS).
I would think that this difference in specifications is more academic as the real-life performance and experience would be rather similar between both consoles.
But one thing is for sure, these consoles are much more powerful than the previous generation consoles.
PS5 Price and Launch Date and Xbox Series X Price and Launch Date
Unfortunately, the pricing for both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X has yet to be released.
The PS5 will be priced at US$499 (S$694). Although in Singapore, electronics come at a premium so I would think the price would be more than S$700.
I would think that the Xbox Series X will be similarly priced so start saving and put aside at least S$700 if you want these consoles at launch.
But, the estimated launch dates for these consoles is Holiday 2020 which will be around Oct 2020 to Dec 2020.
We will continue to update this article if there is any further information.
Design and Hardware
Let’s talk about the design and hardware for a second.
Xbox Series X Design
From what I’ve seen of the press release photos and hands-on of Xbox Series X, the design is largely a monolithic rectangular block.
The Series X is designed to be placed vertically and horizontally and features a minimalist design, clean look and smooth matte finish.
The grille at the top for the vents is a nice touch and fits in well with the overall design.
The design is quite functional as you can easily fit the small console which measures 30.1cm tall and 15.1cm deep and wide into most TV consoles.
However, I find that the design is a bit boring.
Xbox Series X Controller Design
In terms of the controller, Microsoft has not changed the tried and tested design much.
There is only a slight improvement to the controller’s ergonomics as well as a new share button in the centre. They have also changed the d-pad to an 8-way design and a USB-C connection.
Sony PS5 Design
Compared to the Series X, the design for the PS5 is night and day. The more reserved Xbox design in matte black is contrasted with the bold futuristic design of the PS5 in white and black.
Between the standard edition and the digital edition, you will notice that the digital edition is slimmer and much more symmetrical.
Some commentators have noted that this looks a bit like the Xbox 360.
Personally, I prefer the PS5 design as it is more modern and sleek. What I like about the shape of the console is that it just flows naturally kind of like a tulip.
Sony definitely took more risks with this and I think it had paid off.
However, what I don’t like about the design is that the disk drive makes it look thick and unrefined.
However, Sony has yet to release the dimensions of the PS5.
Sony PS5 DualSense Controller
The two-tone colour scheme extends to the PS5’s DualSense controller. Unlike Microsoft, Sony has come up with a fresh new design which is wildly different from the PS4 DualShock controller.
There is a built-microphone. 3.5mm jack and a USB-C connection for charging and the like.
As for buttons, thee share button was revamped to a create button as well as the addition of adaptive L2 and R2 triggers.
Platform Exclusive Games
Specifications are important and all but what might make or breaks a console for gamers is its platform-exclusive games.
Xbox Series X Exclusive Games
It is still early days but here are the confirmed platform exclusive games so far:
- Halo Infinite
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 (sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice)
- The Medium
Look out for the upcoming Xbox 20/20 showcase which will probably feature more game announcements and a deeper look at fan favourite Halo Infinite.
Sony PS5 Exclusive Games
Sony always had the lead when it comes to PlayStation 5 exclusives.
Alongside the PlayStation 5 launch, there were a few console-exclusive game announcements:
- Demon’s Souls
- Destruction AllStars
- Ghostwire: Tokyo
- Gran Turismo 7
- Horizon: Forbidden West (sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn)
- Project Athia
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Right off the bat, Sony seems to be in the lead, although we are excited to see what Xbox might come up with.
This is where Sony fall behind as the Xbox Series X has more backwards compatibility although you can still play many of the older Sony PlayStation games.
Xbox Series X Backwards Compatibility and Game Delivery
The Series X will be able to play all Xbox One Games and some Xbox 360 and the original Xbox games.
Do note that the original Xbox games and Xbox 360 games that can be played on the Xbox One can also be played on the Series X
What sets the series X apart further is the Game Delivery feature. If you currently have an Xbox One, you will be given the Xbox Series X version of your game when you upgrade.
Sony PS5 Backwards Compatibility
However, the PS5 will only be able to run PS4 games.
This includes the PS4 Pro titles that were optimised for that console. Currently, Sony “believes an overwhelming majority” of PS4 games can be played on the PS5 and should be available for the PS5 launch.
Playstations Subscription Service vs Xbox Subscription Services
Looking ahead, the future of gaming seems more and more wrapped up with subscription services.
The Xbox Game Pass has been pretty revolutionary. Dubbed the ‘Netflix of Gaming,’ a subscription to the Game Pass will allow you to play a 100 over quality Xbox games. This includes titles on launch day as well.
In contrast, PlayStation Now adopts a different approach as the service focuses on cloud-based game streaming. You can download some PS4 and PS2 games on PS while PS3 games can only be streamed.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X — Virtual Reality
This is the case of the have and the have nots.
The PS5 takes the lead in the area of virtual reality (VR) games as the console will support the PlayStation VR headset and hopefully its library of games. There might be even a new PSVR headset in the future!
In contrast, the Xbox series never had a VR headset and there has been no news about an Xbox Series X VR headset.
Playstations Subscription Services vs Xbox Subscription Services
Looking ahead, the future of gaming and online games seems more and more wrapped up with subscription services.
The Xbox Game Pass has been pretty revolutionary. Dubbed the ‘Netflix of Gaming,’ a subscription to the Game Pass will allow you to download and play over 100 Xbox and PC games.
In contrast, PlayStation Now adopts a different approach as the service focuses on cloud-based game streaming. You can download PS4 and PS2 games on PS Now while PS3 games can only be streamed.
From initial impressions, the Xbox Series X and PS5 seem to have many similarities, although there is still a lot we do not know about the consoles.
As the consoles become more similar hardware-wise, I would think that it becomes less of a differentiator.
Rather, it is stuff like access to streaming games, the platform-exclusive titles and the gaming eco-system that will make the difference.
Food For Thought
The consoles that will be released at the end of the year are not cheap with leaks suggesting it will cost S$700 plus at launch.
Jump in the discussion and give your take about this issue with our friendly SeedlyCommunity!