PS5 Vs XBox Series X - Sony and Microsoft are Ready for Another Battle

Sony and Microsoft are ready for another battle of the consoles come the festive period and things look very different for the new generation. Here’s everything you need to know about both

PS5 Vs XBox Series X


PLAYSTATION 5
 

 There’s no denying it. 2020 has been a turbulent year. And now, for the first time since the original grey game changer 25 years ago, Sony is launching a console generation with a colorful box. Well, monochrome and some blue lighting. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
 
 The PS5 has finally been revealed with a striking design in two flavors. If you’re buying a next-gen console for access to 4K Blu-rays as well as games, you’ll want the full-fat version with the UHD disc drive, but if you’ve chosen a physical-media-free future, there’s a slightly slimmer Digital Edition. This should also slim down the wad of cash you’ll be handing over but no pricing has been revealed as yet.
 
So what’s inside the so-clearly designed-for-maximum-airflow box? On paper, the PS5’s internals looks strikingly similar to the Xbox Series X. Both have a custom eight-core Zen2 CPU, custom AMD RDNA 2 graphics card, 16GB of GDDR6 RAM and even custom SSDs but that’s where the similarities stop and the word custom comes into play.
 
 Sony and Microsoft have very different approaches to console architecture. To save breaking down the silicon-based granularities of lead system architect Mark Cerny’s PS5 conference earlier this year, it’s fair to say that Sony’s focus is on processing power with a 3.5Ghz processor – oh hello ray tracing – but also on ease of use for developers. The PS5 has what’s known as a variable frequency to make the most of the GPU and CPUs respectively when necessary for those ultimate Spidey-swinging-4K moments.
 
 
 The PS5 will be hitting 10.3 teraflops but don’t write off Sony’s console as the loser just because Microsoft says it has the power for 12. Teraflops, a handy measure of graphical performance now being used as a weapon in the console war, aren’t the be-all and end all and are entirely reliant on the rest of the system working together. The CPU and GPU aren’t the only things that matter and Sony’s other big focus is that custom SSD. Cerny has confirmed that in comparison to the moving parts of the traditional hard drive found in the PS4, the PS5’s SSD read speed is faster by two orders of magnitude. Yes, that’s 100 times speedier than the current generation if you wondered why everyone was crowing about the lack of loading screens.
 
 And, if you’re concerned about filling up that 825GB of storage space, while you will be able to install individual segments of games, the PS5 supports expandable storage with a standard NVMe SSD slot. Just don’t expect the extra GBs to be particularly cheap or even readily available initially, as the SSD will need to be PS5 compatible with a PCIe 4.0 interface.
 
 Another huge change for PS5 is Sony’s commitment to 3D audio via what’s known as the Tempest Engine. While the PSVR has been Sony’s greatest achievement so far when it comes to sound from 50 individual audio sources, this new revolutionary innovation allows for hundreds of sources. In his presentation Cerny used rainfall as an example. Previously only available as a single audio track on PS4, PS5 could bring weather to life in an all new way with the sound of individual raindrops. Perfect then for Sony’s newly announced Pulse 3D Wireless headset, which looks like it’s not going to stay that shade of white for long. 
 
 
sony ps5 exclusive new tech
 
 
And finally, there’s the DualSense controller. Switching up the Share button for a Create button, with a built-in mic and upgraded to a USB-C charging port, the DualSense isn’t just a pretty set of face buttons. Haptic feedback on the triggers means that firing different weapons and even exploring environments will feel entirely unique. Of course, we’ll also need the DualSense for exploring that teased 100% overhaul of the PS4 interface.
 
 Plus, if you don’t like the current color scheme of the controller or the console, don’t panic. Vice president of PS5 UX design Matt MacLaurin has confirmed that we “can count on even more beautiful (and hopefully radical) special editions” in the future. You’ll just have to see if you can hold out. Good luck. The Xbox Series X means business. If the PS5 has run in the opposite direction from the expected black box console design, Microsoft has turned around and embraced it. No social distancing required here, thank you very much. Microsoft’s next-generation console is a stark monolith with a UHD 4K Blu-ray disc drive. While a digital-only version hasn’t yet been revealed, Xbox Series X is actually only one part of an Xbox ‘family’ of devices. This would mean it’s not outside of the realms of possibility for a disc-free version to arrive in the not-sodistant future.
 
 Just like the PS5, we only have a Holiday release date to go on and Microsoft has been equally tight-lipped in terms of the price of the console. As the Xbox One sold so badly in its first few years in comparison to PS4, head of Xbox Phil Spencer and co aren’t planning on making the same mistakes again. In an interview with The Verge last year Spencer made this clear, saying: “We will not be out of position on power or price.” But while we don’t know much about the latter, we do have a lot of information on the former and the Xbox Series X is a tantalizing prospect.
 
 Similar to Sony’s box, the console is running 8 Zen 2 cores but at a slightly higher 3.8Ghz than the PS5’s 3.5. Not only that but, as mentioned, it’s also touting 12 teraflops of power with its custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU, making the Xbox Series X officially on par with the more expensive end of the Nvidia graphics card line-up. Just like the PS5, this is supplemented by 16GB of RAM to ensure that everything can run as fast as possible to try and hit those lofty 120fps 4K goals. 
 
When it comes to performance, Microsoft’s ray tracing demos have already been a light-defining treat. It wouldn’t be the first game you’d think of but Minecraft transforms from its blocky cartoonish ways into a gloriously reflective world of touchable realism. It’s important to say though that ray tracing is exceptionally draining on processing power. Neither the Xbox Series X nor the PS5 will be wall-to wall ray tracing with 60fps or 120fps gameplay. Even the beefiest gaming PCs find this a challenge, so expect lower frame rates where ray tracing is involved. 
 
 
sony new tech ps5 exclusive
 
 
Storage wise, the Xbox Series X sneaks in an extra 175GB over Sony’s SSD offering with a full 1TB of space, which will be much appreciated when it comes to chunky new generation game downloads. A slower read speed of 2.4GB per second compared to Sony’s searing 5.5GB isn’t holding the console back though. A side-by-side demo showing off State of Decay 2 loading on both the Xbox One X and Series X shows an incredible difference between the two. The Series X drops into the game 10 seconds after hitting play, while the previous generation loads for almost a full minute. No more making cups of tea after hitting go then.
 
When it comes to storage expansion, Microsoft has opted for a proprietary system and has teamed up with Seagate to offer extra offerings of 1TB at a time. These can then be slotted into the back of the console. If you’re playing Xbox One or 360 games though, you’ll still be able to play these from a standard HDD. Last but not least is the Smart Delivery system. While Xbox isn’t adding any fancy bells and whistles to its controller or even making a massive UI overhaul, Smart Delivery will effectively change the way we upgrade to new generation games. Microsoft is promising that if you buy a game on the Xbox One, you will automatically have it on Xbox Series X when it launches there. What Microsoft is calling your ‘entire game legacy’ – and not your pile of shame – will move with you to the next generation. Pick up Assassin’s Creed Valhalla for Xbox One X and it’s yours on Series X for free and all your save games will port too. Combine this with Microsoft’s Game Pass service, where hundreds of games are available for a monthly fee, and the Series X will have an impressive selection of games at launch.  

XBOX SERIES X EXCLUSIVES

A new Halo for launch means Microsoft is entering the next generation battle all guns blazing  

HALO: INFINITE  His green-armored-ness is back for the sixth game in the Halo series. Coming to Xbox Game Pass on launch – a lovely flex from Microsoft – Master Chief is returning with all new technology for Series X. The Slipspace engine has been designed to deliver more emotional performances than ever before.

 
 

SENUA’S SAGA: HELLBLADE 2

Ninja Theory’s original Hellblade is a tour de-force of an action-adventure game with a strong focus on mental health. The trailer for Senua’s sequel doesn’t give much away other than the fact that it’s on its way but pencil in 2021 for another dark journey on Xbox Series X. 
 
sony new tech image 2
 

 SCORN Horror doesn’t get much more HR Giger-influenced than Scorn. From the minds at Ebb Software, this atmospheric first-person experience describes itself as non-linear and dreamlike but it looks a lot more like a nightmare. Expect confusion and bad dreams when it arrives later this year.

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