Sony PS5 vs. Microsoft Xbox Series X: The best new game console for holiday 2020

Two of the main living-room recreation console firms, Sony and Microsoft, can be preventing over no matter vacation purchasing {dollars} you will have — or no less than those who aren’t already earmarked for a Nintendo Switch. That is after we count on each the extremely anticipated PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. We already know all of the important data concerning the PS5 and Xbox Series X due to the newest updates from each firms, with costs, preorder particulars and availability. Microsoft additionally tossed a wildcard into the combination, the $300  (£250, AU$499) Xbox Series S, which is a scaled-back version of the Series X supposed for 1440p gameplay slightly than 4K.

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PS5 vs. Xbox Sequence X: Full comparability


PS5 preorders already began and sold out fast; that is regardless of the $500 (£450, AU$750) and $400 (£360, AU$600) worth tags, the latter with out an optical drive and probably the better choice of the two models. Regardless of Microsoft’s makes an attempt on the contrary, the $500 (£450, AU$749) Xbox Sequence X and the Sequence S each confronted shortages virtually instantly after their preorders started. The Sequence X and Sequence S are slated for retail availability on Nov. 10, whereas the PS5 is a pair days in a while Nov. 12. (Cannot wait that lengthy? Papercraft yourself one.) 

However if you cannot handle to preorder one, don’t let the FOMO get you down — or don’t even try.

This subsequent chapter of the console wars could also be particularly necessary. Not as a result of 8K-resolution video or ray-traced audio for extra pure sound can be must-have options, however as a result of the gaming panorama is extra sophisticated and fragmented because the final technology of bins got here out.   

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This is which new Xbox you can purchase


Along with competing with PCs, consoles now face challenges from new hardware-free cloud gaming companies corresponding to Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and Nvidia GeForce Now, in addition to Microsoft’s personal still-in-beta Project xCloud, which is a part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. To a lesser extent, in addition they compete in your time with cellular game-subscription companies corresponding to Apple Arcade.  And Sony and Microsoft are playing the game differently this time, as nicely.

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Neither of the brand new console designs was greeted sans mockery, which is humorous given that they are polar opposites: the PS5 is predominantly white, slender and curvy (which Sony’s PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan calls “bold, daring and future-facing”), and the Xbox Series X is a boxy black tower.      

Whereas the specs are fairly completely different in locations, in the end we nonetheless do not know what number of of them will translate into precise variations in expertise. For instance, it is tempting to say that the PS5’s graphics processor is much less highly effective than the Xbox’s as a result of it has fewer compute models and fewer arithmetic energy (as measured by the floating-point operations efficiency spec, aka TFLOPS). 

However the two platforms have completely different {hardware} and software program architectures, so you do not know how the parts will have an effect on their respective efficiency or visible high quality, or the place trade-offs will hit hardest. 

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Regardless of the way it balances out, although, they’ve each taken an enormous leap in energy over their predecessors. They’re based mostly round roughly related AMD Zen 2-architecture processors plus AMD Radeon Navi-generation graphics processors with 16GB of reminiscence. They each help ray-tracing, decompression acceleration, whizzy new proprietary SSD implementations and an entire lot extra. 

Toss in backward compatibility with older video games (which achieve a raise from the quicker {hardware} and applied sciences like Microsoft’s HDR reconstruction for the Xboxes), and all of this provides as much as the PS5 and Xbox Sequence X promising noticeably higher visible high quality, quicker body charges and customarily speedier operation than earlier than.    

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PS5’s extraordinarily techy presentation defined


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Except for its placing design, essentially the most novelty appears to be within the new DualSense controller. Sony has changed rumble with extra sensation-specific haptic suggestions and adaptive triggers, which can ship a a lot better gaming expertise so long as builders decide to help them; the one title for which it was talked about was Insomniac’s Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart. Plus, it is received new audio system and mics for chat and a USB-C connection. The PS5 is leaping to solid-state storage, too, making it a greater match for big recreation downloads. 

Whereas lots of its upcoming titles overlap with the Xbox’s, it does have quite a few exclusives, together with Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Forbidden West (the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn), Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, plus timed exclusives for a great variety of new titles. 

On the draw back, the PS5 has a comparatively small 825GB solid-state drive. Its NVMe SSD enlargement slot is standard-ish, however as a result of it wants to satisfy particular house, thermal and energy necessities, Sony might want to validate it, and we can’t know till a while after launch what you should utilize or how a lot it’s going to value.

At $400, the digital-only mannequin does supply a barely cheaper price than each the $500 PS5 and the Xbox Sequence X if you need the complete 4K expertise, however the Sequence S’ $300 tag appears to be like awfully enticing in case your main want is to economize.

Read our ongoing coverage of the PS5.


The Xbox Sequence X appears to be like like a bookshelf speaker slightly than the DVD-player-esque Xbox One line. Microsoft has additionally talked about its controller enhancements, that are extra about lowering latency (with its Dynamic Latency Enter tech) than tweaking really feel and suggestions like Sony. One other new characteristic Microsoft’s touting is Smart Delivery, which precludes you from having to pay to play a recreation on the Xbox One for those who’ve already ponied up for a Sequence X model, and it’ll routinely serve up the proper model in your field.

One of many massive benefits of the Xbox Sequence X could also be Xbox Sport Cross; at its occasion, Microsoft stated that every one the new titles can be obtainable with XGP from day one.

Read our ongoing coverage of the Xbox Series X.

As all the time, nevertheless, the games drive a lot of the actual curiosity, particularly those who can be obtainable at launch. And worth is vital, too, not only for the bins however for the video games, potential bundles and ancillary add-ons; as an example, the Seagate 1TB SSD storage add-on makes use of a proprietary design, which makes it more expensive than we’d like at $220.   

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Video games

Table of Contents

 Titles slated to launch within a month of the 2 Xbox consoles embody:

There are quite a lot of PlayStation “exclusives” — restricted home windows wherein they will not be on Xbox, Nintendo Swap or PC that’s — although a handful will solely be on the PS5. These expected out by end of 2020 are in daring:

Just a few can be PlayStation — i.e., PS4 and PS5 — exclusives:

Be aware that these aren’t complete lists and there is overlap between the 2 platforms for large titles and franchises.

Confirmed specs

PlayStation 5 Xbox Sequence X
Processor 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU at as much as 3.5GHz 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)
Graphics AMD Navi/RDNA 2-family GPU with 36 CU as much as 2.23 GHz (10.Three TFLOPS, FP unit unknown) AMD Navi/RDNA 2-family GPU with 52 CU at 1.825GHz (12TFLOPS FP32)
Video reminiscence 16GB GDDR6 with 256-bit interface (448GB/sec) 16GB GDDR6 with 14Gbps 320-bit interface (10GB at 560GB/s allotted to GPU, 6GB at 336GB/s allotted to remainder of system with 3.5GB for GPU)
Storage 825GB SSD at 5.5-9GB/sec; NVMe SSD slot; help for USB HDD 1TB NVMe SSD PCIe 4.0; proprietary 1TB SSD add-on module; USB 3.2 exterior HDD help
Optical drive Sure, 4K Blu-ray Sure, 4K Blu-ray
Most output decision 8K 60fps; 4K 120fps 8K 60fps; 4K 120fps
Audio 3D, accelerated by customized Tempest Engine {hardware}; for headphones solely at launch, supplemented by digital encompass for speaker audio Ray traced
New controller options Haptic suggestions, adaptive triggers, USB-C connector Share button, Dynamic Latency Enter
VR help Sure, appropriate with PSVR headset unknown
Console streaming Sure (Distant Play) Sure (Console Streaming)
Backward compatibility PS4 video games, some peripherals Xbox One and supported Xbox 360 and Xbox video games
Subscription tie-in PS Now Xbox Sport Cross, Xbox Sport Cross Final
Dimensions 15.Four x 4.1 (3.6) x 10.2 in/390 x 104 (92) x 260 mm 5.9 x 5.9 x 11.9 in/151 x 151 x 301 mm
Preorders begin Now Sept. 22
Launch date Nov. 12 Nov. 10
Value With optical drive: $500, £450, AU$750; with out optical drive: $400, £360, AU$600 $500, £450, AU$749

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Lori Grunin