PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Which new console should you get?

By Aaron Potter | | 501 |

While it might seem strange to already compared two consoles months ahead of their official release, the fact of the matter is that so much information regarding PS5 and Xbox Series X is out there, that it’s really not too tough a task to do so. Both consoles, for instance, will be arriving sometime in Holiday 2020, touting more powerful graphics processors, increased storage and even the ability to render games at 8K quality.

These few features represent just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X up the ante compared to their predecessors. In this extensive advice guide we’ll pit both consoles against one another, exploring everything from software to specs, in the attempt to dissect how they compare. What’s more, we’ll continue to update this post throughout the year as we learn more, which will most certainly be the case as we head ever closer to release.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Specs

Arguably the biggest question most people have with regards to the new consoles is what both are packing under the hood tech-wise. And to this Microsoft has been a lot more open about what to expect than Sony has with PlayStation 5, but we already know that the two will mark a significant step up with that’s come before. To prove this, we’ve rounded up all the confirmed spec details, so take a look for yourself:

Specs PlayStation 5 Xbox Series X
Storage Custom SSD Custom NVMe SSD
Processor Custom 8-core AMD Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2
Power 9 teraflops 12 teraflops
Memory TBA GDDR6 up to 16GB
Supports 8K? Yes Yes
Backwards Compatible Yes Yes
Ray Tracing Yes Yes

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Graphics

Halo Infinite Master Chief helmet

While much is still unknown about the graphic capabilities of PS5 and Xbox One, one factor that has been confirmed is that both PS5 and Xbox Series X will utilise an 8-core custom processor manufactured by AMD. Sony has said that this will allow their forthcoming new console to deliver “dramatically improved graphics rendering” power compared to what we saw with PS4, and a lot of this is due to the console’s “improved computational power and a customised ultra-fast, broadband SSD”, as Sony also stated in a 2019 strategy meeting.

Things are also on the up and up in terms of graphics for the Xbox Series X, where a staggering 12 teraflops of power will see it best the Xbox One X (Microsoft’s current most powerful console) by quite some way. Ray Tracing is a fast up and coming technology, for instance, popular on PC that the current-gen consoles tend to struggle with. However, with an 8-core processor and 12 teraflops of power the Xbox Series X will be able to render particles, lighting effects and explosions more believably than ever before.

The big headline feature for both consoles, at least when it comes to graphics, is that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be able to render games in impressive 8K quality in specific cases. It’s already been stated, though, by both manufacturers that it’ll be up to the developers whether they choose to harness this capability. Obviously only PS4 and Xbox One X owners can currently play games at 4K natively, but when PS5 and Xbox Series X release everyone will have the ability to experience double that.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Design

The Xbox Series X made huge waves during 2019’s The Game Awards when the look of the console was officially revealed. Most surprising was how Microsoft decided to showcase it in an upright position as opposed to the horizontal design of old. It looks most similar to a traditional gaming PC because of this, but Microsoft has since confirmed that the Xbox Series X can be stored either way. Expert estimations put the console’s size at around 31cm x 16cm x 16cm roughly, which would make it much larger than the Xbox One X currently on store shelves. There’s still do much about the Xbox Series X’s design we don’t know, despite now having glimpsed it, but it certainly looks extremely sleek in its matte black colour.

The PlayStation 5 is yet to be unveiled officially, meaning that there’s no guarantee exactly what it’ll look like when it releases later this year. However, odd patent filings and document links indicate that the PS5 won’t look too dissimilar to what’s come before. If you see any images currently that someone is claiming to be the PS5 console design, it’s likely the devkit developers have been given to work on upcoming PS5 games. That box looks rather snazzy, but we doubt the final design will be anything like as futuristic as that.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Price

At the time of writing, in January 2020, there’s been no official word on how much both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One will cost at launch. For some perspective, however, it’s worth remembering that PS4 launched for £349 in the UK, while Microsoft’s Xbox One was slightly more expensive at £429. Unfortunately, it’s hard to believe that the new incoming consoles will be priced similarly given how more advanced they are. Still, we’d be surprised if either broke the £500 upon release. Consoles are typically sold at a at first, with most initial profits made from software sales.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Games

Onto a section where there’s a little more clarity, and we already know a bunch of games confirmed to arrive on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. For the full breakdown you can head over to our complete list that’s kept regularly up to date, but the TLDR version is that there’ll be several Ubisoft games to dive into (as is usual for the publisher at the start of a console generation) and the odd exclusive or two. Xbox Series X exclusives include Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga, while PS5 has the looter-slasher Godfall.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Controller

With regards to the new Xbox Series X controller, Microsoft says its “size and shape heave been refined to accommodate an even wider range of people”. To achieve this its been trimmed down and is slightly smaller than before, while a Share button dedicated to letting Xbox players upload gameplay and screenshots has been added. However, those who think they’d prefer to use their existing Xbox One controller or have just picked up an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller can rest easy, as both have been confirmed to work with Xbox Series X going forward.

PlayStation 5’s controller (not yet confirmed to be named the Dualshock 5) features some additions that are a bit more exciting, by comparison. Chief amongst them are buttons situated on the back of the controller’s design that will be able to be mapped to any other button input you wish. The PS5 controller hasn’t been revealed yet, but we know this because of several patent leaks. Other than this there’s not too much to boast about compared to the Dualshock 4. That’s not a bad thing, however, considering it’s been a well-accepted design.