PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Here’s Everything to Know About the New Gaming Consoles

The console wars are exhausting. Xbox vs. PlayStation, Halo vs. Uncharted, Live vs. Plus, all duked out in a bunch of asinine tweets and comment-section fights. With the world in shambles, you’d think we’d slow down on the bickering over these consoles. Don’t get me wrong, a little friendly competition is always good, actually helping the gamer in the end, but the blood pacts we make to one console over another are just the worst.

But good news, everyone. I’m here to tell you that, based on the time I’ve had testing both the PS5 ($ 500) and the Xbox Series X (also $ 500), you’ll never guess it, both are great. They’re different, but great.

For the few of you out there who have not already sold your soul to one system over another, here’s a breakdown of what each next-gen PlayStation and Xbox console has to offer and where each falls short, in every category that matters. So, all of them: load times, graphics, cooling, console design, controllers, user interface, backwards compatibility, and game libraries. Make an informed choice. Although, that seems to be out of style nowadays. Both next-gen consoles are released next week.

ps5 and dualsense controller

The PS5 launches on Thursday, November 12 with online-only ordering.

Sony

SSD: Lightning-Fast Load Times for Both

Why would I start here, in the boring realm of solid state drives? I’ll tell you why. I could talk for hours about the design and games of each console, but nothing, and I mean nothing, from this gen kicks more ass than the SSDs. This directly relates to load times. Load times are the bane of our gamer existence, and last gen was particularly bad. In large open worlds, it could take minutes to load up a title, which in written form sounds short, but rest assured, staring at the same lore art for three minutes every time you died was annoying. Solid state drives aren’t necessarily new technology, but they’re brand new to console gaming.

Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X utilize the SSD beautifully. When booting up games, the store, and more, the load times are nearly nonexistent. Every time I got to a load screen, I’d instinctually pull out my phone but couldn’t even unlock it before I was loaded and ready to go. In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, you can load into the massive New York City in seconds. Compare this to the last gen’s Spider-Man with its similar open world, which would take minutes to load.

There’s no clear winner here between the PS5 and Xbox Series X, because they both appear to be taking full advantage of the tech. But I can’t stress enough: Beyond everything else, SSD is why you should get a next-gen console. There may be better graphics, 8K capabilities, and remarkable frame rates, but all pales in comparison to the quality-of-life improvement that comes in the form of lightning-fast load times.

xbox series x and elite controller

The Xbox Series X is launching on Tuesday, November 10.

Microsoft

Graphics: Improved But Not at Their Peak

Okay, I love things that look good, but we as a gaming community need to get past the graphics obsession. Look at Nintendo. Some of its games from three generations ago look better than new games, because they were artfully handled. The good news is the PS5 and Xbox Series X have nearly the same graphics potential—8K capabilities (though you’re unlikely to see anything above 4K in games), with 120 fps—and it shows, mainly seen through glossy textures and immersive lighting effects. Most important is frames per second, which ensures that you not only have more frames to catch what an enemy is doing, but that motion will look better. In Miles Morales on PS5, the textures and lighting really jump out while swinging, and the combat looks smoother than ever, even if I did play half the game with Spider-Verse modes that dropped the frame rate to 15 fps (which looked badass). And Sea of Thieves, a personal favorite of mine on Xbox, looked amazing, with deeper and brighter color, fluid movement, and more water detail.

So, graphics are still good and important, but stay tuned for when they get fully realized later in the next gen’s lifespan, as developers learn how to use the tech better. Also, you need to have a TV or monitor capable of 4K, HDR, and 120 frames per second, otherwise the changes won’t seem nearly as significant. I was using an LG ThinQ TV, which is amazing, so don’t at me if your 1992 Panasonic doesn’t make the textures pop.

Design: Bigger Consoles With Different Style Cues

The most notable change this gen might be the look. Both Xbox and PlayStation made bigger consoles that both truly look nice, even if the Series X is a fridge and the PS5 is a router. I love louder, more stylistic hardware, so I prefer the PS5’s design, as the LEDs are a really pretty touch. But the Xbox nails a minimalistic look and blends in much easier to a living room. To each their own.

Cooling: Quieter Consoles That Don’t Overheat

This is one area where last gen, PlayStation was way behind. The PS4 was really damn loud. Few things would take you out of an emotional Last of Us Part II scene more effectively than a chugging fan. And I took good care of my PS4, cleaning the fan, using compressed air, and keeping it in open places. Xbox had a much better handle on cooling.

I’m happy to say, however, this gen is another tie. Through the games I’ve been able to play, neither console was heard, nor was heat felt. This is a huge step in the right direction, because, as any computer nerds out there will tell you, the cooler it runs, the faster it runs. And, the heavier load it can handle, which is a must with the SSD and higher graphic capacity. Though I’m just glad I don’t need to have my sound bar turned all the way up to hear dialogue anymore.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Controllers: A Big Win for PlayStation

This is where things start to differ fairly drastically. Both console controllers are good, but only one is a marvel: the DualSense from PlayStation. A lot of next-gen controllers go with gimmicky additions, but the DualSense utilizes intricate design to up immersion tenfold. The haptic vibration blends right into gameplay, the touch bar’s increased usage really opens a lot of doors for user interface and menu management, and the built-in mic is brilliant—if a little scary, since every kid with a controller can make fun of me on Fortnite now. The best addition, however, is the adaptive triggers. Essentially, these give resistance to the R2 and L2 buttons that forces the player to put more pressure on them. It’s interesting and immersive, and adds a world of opportunity. For example, pulling the trigger harder puts actions on a spectrum. Between Astro’s Playroom and Spider-Man the uses were limited, but it’s something to watch.

As for Xbox, the controller is largely the same, with an added multidirectional D-pad straight from the Elite controller, along with a few new colors. There’s nothing wrong with this; people love the Xbox controller, so why change it? While Xbox is kicking Sony’s ass in terms of colorways, just due to the sheer innovation, the best controller of this gen is the DualSense.

User Interface: Accessibility Prevails

The UI is another place, similar to the controller, where Sony made big moves and Microsoft stuck closer to home. Both UIs are easy to use, and though I’ve always preferred Sony’s simpler layout, that’s more due to growing up with PlayStation. The PS5’s UI is stunning and really expands on the simple media carousel from the PS4. The pullup screen is much more customizable and less obtrusive. As for Xbox Series X, the UI is largely the same, with some ease of access and slight design changes. It remains accessible to everyone, and it’s still more customizable than PlayStation’s, which could be why Microsoft didn’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel. It seems Sony is taking on the role of Apple—more minimalistic and design-forward—while Microsoft, in traditional Microsoft fashion, aims for customization.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Backwards compatibility: Xbox Is Still King

Both new consoles have backwards compatibility. Xbox has always kicked the crap out of PlayStation here, with a ton of classic Xbox titles, a vast majority of the 360’s catalog, and now, nearly every Xbox One title available. So if you’ve been stocking up on Xbox games, you’ll head into the Series X with a massive library. The PS5 has backwards compatibility with the PS4, mostly, with a short list of games that won’t work. This win has to go to Xbox, which has built a much larger lineage for much longer, but it’s nice to see PlayStation finally taking the fight seriously.

Games: PlayStation Rakes in the Launch Exclusives

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Launch Edition

amazon.com

$ 49.98

Here it is, folks. The title match, the smackdown, the end all be all. What is a console without its games? Losing Halo Infinite as a Series X launch title was a huge strike against Xbox, and now with Cyberpunk‘s release date pushed back yet again, a lot of the Series X’s big titles have been knocked out. The console is pretty much only launching with a few smaller exclusives (like Tetris Effect: Connected, which I am personally pumped for) and third-party games that will also be on PlayStation, such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. However, Xbox does have several of its biggest titles, like Sea of Thieves, up for Series X upgrades with better textures, resolutions, and frame rates to give you a next-gen experience. While Xbox has never been one for the exclusive market, it’s unfortunately a damning blow, for the time being. But it’s bound to pull out the stops with Halo and Gears, and now that it owns Bethesda, who knows what nonsense we could see.

As for PS5, besides suffering the loss of Destruction AllStars, which is now releasing for free in February, it still has a handful of killer exclusives in addition to the aforementioned third-party titles. These include Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Godfall, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Astro’s Playroom, Bugsnax, and more. It wipes the floor with Xbox in terms of PS5 launch titles.

Subscriptions: Xbox Game Pass Offers More

The Xbox Game Pass is one of, if not the, best inventions in gaming in the last decade. Netflix for games. You pay per month, which can be combined with your Xbox Live subscription, to get access to more than 400 games. It has a ton of first-party stuff, like Gears, often on release day, and tons more third-party stuff like Kingdom Hearts, Destiny, and indies. And EA Play is joining Game Pass soon, so that’ll mean access to a bunch of sports games. Plus, now Game Pass has a cloud service that works similarly to Google Stadia, allowing you to access your collection from a phone or other mobile device, which is rad as hell.

As for PlayStation, beyond the free games like Bugsnax and Destruction AllStars, PlayStation Plus will have a new collection of 20 greatest PS4 hits—God of War, Bloodborne, and Monster Hunter: World to name three. It doesn’t hold a candle to the Game Pass’s trove, but they will be available at no additional cost to subscribers. If you haven’t played Bloodborne, play Bloodborne, nerd.

Ultimately Xbox wins here, mainly because I can now play Halo on the subway, and that’s the definition of cool. That being said, both consoles are making efforts to bring massive libraries for affordable prices to the next gen, a true testament to how far we’ve come from the money-grabbing dark ages of the PS3 and Xbox 360.

So, which console should you get?

You win, I win, we the gaming republic wins. Both consoles made drastic hardware improvements. Xbox expanded on the previous generation, while Sony aimed to reinvent the PlayStation. So, as someone is already telling me in my DMs, it really comes down to what’s important to you. Is it exclusives or a massive catalog? Is it Halo or is it Spider-Man? Console launches are never smooth, especially in a pandemic, so let’s all find some peace in the fact that the options on the market are fairly priced. Both the Xbox Series X and the PS5 are powerhouses that will make us enjoy gaming more, so yes, as dumb as it sounds, we all win.

Get 85+ Years of Award-Winning Journalism, Every Day

esquire.com

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Lifestyle – Esquire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    Read previous post:
    Southampton 2-0 Newcastle United: Saints move top of Premier League for first time ever 3
    Southampton 2-0 Newcastle United: Saints move top of Premier League for first time ever

    Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl told his side to believe "anything is possible" after they went top of the Premier League

    Close