A year ago, Sony and Microsoft introduced their latest flagship video gaming systems, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. As a result, both systems have broken business sales records, yet they are still difficult to find in retail outlets.
However, despite the PS5’s comparable specs and lower price, it has proven to be more popular among consumers. With exclusives like Spider-Man, Demon’s Souls, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Sony has propelled PS5 sales.
Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass, the company’s Netflix-style gaming subscription, continues to add value to the Series X. Because practically every new Xbox game is also accessible on Windows and on previous Xbox One systems, there are no must-have exclusives for the Series X.
All systems have their advantages and disadvantages, which can influence customers in one direction or another. We spent a year playing both platforms to see what each is best at, so you can make an informed decision about which is appropriate for you.
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Specs
PS5 and Xbox Series X boast similar performance
The graphics and loading speeds of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are comparable in head-to-head comparisons of freshly released titles.
New solid state drives and faster processors distinguish the Xbox One X and PlayStation 5 from prior consoles. New games load in a fraction of the time on PS4 and Xbox One, and the process of downloading and installing games is also substantially faster on PC.
Ray tracing, a lighting technique first used in PC games, is now available in new graphics processors. Thanks to Ray Tracing, PS5 and Xbox Series games have more realistic reflections and lighting that is based on the in-game environment, resulting in visually demanding graphics on older PCs.
New Xbox One and PS4 consoles can also boost the resolution and frame rate of demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077, which were initially developed for the Xbox One and PS4.
Exclusive PS5 titles are the best showcase for new gaming technology
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal, and Demon’s Souls are just some of the exclusive PlayStation 5 games that aren’t available on Xbox or desktops. With the PS5 version of Spider-Man: Remastered and the PS4 version, it’s easy to see what the newer console can do.
Spider-Man: Remastered utilizes ray tracing to spread live reflections across the landscapes of New York City, and the PS5’s extra processing power lets the game run at 60 frames per second, twice the frame rate of the PS4 version. PS5’s Spider-loading Man’s times have shrunk from minutes to a few seconds, allowing developers to replace complete loading screens with a rapid fade to black instead.
Ratchet & Clank and Returnal, two other PS5 exclusives, use similar methods to reduce loading times and offer ray-traced images at 60 frames per second.
New Xbox games being available on PC and older consoles makes the Series X feel less important
Games on Xbox platforms are now more accessible for everyone. Like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, new Xbox originals are still compatible with older Xbox One and Windows PCs.
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X can still handle these games at a high level, but the design sacrifices make them feel less cutting-edge than PlayStation 5’s best offers. These games run better on a powerful PC, so the Series X isn’t as necessary as it once was for a great gaming experience.
The PS5’s unique features create an added level of immersion
The PS5’s console-specific features are likewise missing from the Xbox Series X. In order to take advantage of the PS5’s DualSense controller’s built-in speaker and sensitive haptic feedback, Sony has created exclusive games for the console.
Additionally, the PS5’s spatial surround sound technology provides gamers with a unique 3D audio experience when playing with headphones. The Series X has a Dolby Atmos option, but you’ll need to pay $15 to use it on compatible headphones.
Although these features don’t make much of a difference in gameplay, they do provide an additional level of immersion and make playing the PS5 feel like a more unique experience.
Another unique feature of the Xbox Series X console is rapid resume, which saves your current position and enables you switch between games without lengthy loading sequences. Quick resume, on the other hand, isn’t compatible with all games and mainly serves to speed up navigation rather than improve the quality of your gaming experience.
Xbox Series X offers access to a larger library of classic games
When it comes to backwards compatibility, a feature that allows you to play games from previous platforms, Xbox outperforms PlayStation. It is possible to play games from the Xbox 360, which was released in 2005, on Xbox Series X. PlayStation 5 can run PS4 games, however owners of PS3 consoles will be unable to use the latest console to play their games.
Xbox Series X has a greater selection of older titles than PlayStation 5. For $10 a month, Xbox Game Pass gives you access to more than 100 titles, including Microsoft’s newest exclusives. However, PlayStation Now, Sony’s subscription service for PS4 games, does not include new releases like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.
By boosting some games’ frame rates to 120 frames per second and adding HDR contrast, the Xbox One S will smooth out movements and improve images overall.
PlayStation 5 feels like a must-have for hardcore gamers, but the Xbox is a powerhouse for both gaming and media
Xbox Series X’s Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound capabilities give it a slight edge as a streaming device over the PS5’s extensive feature set. Xbox also sells movies and TV series through the Microsoft Store, whereas the PlayStation Store will stop selling movies in August 2021.
Because of its focus on gaming, PS5 is a better choice for those who want a full immersion in their favorite franchises but don’t want to miss out on the latest releases that Xbox Series X offers.
However, the ability to play the most recent Xbox games on PC and Xbox One means that the Series X is no longer a must-have system for those who only want to play older games on Xbox.
The PS5 and Xbox Series X are excellent consoles, and if you can snag one during the current supply crisis, you won’t be disappointed. Both systems feature excellent exclusives and represent a significant step forward in gaming technology.
They’re Tough to Buy
Sony has sold 13.4 million PlayStation 5s by the end of September. According to an analyst at market intelligence firm Niko Partners, Microsoft has sold about 8 million of its Series X and S consoles, which includes the Xbox One. That’s a good amount considering the current supply difficulties, but it doesn’t provide a clear image of how difficult it is to get your hands on either console. In spite of the passage of a full year, consumers are still faced with the dilemma of either paying inflated prices to resellers on eBay and Amazon or repeatedly subscribing to stock alerts and standing in line during a “drop” of new console inventory. They’re gone in a flash, leaving a slew of dissatisfied next-gen gamers in their wake.
In contrast to the Xbox and PlayStation, the Wii and Nintendo Switch were rare and hence difficult to acquire far into their second year of existence, which is unusual for these two consoles. Normally, at this point, supply and demand have begun to balance out. There is a good chance that you can find one in a local electronics store or on Amazon for its actual retail price. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t true.
The Game Libraries Have Improved
It’s taken a year, but the game libraries on both systems are starting to improve. Things are getting better, but they’re still not terrific and there aren’t enough big-name games to make either platform a must-buy.
Still no exclusive titles have been released yet. Xbox Halo: Infinite and PlayStation Horizon: Forbidden West won’t be released until the latter half of 2021 and the latter half of 2022, respectively. It’s great fun on the PS5, but the Xbox Series X/S feels like an echo chamber now that Spider-Man: Miles Morales is out.
It’s also difficult to identify if a new game is genuinely a next-generation or previous-generation title, sometimes by design. Most new titles, with the exception of those that are Xbox One-only, are released simultaneously on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
All of the best third-party titles are available on both consoles. For gamers, this is a fantastic thing, but not so great for Sony and Microsoft, as there is now little to distinguish between the two systems in terms of features.
Graphics and Performance
Because of this, it’s impossible to tell the Xbox Series X from the PlayStation 5. As opposed to the curved space oyster that appears in the background of Mass Effect, the first one is a box of some sort. On the surface, they appear to be very different people.
They both cost the same. AMD Zen 2 processors, AMD RDNA graphics chipsets, the same 16 GB of RAM and practically identical off-the-shelf storage capacity—825 GB for PS5 and 1 TB for Xbox Series X. They also have the same off-the-shelf storage capacity—825 GB for PS5 and 1 TB for Xbox. They both output at 8K, 4K, and 120 Hz, and they can all three of those resolutions at the same time.
In comparison, the less expensive Xbox Series S is only a half-upgrade over the Xbox One. Ray tracing and 120 FPS gameplay are theoretically possible, but the output isn’t true 4K. For those who don’t have or aren’t planning on purchasing a 4K TV, this is an excellent option. However, most people would be better served by saving their money and waiting for the Series X to become more widely accessible. Because of its more powerful hardware, it is more future-proof.
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Games
In terms of game libraries, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are radically different beasts. Microsoft’s Xbox One X thinks you’ll continue playing the same games you started on the Xbox One, and that you’ll want optimal performance for all of your favorites. A slew of exclusive games were released at the PS5’s launch, while most of these games are also available on the PS4 (albeit not all).
For the time being, it’s hard to argue that the PlayStation 5 has a better collection of games. The PS5 launched with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and the pleasantly surprising Astro’s Playroom as its only first-party titles.
While Xbox One X did include several exclusives at launch, the Series X did not. Instead, a list of 30 games “optimized for Xbox Series X/S” was released by Microsoft, which included well-known titles like Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 4, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. These titles, while excellent, aren’t all brand new and can be played on Xbox One or PC.
One staffer chose the PS5 over the Xbox Series X because of its stronger game catalog and the fact that you can play Xbox Series X titles on PC. As time goes on, Microsoft’s library of games is expected to improve.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Borderlands 3, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and so on are all available on both systems. As of last year, they both have access to Cyberpunk 2077, Madden 21, and Destiny 2, as well as a slew of third-party titles. In addition, both systems have great backwards compatibility features, which are discussed in a separate section later on.
The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which Sony has yet to match, is also worth considering. More than 100 games from a range of genres can be downloaded and played on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, and even Android for $15 a month.
PlayStation Plus members may now download more than a dozen vintage PS4 games as part of the company’s “PS Plus Collection,” which was announced recently. Unlike Xbox Game Pass, Sony’s service isn’t nearly as large or thorough, so it has room to grow further. In fact, according to reports, Sony is already working on a new project called Spartacus, which might integrate PlayStation Plus and PS Now and compete directly with Xbox Game Pass. However, it won’t launch until 2022.
Of course, there will be some intriguing games for both systems in the future. PS5 offers a better lineup, but only if we limit ourselves to what we can play and review at the moment
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Design
When it comes to a console’s design, it’s largely a matter of personal preference. However, the PS5’s design is repulsive to me, so that’s my personal taste. Besides being absurdly huge, the system is also difficult to transition from a vertical to a horizontal arrangement and has an unattractive, asymmetrical appearance in its standard version.
The “power” and “disc eject” buttons are difficult to identify on the front panel. It’s rare for me to propose delaying the purchase of a system merely because it’s more visually appealing, but I strongly urge doing so with the PS5.
The official PS5 cover, on the other hand, will at the very least brighten up your console. However, it won’t have an impact on the overall design.)
Although it’s still a hulking beast, the Xbox One S is better at utilizing the available space. The Xbox Series X is a sleek black box that, when viewed from the top, resembles a compact tower PC (or a mini refrigerator) rather than a large router. As a result, it has an easy-to-use power button and an easy-to-use pairing button.
PlayStation 5’s USB-C port is its one substantial advantage over Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. However, even if the Xbox Series X design is more conservative, it is also more sensible in the long term.
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Controller
The Xbox Series X’s controller is another area where it plays it safe, which is to its credit. Just like its predecessor, the Xbox One controller, except with textured grips and shoulder buttons, an enhanced D-pad, and a new “share” button in the center.
One of the greatest controllers ever produced is getting a clever upgrade. Still, the fact that it relies on AA batteries rather than a rechargeable unit makes it appear outdated and adds a lot of expense to the end user, whether they buy AAs or rechargeable packs.
With a new two-tone color scheme and larger grips, the PS5 DualSense marks a significant change from the DualShock 4. Additionally, it includes a number of new features, such as ultra-sensitive haptics and a mic integrated in. Haptic feedback is excellent, emulating the movement of things in a box or the resistance you feel when you touch a button. There’s a lot of dead space on the DualSense, and its haptic feedback might pull you out of the game as much as it can pull you in. Considering the PS5 DualSense vs DualShock 4 discussion, the new controller comes out on top in terms of innovation.
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Backwards compatibility
Despite the fact that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X Series offer outstanding backwards compatibility features, the Xbox one has a greater reach into the Microsoft catalog. Almost all Xbox One games work on the Xbox Series X, as do a large number of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. There are still many original Xbox titles that the Series X cannot play, but Microsoft has made an impressive effort with no friction to make it backwards-compatible with the Xbox 360.
Aside from the PS5’s streaming capability for PS3 games, the PS5 is only backwards compatible with PS4 games currently on the market. But it’s still not the same as playing games you already own on a console, for obvious reasons.
Recent patent applications from PlayStation designers suggest that the PS5 will be able to run PS1 and PS2 games in the future, but there’s no word on when that could happen.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Cloud gaming
Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X aren’t affected by cloud gaming, since you can just download games and play them on either device directly. Even if cloud gaming is on the rise, it’s important to know where each company is at the start of this console generation because of how the market will develop.
PS3 and PS4 games can be streamed to your PS5 or PC using PlayStation Now, a feature exclusive to the PS5. Some PS4 games can also be downloaded. A monthly fee of at least $8 is required to use it, and it doesn’t work on mobile devices.
It costs $15 a month for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which gives you access to a wide variety of platforms and devices, including Android, PCs running Windows or Mac OS, iPhones, and the Xbox One X, S, and X consoles themselves.
The Xbox Series X is the clear winner here, thanks to its cloud-based streaming capabilities.
Is PlayStation 5 sold out?
The Verge reports that Sony’s PlayStation 5 is once again out of stock on Amazon.
Why is there a PS5 shortage?
Sony had intended to stop making the PS4 at the end of 2021, but supply chain issues and a scarcity of semiconductors have prompted the Tokyo-based corporation to alter its plans.
Why is Xbox Series X sold out?
Xbox One X restocks were just as hard to come by. This year’s surge in home entertainment devices, including Microsoft’s first major gaming system in three years, put chip producers under pressure to meet orders.
Is Xbox Series X in stock anywhere?
As a result, if you don’t already own an Xbox Series X/S, you have a high chance of getting one in the next weeks.
Despite the fact that both consoles have made a promising start, the Xbox Series X appears to be a better long-term investment. A superior design, more complete game subscriptions, and an excellent controller make Xbox Series X the early front-runner in the next generation of consoles’ hardware capabilities.
But the PS5 has advantages over the Xbox Series X that the Xbox lacks. More innovative controller, faster SSD and better range of exclusive titles are only some of the features of the new digital console.
For the past few months, I’ve played both consoles extensively and have concluded that they have more in common than differences, and whatever one you choose should be more than sufficient to power your gaming needs for the foreseeable future. There is the option of building your own gaming PC, but that’s a different matter.