PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Everything we know so far

The next-gen console battle is heating up. Here’s what we know so far between PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X.

 PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Everything we know so far

Images via Sony and Microsoft

We have seen both Sony and Microsoft confirm that the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, respectively, are in active development, and information is slowly trickling out as we get closer and closer to both systems’ release window of Holiday 2020. (As long as COVID-19 doesn’t interfere, that is.)

Details of the PS5 were first unveiled to Wired in some time with programmer Mark Cerny. The information that came out during an interview with PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan on CNET showed us more details and the latest reveal in October last year. And in March, Cerny presented his Road to PS5 talk, originally scheduled for this year’s GDC, which was canceled/postponed, in a livestream.

Microsoft used its stage during E3 in June 2019 to unveil the new system using a video with several developers sharing their stories about the desires and expectations of gamers, while also sharing details of what the new console can do. Phil Spencer confirmed the name of the new system at the Game Awards in December. In March, DigitalFoundry got a full breakdown, quite literally.

Here, we’ll round up everything we know about the two consoles, and we’ll make every effort to keep this information up to date as new details are shared with the press.

Xbox Series X – World Premiere – 4K Trailer

Introducing the new Xbox Series X*. Power Your Dreams. Coming Holiday 2020. Learn more at: FOLLOW XBOX: Youtube: …

The similarities

Both consoles are ditching old, mechanical hard-drives and instead will be utilizing an SSD. This SSD is probably one of the most significant advancements in technology in recent years and allows for exponentially lower loading times and other quality of life features. (PC gamers have been using this tech for years and can attest to the difference.) A demonstration video for Marvel’s Spiderman has already shown the difference that an SSD can make, even to an actual game, as shown below.

Takashi Mochizuki on Twitter

Sony’s official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation

They will both be utilizing the power of AMD’s next-generation Ryzen Processor technology to power their systems. This hardware is significant as the technology is not even available (at the time of writing) to the crowd that this would generally excite the most, the PC gaming and building community.

Both game consoles will support games in 8K, double the current 4K standard currently available on their PS4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles. They will also both be able to handle Ray-tracing, a technology that is very ambitious but makes a noticeable difference in the way that games use reflections.

Finally, both companies appear to be utilizing Cloud-based gaming tech, though Microsoft so far is the only one to announce it officially with xCloud.

Everything we know about the PS5

For the PS5, we know there is still a big drive for Virtual Reality gaming. The PSVR headset is very much part of Sony’s long-term strategy. “I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy today, beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console,” Mark Cerny told Wired.

However, there have been reports that a new Virtual Reality headset could be set to debut with the system. There are a minimum amount of details at the moment. There’s the chance updated hardware, and potentially wireless capability, could get included with the new headset. These features could make it easier to play and give access to higher resolution gameplay with a more powerful new console.

Cerny also confirmed that the console would have some backward compatibility with the PS4 due to the similarities in architecture. Whether it will have more than this or continue to use the PlayStation Now service for older games is yet to be seen.

Jim Ryan also previously confirmed some cross-compatibility with the next PlayStation, where you can begin by playing a game on PS4, and then continue the game you are playing on PS5. These new features would be helpful for those looking to complete a game on their new PS5 console, having started it on their PS4. It also means that there will likely be plenty of support for the PS4 after the PS5 releases.

The extent of the backward compatibility, however, is still up in the air with, the official confirmation of the console not showing any information about it. But Sony is later confirming it is “verifying” the ability to bring backward compatibility.

The designs of the controller have only come out as a rumor. However, we do know that the controllers will include adaptive triggers, meaning there’s a more realistic touch to them. The rumble will work in tandem with the speakers on the pad. There’s the rumor of an AI voice assistant for the console, and a microphone hole in the controller would add credibility to this.

In terms of games, there are no confirmed titles yet. With the all-new console generation coming out, we can expect a plethora of new games to get announced for the systems. We can also include the likelihood of updated versions of some of the best games currently on the market, such as Fortnite, FIFA, and Call of Duty. We have compiled a list of games that we expect to be available at launch for the PS5.

Finally, there’s currently no confirmation of price, but with manufacturing costs reported high, the console is likely to be anywhere from $400 to $500, depending on whether Sony is willing to sell the consoles at a loss.

Xbox Project Scarlett – E3 2019 – Reveal Trailer

Introducing Project Scarlett. Unmatched power and speed ushers in a new level of game play performance and the future of gaming. With four generations of con…

Everything we know about the Xbox Series X

Microsoft thus far has been far more open about the capability of their next-gen offering than Sony. For the Xbox One’s successor, we learned that the official name, previously known as Project Scarlett, is the Xbox Series X and that not only will it be capable of 8K, but it will also run at 120hz, meaning it will increase possible frame rates to up to 120 per second. This is powered by a graphics processing power of 12 teraflops. In layman’s terms, this puts it at roughly twice the power of the Xbox One X.

The console will use Microsoft’s Variable Rate Shading, allowing developers to prioritize power to individual elements on the screen, which results in better performance without affecting overall visual quality.

The console will also be hardware-accelerated for the first time, something which allows developers to push the boundaries of the console further than ever before. The processor sets aside dedicated cores directly for ray-tracing technology. Considering the amount of power the tech requires is an incredible amount to produce, there is intrigue to see if Microsoft can pull this one off reliably.

Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) also claims to make input latency a thing of the past, leveraging the proprietary technology to make sure that games are more precise and accurate than ever. Combined with HDMI 2.1, it should make for almost lag-free gaming.

We also know what it looks like. It’s ditched the small form factor of traditional consoles in favor of a look more associated with desktops, with a concave grille at the top of the unit. The reaction to it has been mixed, but it may have been a necessary step to ensure that the promised tech can be accomplished. Microsoft has, however, confirmed that previous peripherals, such as Xbox One Elite controllers, will work with the next-gen system.

A big plus for the new system is that titles from all previous Xbox systems will be backward compatible with it. The backward-compatible feature means that if you harbor an extensive collection of Xbox One games that are still on your to-play list, or you’ve kept classics from the older generations of Xbox, the Series X will always be able to play them all. Considering that this has been a sticking point for the Playstation brand for the last two generations, this is a piece of excellent news for Microsoft to announce.

Currently, there are plenty of confirmed games for the new system, with the only game so far to be confirmed to launch with Xbox Series X being Halo Infinite. The other announced games include Senua’s Saga: Hellbade 2 from Nina Theory, Everwild from Rare Games, and a new installment in Forza Motorsport, likely Forza 8. Ubisoft has confirmed that Rainbow Six Siege, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Gods and Monsters will also all be coming to the Xbox Series X. At the same time, Cyberpunk 2077 will also get the next-gen treatment, with players able to get a free upgrade from the Xbox One to the Series X. 

Cyberpunk 2077 on Twitter

Gamers should never be forced to purchase the same game twice or pay for upgrades. Owners of #Cyberpunk2077 for Xbox One will receive the Xbox Series X upgrade for free when available.

Game Pass is also still going to be very prominent, with Halo Infinite coming to Game Pass at the console’s launch. Similar to the PS5, though, we expect a plethora of games to be announced as we draw closer to the release. 

Like the PS5, there is currently no price for the Xbox Series X, likely waiting for the other to announce a price first.