Both the Xbox Series S|X and the Playstation 5 are nearing their one year anniversary.
Now feels like a good time to look at both consoles and what we have gotten from them, and what we expect in the near future.
There are a lot of similarities in hardware between all of the consoles. Both the Xbox and Playstation consoles use AMD’s Zen 2 architecture for the CPU and RDNA 2 for the GPU. While each company has customized the hardware for their needs, having the same architecture and including support for all of the latest graphics technologies, such as ray tracing and variable rate shading, means developers will have an easier time making games that look good and run smoothly.
They also use SSD technology for storage, but the Playstation’s SSD is significantly faster; Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart showed how the SSD technology can almost eliminate load times in certain scenarios.
The Series S is the least costly at $300 with a 500TB SSD and no disk drive; but this is still the full next-gen experience that should look good on 1080P displays.
The Playstation 5 Digital is $400 without a disk drive. The Playstation 5 and Series X come in a $500.
Unfortunately, the ongoing semiconductor shortage and demand for everything right now means stock continues to be limited to nonexistent. Things might improve in 2022, but if you are looking to nab something for Christmas, you should start looking for the console you want right now.
The big wins for Playstation 5 are the DualSense controller and a multitude of great first-party titles that have shown off what the hardware can do.
The DualSense is a major improvement on the previous Dualshock 4, both terms of designs, button placement, and overall feedback offered by the controller. The DualSense’s most notable feature is the haptics found in each of the triggers. These haptics allow developers to vary the resistance of each trigger to create tension during actions in gameplay. A new motor design for vibration also makes the experience more engaging.
On the game’s front, we have had Spiderman: Miles Morales and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. We also saw Blue Point’s remake of Demon’s Soul.
Looking ahead, Horizon: Forbidden West, God of War: Ragnarok, and Grand Turismo 7 are expected within the next 18 months, provided there are no unforeseen delays.
Xbox Series S|X
In the here and now, the Xbox Series S|X continues to sell on the value provided by Gamepass and backwards compatibility that can improve visuals and framerates without requiring developer updates.
But we still need to hold on a bit longer for those big, next-generation titles.
The first of these games that may finally put to rest all of the memes about Microsoft not having any exclusives is Starfield, launching November 11, 2022. But that is still a ways away.
Halo Infinite is finally launching before the end of the year, and one of the console’s most beloved and reliable open world racers, Forza Horizon 5, takes us to Mexico in October. Both will be available on Gamepass from day 1.
Which to Buy?
If you skipped the Playstation 4, then the Playstation 5 might be the right purchase right now. The DualSense adds something a little extra to games, plus there is an extensive back catalog of great exclusives to consider. There is also the promise of quality games coming out in the future from the world’s top-tier game studios.
For those looking for value, then the Series S|X might be the right pick, provided you get Gamepass. Xbox is working to churn out more exclusives to compete with Playstation, but Xbox’s spat of acquisitions came within the prior few years, meaning the games those studios are working on are still a few years away.