After the official presentation of the PlayStation 5, we compare it with the already announced Xbox Series X. Which of the two will be the best new generation console?
It was scheduled for June 4, but last night, June 11, Sony launched its brand new PlayStation 5. The Japanese manufacturer has saved a little time in a games-focused event to show us the final design of their new console. A very futuristic design, some love it as usual and others hate it. And now that Sony has already shown us the final design, the puzzle is beginning to finish, as the technical features of the new PS5 have already been presented in March. We just need to know some information, like the exact start date or the price.
So as we already know a lot of information about the latest generation of consoles, we figured it would be fun to compare the two new machines in a small way. Once again, the dominance of video games for the next few years seems to be contested by Sony and Microsoft. All this, of course, with Nintendo ‘s approval which hasn’t changed for the moment. Let’s see what the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are offering us.
RADICAL DESIGN CHANGE TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT WE ARE FACING A NEW GENERATION
During the life cycle of the PS4 and Xbox One we have seen how manufacturers made small touches of their machines and released different versions of them. It is logical, since, for example, the original PS4 was presented in 2013.
So one of the things that was clear is that the new consoles were going to radically change their design , as the manufacturers wanted at all costs to prevent users from seeing the new generation as a minor update to the current models.
And boy do we have a radical change. The Xbox Series X was the first to officially see the light. Microsoft surprised everyone with a rectangular design console, with very sharp edges and that has been thought to be placed vertically (although it can be placed horizontally).
The design stands out for being very clean, with a smooth front part in which only the Xbox logo and the disc slot stand out. If we look better we see that it also has a button to turn on the console, the button to remove the disk, a button to pair the controls, and a front USB port.
The ventilation grille that covers the entire upper part does not go unnoticed either . It will be at the back where we have all the connectors, including a slot that will serve to expand storage, as we will see later. In short, a design that is very reminiscent of a computer tower, as it happened with the last generation.
We met the final design of the PS5 last night and the truth is that it has not left anyone indifferent. Sony has opted for a design radically different from that of the PS4, with a much more futuristic finish and, for the first time, with white as the main color of the console (the PS4 was also launched in white, but the initial color was black).
At the moment Sony has not allowed us to see its new console in as much detail as Microsoft, but from yesterday’s presentation we can extract some features. The first is that, as with the new Xbox, the PS5 appears to have been designed to stand upright . However, as we can see in the promotional images, it can also be placed horizontally.
What has most attracted attention at the design level are the two “fins” that we have at the top (with the console vertically). Here is a beautiful blue lighting , with a black interior finish.
The PS5 will arrive in two versions. Sony has prepared a fully digital version that will eliminate the disc reader, as Microsoft already did with the Xbox One S All Digital. At the moment there is no news of a fully digital Xbox Series X, but rumors speak that we will most likely see more versions of the Microsoft console in the not too distant future.
Returning to the PS5, in the version with a disk reader, it is located in the lower area of the console, “fattening” that area a little and losing symmetry with the upper part. Undoubtedly, in that aspect, the version without a disk reader is much more elegant.
Also on the front of the PS5 we will have a USB connector and another USB Type C. And there are a couple of buttons, one to turn on the console and another to remove the optical discs from the reader.
POWER IN ABUNDANCE AND ALMOST NON-EXISTENT CHARGING TIMES
At a technical level, both manufacturers have focused on two objectives. The first is to offer greater graphics and processing power, in order to offer developers machines capable of moving graphics that are more powerful and with higher resolution. And the second is to substantially improve loading times. What’s more, make them practically disappear (or so ensure both Sony and Microsoft).
Again, as with the Xbox One X, Microsoft boasts the most powerful console available on the market. The Xbox Series X has a specially built 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor that will run at 3.8 GHz, for the console. We have 16 GB of GDDR6 memory with a 320 MB bus and 1 TB of SSD storage accompanying the processor. Additionally, the console has an expansion slot where we can place another identical disk to get 1 TB more without losing performance.
At the graphic level, the Xbox Series X equips an AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based GPU with 12 TFLOPS of power and 52 CUs at 1,825 GHz . In addition, it has hardware dedicated to ray tracing (Ray Tracing), a technology that until now we have only seen in the most powerful graphics for computers. This allows for more realistic graphics thanks to improvements in shadows, reflections and lighting effects.
Thanks to this powerful technical package, Microsoft ensures that the Xbox Series X is capable of running games with 8K resolution and frequencies up to 120 Hz . However, it is highly unlikely that both data could be combined, so the console is expected to run most games in 4K resolution and at constant 60fps. If so, it would already be a significant leap from the current generation.
As with the design, Sony has given us less detail on the hardware included in its new PS5 . We know that the brain of the beast will be an AMD Zen 2 chip with 8 cores running at 3.5 GHz , that is, very similar to that of its great rival. Accompanying the processor we will have 16 GB of GDDR6 memory and 825 GB SSD storage.
The graphic section will be responsible for a GPU based on AMD Radeon RDNA 2 with 10.3 TFLOPS of power, with 36 CUs at a variable frequency of up to 2.23 GHz . This new GPU will also support ray tracing.
With all this, the PlayStation 5 will be able to run games with resolution up to 8K and with a frequency of up to 120 Hz . However, as with the Microsoft machine, it is expected that the standard will be to see games running at 4K and 60 fps.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that the CPU and GPU clock speeds of the PS5 will be variable . What does this mean? That the console will adjust its speed based on the demand generated by the game. According to Sony, this ensures that the console will squeeze the most out of the processor and GPU only when needed, without wasting power or workload.
Beyond graphics or processor power, both Microsoft and Sony have put a lot of emphasis on the speed of their new SSD drives. And it is that loading times have always been one of the biggest problems of consoles.
The system called Velocity Engine Architecture was included in the Xbox Series by Microsoft. The manufacturer claims that this innovatively incorporates computer hardware, SSD and CPU, so that load times are practically non-existent.
The console storage unit provides a read bandwidth of 2.4 GB per second for raw data (4.8 GB per second for compressed data). This loading speed allowed Microsoft to include a new feature called Quick Resume. This allows players to quickly switch between multiple titles and immediately go back to where they left off. In other words, the games will remain in a kind of hibernation, so that we can quickly switch between them and continue where we left off.
The PS5’s hard drive , as we have seen, will have slightly less capacity than that of the Xbox Series X. However, according to Sony, it will be much faster, as it promises to reach speeds of no less than 5.5 GB / s . It is an impressive figure that, in addition, is especially striking when compared to the 2.4 GB / s of the Microsoft machine.
The PS5 will also have the possibility to expand the internal storage space of the console . For this, you will have to use NVMe SSD M.2 disks with a very specific technology, so we will have to wait for Sony to launch the list of compatible devices. At least that’s the way it will be for native PS5 games, since backwards compatible games can be installed on a normal external hard drive, as before.
If we compare the technical data of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, again, the Microsoft console is a little above in gross power . Only at the speed of the hard drive does the Sony console win.
THE GAMES, THE GREAT PROTAGONISTS
However, as happened with the current generation, the most important thing when choosing one or the other will be the games catalog . There is no use having the most powerful machine in the world if you do not have games that attract players.
Precisely for this reason, Sony focused its presentation yesterday on showing some of the games that will accompany the PS5, either at its launch or soon after. Among the announced titles we have some exclusive weight, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7.
For its part, the Xbox Series X will also have a good portion of exclusive and mythical sagas of the console. Among them we will have Halo Infinite , one of the first confirmed games for the Microsoft console. Also coming, exclusively, is Hellblade II , the sequel to the award-winning Ninja Theory game. And you could not miss Forza Motorsport 8 , the new installment of the car game that has always accompanied the Xbox.
And what about current games? It is a question that has been in the minds of fans since the new consoles began to be discussed. And it is logical, since the vast majority of us have a small collection of games that we would not want to lose.
Manufacturers’ response is as follows. On the one hand, Sony ensures that, when PS5 hits the stores, the 100 most played games of the previous generation will be completely backward compatible with the new machine. However, the rest of the games will have to be optimized to work with the new console, so it is very possible that we have a game that does not work with the PS5 from the day of launch. These not so reassuring words have been nuanced by Sony, which has ensured that the more than 4,000 games in the current PS4 catalog will end up working on the PS5 . We assume it will be a matter of time.
On the other side is Microsoft, which ensures that Xbox Series X will be able to play any game from any previously released Xbox on the market . In other words, the new console will have full backward compatibility. Without a doubt, great news for those who have been faithful to the system and have a good collection of games.
But not only that, because Microsoft has also said that thanks to the new architecture Xbox Velocity Architecture, thousands of Xbox One, including the Xbox 360 and original Xbox games will experience performance improvements on the Xbox Series X . These enhancements include improved boot and load times, a more stable frame rate, higher resolution, and improved quality.
And these are, roughly speaking, the similarities and differences that exist between the new PS5 and Xbox Series X. What do you think will be the queen of the new generation?