It was planned for June 4th, but it was finally last night, June 11th, when Sony presented its brand new PlayStation 5. In an event focused on games, the Japanese manufacturer spared a little time to show us the final design of its new console. A very modern design that, as usual, some people love and others hate. And now that Sony has shown us the final design, the picture is starting to come together, as the technical features of the new PS5 were presented in March. The two consoles will be available later in the year – PS5 will be available for $399 while the Series will be sold for $499.
So, as we already know many details of the new generation of consoles, we thought it would be interesting to make a small comparison of the two new machines. Once again, it seems that Sony and Microsoft will be competing for the video game crown for the next few years. All this with the permission of Nintendo of course, that, at the moment, has not moved form. Let’s see what the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have to offer.
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X Features
|Specifications||PlayStation 5||Xbox Series X|
|CPU||AMD Zen 2 (architecture), 8 cores, up to 3.5 GHz||AMD Zen 2 (architecture), 8 cores, 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz with SMT)|
|GPU||10.3 Teraflops (approximately), 36 CUs at 2.23 GHz, customized RDNA 2 (ray tracing support)||12 Teraflops, 52 CUs at 1,825 GHz, custom RDNA 2 (ray tracing support)|
|RAM||16 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6|
|Memory||825 GB SSD (expandable via external HD or NVMe SSD)||1 TB SSD (expandable via 1TB Seagate add-on card or external HD)|
|Optical drive||Blu-ray 4K UHD||Blu-ray 4K UHD|
|Bandwidth||448 GB / s||10 GB to 560 GB / s, 6 GB to 336 GB / s|
|Resolution||4K and 8K, up to 120 fps||4k and 8k, up to 120 fps|
|Extras||“Tempest” 3D AudioTech, initial backward compatibility with 100 PS4 games||Xbox Velocity Architecture, backward compatible with all Xbox games|
A Complete Design Change
During the life cycle of the PS4 and Xbox One, we’ve seen manufacturers make small changes to their machines and release different versions of them. This is logical since the original PS4 was introduced in 2013, for example.
So one of the clear things was that the new consoles were going to change radically is the design, as the manufacturers wanted to avoid at all costs that users would see the new generation as a minor update to the current models.
The Xbox Series X was the first to be officially released. Microsoft surprised everyone with a console with a rectangular design, with very sharp edges and that has been designed to be placed vertically (although it can be placed horizontally).
The design stands out for being very clean, with a smooth front side where only the Xbox logo and the disk slot attract attention. A closer look reveals that it also has a power button, a disc removal button, a button to pair the controllers, and a front USB port.
The air vent that covers the entire top of the console is also worth noting. All the connectors will be at the back, including a slot that will be used to expand the storage, as we will see later. In short, a design that is very similar to that of a computer tower, as was the case with the last generation.
The final design of the PS5 we discovered last night and the truth are that it has not left anyone indifferent. Sony has opted for a radically different design to the PS4, with a much more modern 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).
So far Sony has not let us see their new console as detailed as Microsoft, but from yesterday’s presentation, we can extract some features. The first one is that, as it happens with the new Xbox, the PS5 seems to have been designed to be placed vertically. However, as we can see in the promotional images, it can also be placed horizontally.
What has attracted the most attention at the design level are the two “wings” at the top (with the console in vertical). Here it has beautiful blue lighting, with a black interior finish.
The PS5 comes in two versions. Sony has prepared an all-digital version that will eliminate the disk drive, as Microsoft did with the Xbox One S All Digital. At the moment there is no news of a fully digital Xbox Series X, but rumors are that we will most likely see more versions of Microsoft’s console in the not too distant future.
Going back to the PS5, in the version with a disk reader this is located in the lower part of the console, “fattening” that area a little and losing the symmetry with the top. Without a doubt, in that aspect, the version without a disk drive is much more elegant.
Also in the front of the PS5, there will be a USB connector and another USB Type C. And there are a couple of buttons, one to turn the console on and another to remove the optical discs from the drive.
Power at full throttle and almost no charging time
On a technical level, both manufacturers have focused on two objectives. The first is to offer greater processing and graphics power, to provide developers with machines capable of running more powerful graphics with higher resolution. And the second is to substantially improve loading times.
Once again, as with the Xbox One X, Microsoft boasts the most powerful console on the market. The Xbox One X Series features an 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor designed specifically for the console that will run at 3.8 GHz. Accompanying the processor is 16 GB of GDDR6 memory with 320 MB bus and 1 TB SSD storage. Also, the console has an expansion slot in which we can place another identical disk to get an additional 1 TB without losing performance.
At the graphics level, the Xbox Series X features an AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based GPU with 12 TFLOPS of power and 52 CUs at 1,825 GHz. It also has dedicated hardware for Ray Tracing, a technology that until now has only been seen in the most powerful computer graphics. This allows for more realistic graphics thanks to improvements in shadows, reflections, and lighting effects.
With this powerful technical package, Microsoft ensures that the Xbox Series X is capable of running games at 8K resolution and up to 120 Hz. However, it is unlikely that the two can be combined, so the console is expected to run most games at 4K resolution and constant 60fps. If so, it would already be a major leap forward from the current generation.
As with the design, Sony has given us fewer details about 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 its great rival. Accompanying the processor will be 16 GB of GDDR6 memory and 825 GB SSD storage.
The graphics section will be powered by an AMD Radeon RDNA 2 GPU 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.
This will enable the PlayStation 5 to run games at resolutions up to 8K and frequencies up to 120Hz. However, as with the Microsoft machine, the standard is expected to be to see games running at 4K and 60 fps.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the clock speed of the PS5 CPU and GPU will be variable. What does this mean? It means that the console will adjust its speed according to the demand generated by the game. According to Sony, this ensures that the console will squeeze the processor and GPU only when necessary, without wasting power or workload.
Beyond the graphics or processor power, both Microsoft and Sony have placed great emphasis on the speed of their new SSDs. The fact is that load times have always been one of the biggest problems with consoles.
Microsoft has included a system called Velocity Engine Architecture in the Xbox Series X. This, according to the manufacturer, innovatively combines the console hardware, SSD, and CPU so that load times are virtually non-existent.
The console storage unit offers a read bandwidth of 2.4 GB per second for raw data (4.8 GB per second for compressed data). This load speed has enabled Microsoft to include a new feature called Quick Resume. This allows players to quickly switch between multiple games and immediately return to the point where they left the game. In other words, the games will stay in a kind of “hibernation” so that we can switch back and forth quickly and continue where we left off.
The PS5’s hard drive, as we’ve seen, will have slightly less capacity than 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’s an impressive figure and one that’s especially striking when compared to the 2.4 GB/s of Microsoft’s machine.
The PS5 will also have the ability to expand the internal storage space of the console. This will require the use of NVMe SSD M.2 disks with a very specific technology, so we’ll have to wait for Sony to release the list of compatible devices. At least this will be the case for native PS5 games since the backward compatible games will be able to be installed in a normal external hard disk, as they were until now.
If we compare the technical data of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, again, Microsoft’s console is a bit above in raw power. Only in hard disk speed does the Sony console win.
The available Games for the new generation Consoles
However, as with the current generation, the most important thing when it comes to choosing one or the other will be the game catalog. There’s no point in having the world’s most powerful machine if you don’t have games that appeal to players.
That’s precisely why 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 games announced are some exclusive and powerful games, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gran Turismo 7.
The Xbox Series X will also feature several exclusive and legendary console sagas. Among them, we will have the Halo Infinite, one of the first names confirmed for the Microsoft console. Also coming exclusively is Hellblade II, the sequel to the award-winning Ninja Theory game. And there’s Forza Motorsport 8, the newest installment of the car game that’s always been with the Xbox.
What about today’s games?
That’s a question that’s been on the minds of fans ever since talk of the new consoles began. And it’s logical since the vast majority of us have a small collection of games that we wouldn’t want to lose.
The manufacturers’ answer is as follows. On the one hand, Sony assures that when PS5 arrives at the stores, the 100 most played games of the previous generation will be retro-compatible with the new machine. However, the rest of the games will have to be optimized to work with the new console, so we may have some games that do not work with the PS5 since the day of the launch. These unreassuring words have been qualified by Sony, which has assured that the more than 4,000 games in the current PS4 catalog will end up working on the PS5. We assume that it will be a matter of time.
On the other side is Microsoft, which assures that Xbox Series X will be able to play any game from any Xbox previously released to the market. In other words, the new console will have total backward compatibility. No doubt great news for those who have been loyal to the system and have a good collection of games.
But not only that, because Microsoft has also commented that, thanks to the new Xbox Velocity Architecture, thousands of Xbox One games, including Xbox 360 and the original Xbox games, will experience performance improvements on the Xbox Series X. These improvements include improved boot and load times, a more stable frame rate, higher resolution, and improved quality.
And these are just some of the similarities and differences between the new PS5 and Xbox Series X. Which do you think will be the queen of the next generation?