Both Microsoft and Sony have finally shown their cards for their respective next-gen console launches, with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X set to battle out in November. Sony’s recent showcase gave us a glimpse of many exciting games, including Final Fantasy 16, Demon Souls and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. While for Xbox, it’s clear that Microsoft is focusing more on services, with its Games Pass Netflix-style platform looking more enticing by the day.
Despite Microsoft’s less hardware-focused approach, we aren’t expected the Xbox Series X to be a slouch. To the contrary, it seems like the new Xbox will be the most powerful console of the generation, with Sony focusing on components like a super-fast SSD compared to the raw horsepower of the Series X.
There’s still a whole lot of rumours and uncertainty out there, so we’ve compiled everything we know about the PS5 vs Xbox Series X contest. Read on for the low down on games, features, specs and more.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X Release dates – When are they coming out?
Microsoft has now shared that pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles will begin on September 22 at 6am in Singapore, while the console will officially arrive on 10 November.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) Singapore confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will launch in Singapore on 19 November.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X Specs – What are the differences?
Here’s the full comparison table of PS5 vs Xbox Series X specs:
The two next-gen machines include somewhat similar GPU and CPU load-outs, however they are custom-built, and this means measuring power at this stage is quite difficult.
Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X will be capable of real-time ray tracing. Ray tracing is a new light rendering technique and is only available on high-end gaming PCs at the moment, requiring a considerable amount of power to produce without tanking performance.
Sony and Microsoft have long stressed that the SSD storage plays a massive part in next-gen hardware. An SSD will significantly reduce loading times and enables developers to include far more (and/or more detailed) assets in their games. It should also ensure the user interface is faster and more responsive when handling multiple applications.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X Design – How do they look?
Microsoft and Sony have taken very different approaches for the designs of their next-gen consoles.
The PS5 features an extravagant design, with a curved white body coating a smaller black core. Two blue lights run down the front of the console too, likely signalling whether the console is on or in stand-by mode.
The PS5 will feature a 4K Blu-Ray disk drive, but there will also be a digital-only model which will likely be significantly cheaper.
Meanwhile, the Xbox Series X dons a far more subtle design, looking very similar to a mini PC tower. For those worried that the standing design of the Xbox Series X may impede their carefully thought out home setup, it can be used on its side and should fit into most existing entertainment centres.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X – Controller
While the new Xbox console is quite a big departure for designs past, the controller is sticking with the manufacturer’s tried and tested (and mostly revered) controller formula. However, a much-needed share button is being implemented which will make the process of capturing videos and screenshots much, much easier.
The new DualSense reimagines PlayStation’s traditional controller design for the PS5 – with a frankly more Xbox-y take. Before we get onto the colour scheme – and we will get on to the colour scheme – the shape of the controller looks ever slow slightly more angular and chunkier. We get the redesigned shoulder buttons, said to offer a new level of haptic feedback.
On first viewing, it may look like the analog sticks remain unchanged but, after taking a closer look, the edges do seem to be more reminiscent of the texture on current Xbox One controllers. They also appear to be a tiny bit closer together than before, although our eyes could be playing tricks on us.
The controller also seems to ditch the traditional coloured face buttons – appearing to opt for a light grey look. Elsewhere, the Share button has now been replaced with Create, the lightbar is integrated around the sides of the new look touchpad and a new microphone array for chatting with friends without the need for a headset.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X – Virtual reality
While a new headset hasn’t been confirmed to be in development, Sony has said that PlayStation VR will be compatible for PS5. Whether the Move Controllers and all existing titles will carry over remains unknown. Here’s hoping, since the company has build up a robust library of virtual reality experiences these past few years.
Conversely, the Xbox One X does not support VR – it’s consistently not been a priority area for Microsoft consoles. This trend is continuing into the next-gen, as it’s been confirmed that the Xbox Series X won’t have VR. Outspoken Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, controversially argued that “no one is asking for VR”.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X – Backward compatibility
Yes! Well, Sony has announced that PS5 will be backwards compatible with all PS4 titles, and the console will experience a slow-transition with several cross-generational releases. A similar thing happened back in 2013, so this is no huge surprise.
However, it remains unclear whether the PS5 will apply similar upgrades to older titles like the PS4 Pro does with Boost Mode, bolstering performance without the need for a dedicated patch. If this does materialise, it will be brilliant news.
A patent recently filed by Sony hinted at backwards compatibility for all PlayStation platforms, teasing the possibility of PS5 acting as a time capsule of sorts for thousands of games. Nothing concrete has been confirmed, but speculation is rife.
Microsoft has been even more precise on backwards compatibility. You’ll be able to play any previous Xbox game, going way back to the original Xbox console, on your Xbox Series X. We’re still waiting to see if the PS5 can match this.
Backwards compatibility with the PS4 is excellent, but what about the PS3 and even the PS2 and PS1? A lot of older PS2 titles have started appearing in the PlayStation Store recently, so we’re hoping that this is a sign that Sony is working hard towards comprehensive backwards compatibility.
Microsoft also has “Smart Delivery” which provides players with a free upgrade on certain games if they own them on older platforms. A number of games have been confirmed thus far including Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon. This list will continue to grow moving forward, too.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X – Games
Sony looks to once again have the advantage in regards to exclusive games after it announced of a slew of upcoming titles. The official PS5 launch event showed off exclusives such as Horizon Forbidden West, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ratchet and Clank, Drift Apart, Demon’s Souls Remake and Gran Turismo 7.
Microsoft has a smaller library of titles in the works. However, Xbox’s flagship Master Chief showcase has hit a snag of its own, with delays and uncertainty following a shaky showing during a recent presentation. We will have to wait to find out the new release date for the embattled Halo Infinite, with Phil Spencer recently revealing they briefly considered releasing the new Halo is separate parts. Regarding more titles, given how many studios Microsoft has acquired over the last year, the Xbox Series X has a potentially stunning library waiting in the wings.
Smart Delivery also gives Microsoft a major advantage moving forward, with Sony yet to adopt a similar system for its platform. This feature will provide players with free next-gen versions of specific games if they’re already owned on Xbox One or Windows 10. Confirmed games include Cyberpunk 2077, Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. If more publishers jump on the bandwagon, this is a mighty feather in Microsoft’s cap.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X Price – How much will they cost?
The Xbox Series X will be retailing for $699, while the Series S will set you back $459.
While for the PS5, there'll be two models: PS5 Digital Edition (the one without a disc drive) goes for a recommended retail price of $599, while the standard PS5 with an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive will be available at a gut-wrenching $729.
To find out more on PS5 and Xbox Series X price and where to buy, click here for PS5 and here for Xbox Series X.