With the Xbox Series X revealed at The Game Awards back in December, and news now trickling out about its erstwhile rival in the Playstation 5, the inevitable lines are being drawn in the sand between console fanboys as they prep themselves for a heated 2020 holiday season.
Of course, the discerning consumer’s also paying attention. The features and exclusives of either console will heavily determine which one’s worth spending the effort to secure on release. Here’s everything we know so far.
As the Xbox Series X was announced and detailed first, we know a little more than with the PS5 about what’s under the hood. The Series X will be making heavy use of AMD technologies, using a Zen 2-based CPU (8x @ 3.5Ghz), and a Navi-based GPU (12 TF RDNA), with 16gb memory.
The video output is expected to be at a sharp 8K at max, with 4K @120 Hz performance.
The PS5, meanwhile, will be using a custom variant of the AMD Ryzen 8-core CPU, as well as a Radeon Navi GPU, making for easy comparisons once more details are known. Everything else about it, however, is still as yet unknown – similar graphical fidelity is to be expected, but Sony has not yet released further details.
It’s still too soon for announcements about either console’s price point, but historical data can get us within shooting range. Said Microsoft’s Phil Spencer to the Verge about the Xbox One’s controversial launch at $499: “I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price. If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and yes, we were less powerful. And we started Project Scarlett [Now called The Xbox] with this leadership team in place with a goal of having market success.”
The PS4, meanwhile, launched at $399. Though Sony hasn’t always aimed for the cheapest possible pricepoint either. The PS3 launched at over $599 at max specs.
Taking inflation into account, the PS4’s launch value would price it at about $440 in 2020. You can probably expect either console to be approximately $450-500.
Of course, without the games to sell them, a console’s just a very expensive lump of plastic and silicon. In the Xbox’s case, it won’t have a hard time making its pitch: the Series X boasts Halo Infinite as a launch title, making it the first mainline Halo game in over five years.
Interestingly, however, you might not actually need the Xbox Series X to play it. Per their interview with MCV, Xbox One X owners might still be able to access the next generation’s games – if not necessarily at the same specs and gameplay quality allowed on the more advanced platform.
The PS5, in comparison, has not yet made a particularly splashy announcement about its launch intentions. While we know about Godfall, a high fantasy action RPG in the style of looter-shooters like Destiny, the major studios rallied behind Sony have yet to announce their slated projects.
For now, it’s easy to buy into the Xbox Series X hype, simply because there’s so many more details to scrutinize in the coming months. And with a similar CPU/GPU basis, we can probably expect neither platform to be particularly distinguished over the other – “merely” that they’ll continue to be the center pillar of a home entertainment system.
The expos and announcements over the next few months will do the brunt of the work in convincing consumers to part with their holiday shopping budgets later this year.