NEXT-GEN consoles are coming thick and fast – but which one is right for you?
We give you the need-to-know info on the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 so you can make your own mind up.
The Xbox Series X is a slick, powerful next-gen console
Xbox Series X
The new Xbox Series X is compact and gorgeous – a dark, striking tower of gaming triumph.
It’s certainly smaller than the PS5, and I think it’s plenty prettier too.
Of course, the real meat of the console is inside, with an 8-core processor and a custom graphics card for stonking power. This handles 12 trillion operations a second, to be exact.
This PC-grade gear comfortably delivers 4K visuals at 60 frames per second, and there’s the promise of 8K on the horizon too.
The new Xbox will woo fans of Halo and Fable
Testing slick racer Forza Horizon 4 on the console left me picking my jaw up off the floor: it’s gorgeous, texture-dense and often photorealistic.
Dirt 5 is similarly stunning with flawless lighting, but Forza gets bonus points for being set in Britain’s beautiful north.
Even more animated games like Ori and the Will of the Wisps still look incredible.
Microsoft’s big trick for this generation of gaming is ray tracing – mapping out light, shadow and reflections like never before.
We’ll see much more of that in the years to come, but games like Watch Dogs Legion already offer it, to stunning effect.
Dirt 5 looks incredible on the Xbox Series X
Don’t forget the PS5 boasts ray-tracing too though, as does the mighty gaming PC.
Games on the Xbox Series X load generally faster thanks to the nippy 1TB solid-state drive.
And this also enables Quick Resume, that suspends games in memory so you can instantly hop between them without saving.
I’m still not wowed by the roster of new Xbox games available, although I’m looking forward to Fable and Halo Infinite next year.
It’s still early days too: you’ll probably hang on to this console for the better part of a decade, so don’t be too put off by 2020’s gaming drought.
Verdict: Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is a powerful and more physically attractive alternative to the PS5, brimming with gaming potential – though it’s probably not a must-buy just yet. 4.5
- Xbox Series X at GAME for £449.99 – buy here
- Xbox Series X at Best Buy for $499.99 – buy here
The PlayStation 5 is a hulking monster, and it’s seriously powerful
If a console’s size determined its worth, the PlayStation 5 would win hands down.
It’s probably twice as big as the new Xbox overall, and trumps any console I’ve ever seen.
The space-age design isn’t to my liking, and I was disappointed that I had to rearrange my Ikea cabinet just to squeeze it in.
But some people obsess over the PS5’s new look, so maybe I’m just getting old.
Like the Xbox, PlayStation is offering up high-frame-rate 4K gaming with impressive visuals.
The console has an enormous body packed with cutting-edge hardware
I was awestruck by the new Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which renders a snowy New York in the midst of Christmas brilliantly.
You can see right across wintry Manhattan in 4K, with detailed textures, realistic weather effects and endless city traffic.
But it also gives the PS5 a chance to show off one of its neatest tricks: ray tracing.
You can see it in the windows of skyscrapers, which have traded blurry glows for proper reflections – including people, cars and aircraft.
It’s brilliant and must be witnessed to really appreciate how big a leap this is.
But the PS5’s best trick is the DualSense controller, which lets you “feel” games through vibrations, sound and tension.
The new DualSense controller is a work of art
Ray-tracing is a brilliant addition to next-gen games