NEXT-GEN consoles from Sony and Microsoft are now just months away – so which one will you buy?
We’ve rounded up the key details about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, with everything you need to know before launch.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X design – which console looks better?
First off, what do these consoles look like?
It’s important! They’ll be sitting pride of place in your living room, so you don’t want your £400 gaming machine looking totally naff.
Sony has gone back to the drawing board with the PlayStation 5, offering an enormous, curved, ridged beast.
It looks like a console from a sci-fi movie, with white casing and a fancy blue trim.
Long-time fans will be surprised that there’s no black option, though we’d be surprised if one wasn’t coming down the pipeline.
The PS5 certainly looks cool – though won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Sadly it’s absolutely huge, bigger than any console to date, including the new Xbox Series X.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has gone for a slightly more familiar shape: a box.
This time it’s a towering cuboid, with a very minimalist exterior, which will suit some.
We think it looks nice, though its blocky design may make it difficult to fit in some TV units.
Let’s not forget the joypads either.
Sony has almost totally redesigned its controller, with the new joypad looking very different from previous generations.
Gone is the “DualShock” – instead we’ve got a “DualSense”, with a curvaceous and modern look.
It also promises haptic feedback and a sensory experiences that changes the controller based on your gameplay.
For instance, the triggers are adaptive, so you’ll feel increased tension as you draw an arrow across a bow string, for instance.
Microsoft has played it much more safe with a controller that looks near-identical to the old Xbox joypad.
That’s no bad thing: Xbox controllers are largely beloved, so why fix what’s not broken?
PS5 vs Xbox Series X specs – which console is more powerful?
Both Microsoft and Sony are pushing hard on the graphics front, promising better-than-ever visuals.
Part of that comes from smooth 120-frames-per-second 4K visuals, as well as highly detailed 8K graphics.
But the consoles are also powering games running on next-gen graphics engines, buoying “ray-tracing” lighting that looks more realistic than ever.
On paper, both consoles are extremely powerful.
Both consoles use 8-core processors, though the Xbox is clocked slightly higher at 3.8GHz versus the PS5’s 3.5GHz.
More important is the graphical heft, with Xbox seemingly having the edge.
The Series X promises 12-teraflops of graphical output, versions the 10.3-teraflops on the PS5.
Teraflops – or rather, trillions of operations per second – are a way of measuring how faster a graphics card can work.
And Microsoft’s console can, on the surface, handle more operations in a given second. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee games will look better, of course.
Both consoles use nippy GDDR6 flash memory, with 16GB to play with.
However, the Xbox appears to edge out yet again
Of course, the raw hardware can’t tell you everything about each console’s performance e.
Much of their tangible speed will come down to how fast content loads, which relates to the flash storage both consoles are using.
The architecture of this storage – and how games and other software interact with it – will be very obvious.
Both Sony and Microsoft have made much of their respective consoles’ slashed loading times.
Sadly, we’ll only know which one is truly faster after testing.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X games – who has the best line-up?
Both Sony and Microsoft have already announced too many games to list off or make sense of.
And we all have a limited amount of time to play, so the majority of people will be sticking to blockbusters and console exclusives.
PlayStation has a particularly tasty list of next-gen games.
These include a new Resident Evil game, as well as Horizon: Forbidden West – a sequel to the acclaimed Horizon: Zero Dawn.
There’s also Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which builds on the existing (and hugely popular) Spider-Man game.
Then there are other treats like Gran Turismo 7, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and a graphically stunning remake of Demon’s Souls.
It’s also likely that popular and recent PS4 games will land on the PS5, including Ghosts of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part 2.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has offered up a slightly less mind-blowing list of games.
The big trump card in the Xbox deck is Halo Infinite – a Microsoft exclusive that will likely tempt longstanding fans of the franchise.
Other attractive titles include a new Forza Motorsport, Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Dirt 5.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X price – how much will they cost?
The main PS5 is expected to cost $499/£449 – with an even cheaper ‘all-digital’ version alongside it.
And according to the Twitter leak, the PS5 Digital Edition will cost $399/£349 at launch.
The leaker says both consoles will be available in the USA and Europe on November 20.
Of course, there’s no way to verify this leak, and Sony hasn’t revealed actual pricing.
But this isn’t the first PS5 price prediction we’ve seen.
We spoke to gadget expert Paolo Pescatore, who said the console will have a premium price, thanks to the slick new design and high performance.
“Expect a price point somewhere between £400-500 for both models,” said savvy analyst Paolo, of PP Foresight, speaking to HOAR.
“Obviously the digital only version should be cheaper (maybe under £400).
He added: “Watch out for some introductory bundles at launch.”
Of course, nothing is certain right now, with Paolo warning that the global health crisis might cause stock limitations.
And he says users may “think twice” before splashing out on gadgets, given the state of the economy.
Respected Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks we’ll see a major price war.
Speaking to HOAR, Pachter said the Xbox Series X will likely cost $499, while the two versions of the PS5 will come in at $499 and $599.
“They’re playing a game of chicken to see who blinks first,” said Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, speaking to HOAR.
“Microsoft is fully prepared to price at $499 regardless of cost, but I think Sony is hopeful that they will announce first.
“Microsoft is going to wait for Sony to blink first.”
Sadly, neither Microsoft nor Sony have confirmed pricing for either of their consoles – or even hinted at a range.
Xbox Series X vs PS5 – which is better?
Sadly, it’s impossible to say which console is better right now.
On the fact of it, the Xbox is marginally more powerful, while the PS5 has a very competitive roster of games.
The PS5 has perhaps a more eye-catching design, but the Xbox is smaller, which may make squeezing it into a TV cabinet more manageable.
Pricing will be hugely important, too – and that remains a mystery.
It’s also a good idea to find out which console your pals are buying, because that might be a major influence on your purchasing decision.
Of course, many games now have platform crossplay – so the console you buy is arguably less important than in previous generations.
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