The next generation of consoles is already available. Sony has confirmed the price of its new PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, just days after Microsoft revealed the price of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. There is no more information to provide. Sony and Microsoft have placed all of the meat on the grill, and it is now up to the user to choose between the two consoles.

In that regard, there are some differences in terms of video game specifications and strategy. Precisely for this reason, we will compare the four consoles offered by Sony and Microsoft to see what similarities they share, how the most affordable and digital versions compete, and, of course, what is the game strategy of the new PS5 and the new Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X

PLAYSTATION 5XBOX SERIES X
CPU8 x Zen 2 3.5 GHz cores8 x Zen 2 cores at 3.8 GHz
GPU10.28 TFLOPS
36 CUs at 2.23 GHz
12 TFLOPS
52 CUs at 1.825 GHz
ARCHITECTUREAMD RDNA 2 customAMD RDNA 2 custom
MEMORY / INTERFACE16 GB GDDR6 / 256-bit16 GB GDDR6 / 320-bit
MEMORY BANDWIDTH448 GB / s10GB @ 560GB / s
6GB @ 336GB / s
INTERNAL STORAGE825GB custom SSD1 TB NVMe Custom SSD
TRANSFER FEES5.5 GB / s (raw data)
8-9 GB / s (compressed data)
2.4 GB / s (raw data)
4.8 GB / s (compressed data)
EXTERNAL STORAGENVMe SSD CardsNVMe SSD Cards
OPTICAL UNIT4K UHD Blu-ray4K UHD Blu-ray
PRICE499.99 euros499.99 euros

In terms of raw power, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are very similar. Both consoles feature an eight-core Zen 2 CPU, with the Xbox One being slightly faster. If we stick to the teraflops and CUs (computing units) of the GPU, the Microsoft console is capable of performing more options per second and is slightly more powerful, as the Xbox Series X has 12 TFLOPS and the PS5 has 10 TFLOPS and the PS5 has 28 TFLOPS. It is a distinction, but it is not particularly noteworthy.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X

In other words, there isn’t much of a difference in graphic power between the two. Both consoles promise that we will be able to play in 4K at 60 frames per second, with a top speed of 120 FPS. In the end, it will be determined by each game and each studio. Regardless, and sticking strictly to the facts, the Xbox aims to be a little more powerful in terms of graphics.

Similarly, comparing the TFLOPS and Compute Units of one console with those of another is not overly reliable. Mark Cerny himself, the chief architect of the development of PlayStation, pointed out during the presentation of the console that this metric can be misleading and that, for example, the 36 CUs of the PS5 would be equivalent to about 58 CUs of the PS4, since the Transistor density is much higher and, in addition, they operate at a higher speed.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X

Now, where there are substantial differences is in the storage system. The Xbox Series X features a custom 1TB NVMe SSD with transfer rates of 2.4GB per second for raw data and 4.8GB per second for compressed data, but Sony has gone for a custom SSD that takes advantage of the PCIe 4.0 standard and a host of enhancements specifically aimed at making that storage system perform fantastically.

Except for the storage system, both consoles promise similar graphics performance

And what does that imply? At significantly higher transfer rates. The PS5 can transfer 5.5 GB/s of raw data and between 8 and 9 GB/s of compressed data, which is twice the speed of the Xbox Series X. Essentially, it can load 2 GB in 0.27 seconds, which should translate to much faster loading times on paper.

In short, both consoles aim to provide a similar graphics experience at comparable prices, but the SSD of the PlayStation 5 is superior. However, we don’t know if the difference in performance will be noticeable between the two consoles, because both storage subsystems are a significant improvement over the current generation of consoles.

PlayStation 5 Digital Edition vs Xbox Series S

PLAYSTATION 5 DIGITAL EDITIONXBOX SERIES S
CPU8 x Zen 2 3.5 GHz cores8 x Zen 2 cores at 3.8 GHz
GPU10.28 TFLOPS
36 CUs at 2.23 GHz
4 TFLOPS
20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz
ARCHITECTUREAMD RDNA 2 customAMD RDNA 2 custom
MEMORY / INTERFACE16 GB GDDR6 / 256-bit10 GB GDDR6 / 128-bit
MEMORY BANDWIDTH448 GB / s8 GB at 224 GB / s
2 GB at 56 GB / s
INTERNAL STORAGE825GB custom SSD512GB NVMe custom
TRANSFER RATE5.5 GB / s (raw data)
8-9 GB / s (compressed data)
2.4 GB / s (raw data)
4.8 GB / s (compressed data)
EXTERNAL STORAGENVMe SSD CardsNVMe SSD Cards
OPTICAL UNITNotNot
PRICE399.99 euros299.99 euros

If in the most powerful consoles the differences were scarce, in the completely digital models it is the opposite. PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is, on paper, much more powerful than the Xbox Series S . Not only because it has more TFLOPS and CUs, which we have already said are not reliable metrics, but because the GPU of the Xbox Series S is less powerful than that of the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X

Both consoles use the same processor as their older sisters, so we can expect an eight-core CPU at 3.5 GHz for the PS5 and 3.8 GHz for the Xbox Series X. The GPU is still a Custom AMD RDNA 2, but it is less powerful in the S Series. The PS5 Digital Edition, for example, has 16GB of GDDR6 memory, while the Xbox Series S has 10GB of GDDR6 memory.

Basically, the Xbox Series S is a cropped version of the Xbox Series X that sacrifices power and cuts in resolution. The Xbox Series X aims to render in 4K at 120 FPS, but the Xbox Series S stays at 1,440p at 120 FPS with 4K upscaling . The PS5 Digital Edition, however, maintains the specifications and capabilities of the standard PS5, only eliminating the optical drive.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X

In terms of storage, the two consoles share the specifications of their disc drive models, so the results should be identical on paper. It should be noted that the PS5 Digital Edition has the same storage capacity as the standard PS5, whereas the Xbox Series S has half the storage capacity of the Series X. Both consoles’ storage can be expanded using external devices.

In summary accounts, and always bearing in mind that we are building on the official specifications, one could say that the PS5 Digital Edition is more powerful than the Xbox Series S.

Services and videogames

Thus we come to services and video games. If in terms of hardware both consoles are, with their exceptions, similar, the strategy of both companies in terms of software is radically different : Microsoft bets on services, while Sony prefers to fight based on exclusives and large franchises.

We started with Xbox. Microsoft has long given a lot of prominence to Game Pass, its “flat rate” for video games. Not only because all titles from Microsoft’s studios will be available in the launch Game Pass on the console, but also because users who pay for Game Pass Ultimate will be able to access EA Play (Electronic Arts’ catalog of games), xCloud ( streaming games from mobile phones), Gold (to play online) and PC games from their computers.

PlayStation, on the other hand, does not have a “unifying” service for its console. It has PS Now, a flat rate with about 800 video games that allow you to stream or download titles on the console, but it lacks the “launch available” factor that Xbox is so reliant on. PS Now is available for PC, but only in streaming mode and in 720p resolution. It has nothing in common with Game Pass Ultimate.

In terms of services, Microsoft takes the medal. However, Sony can boast of having a very rich catalog of exclusive games with great franchises under its belt, such as ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Ratchet and Clank’, ‘The Last of Us’, ‘Gran Turismo 7’, a new Square Enix IP, ‘Demon’s Souls’, ‘Horizon: Forbidden West’ or ‘Sackboy: A Big Adventure’, based on the universe of ‘Little Big Planet’.

Finally, backward compatibility, one of the most contentious aspects of the new consoles, must be addressed. Both consoles will allow you to play games from previous generations, though Xbox promises a wider selection.

Microsoft assures that we will have access to “thousands of titles of four generations of content. Including Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One”. They claim that there is a ” select list of titles that will feature enhancements far beyond what was originally created”, such as 4K rendering, HDR, anisotropic filtering and more frames per second. How many games will be supported? It is not known. If I have an Xbox 360 disc and I put it in the Xbox Series X, will I be able to play? It is also not known.

Sony, for its part, today announced the PS Plus Collection, a collection of PS4 video games that, they say, will be available from launch via digital download to be played on PS5. Among the games included are ‘God of War’, ‘Ratchet and Clank’, ‘Uncharted 4’, ‘Detroit Become Human’ and a few more. However, it is still pending to know if the PS5 will be backward compatible with the games of PS3, PS2, and PS1.

Sony and Microsoft do not want their current-generation games to become obsolete. They still need to clarify which titles can be played, under what conditions, and whether they will be available only after a digital download or if it will be as simple as inserting the disc into the optical drive. Whatever the case may be, it is clear that the new console war has become very interesting. And it’s only the beginning.

Who is each console aimed at

If we look at the specification tables for each console, we can see that each one is designed to provide a different experience and, as a result, to appeal to a different type of user. Some Xbox users may not require the Xbox Series X to enjoy their favorite games, as the power of the most basic console may suffice.

The PlayStation 5 is expected to play 4K at 60 frames per second and hit 120 frames per second. With an optical drive, we can buy physical games, exchange them with friends, and even sell them once we’ve gotten tired of them. The same is true for the Xbox Series X, though it is more geared toward utilizing the catalog made available to Game Pass subscribers.

The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, meanwhile, aspires to offer an experience similar to its sister with a disc player, but completely forgets about boxes and physical games. There are no differences in terms of performance, since it also promises to play in 4K at 60 FPS or up to 120 FPS , but by its nature it may be more focused on free-to-play and competitive titles such as’ Fortnite ‘or’ Call of Duty: Warzone ‘, which are eminently online.

The Xbox Series S follows the same philosophy. It is a less powerful console with less storage and no optical drive. It aims to render games at 1,440p at 60 FPS and some at 120 FPS, but it is not intended for big heavy games like those mentioned above, but rather for online titles like those mentioned above or lighter games available on Game Pass.

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