Battle of Gaming Machines: Microsoft Xbox Series X Vs Sony PS5

Author Alex Zhang 7.7.2020. | 14:49

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PS5 is getting ready to fight in the gaming arena. The saga continues with the titans showing off brand new specs and gameplay this season.

The battle between gaming machine giants Microsoft and Sony has begun yet again. Gaming enthusiasts all over the globe are looking forward to the launch of Xbox series X and Playstation’s PS5 this year. 

Both the tech giants have had a long standing strife to win the race of best gaming machine ever. Even after launching several products in their gaming console lineup, both the companies are still sparring to create more innovative products than before. 

Microsoft’s Xbox editions and Sony’s Playstations were quick to grab attention from both children and adults. It is now customary to see an Xbox or a Playstation lying around at most houses because kids and adult gaming enthusiasts alike prefer these two gaming machines. 

Unlike before, number of people using the widely popular Nintendo gaming consoles have fallen. It has become a rare thing to see people owning another gaming console apart from Xbox and Playstation editions.

Considering this, it is safe to assume that Microsoft and Sony currently reign over the gaming kingdom. But, the Game of Thrones continues. Owing to their expansive fan base, it is also safe to assume that Xbox and Playstations needn’t pay for their own publicity. 

You might have come across the recent explosion of news about Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PS5. The news is particularly curated for people eagerly looking forward to the release of both these gaming consoles. 

This article is not only for those looking to probably buy their next new gaming machine. It’s also for those who are considering buying their first gaming machine and are confused between the Xbox series X and PS5. 

You might all be familiar with Sheldon Cooper from the famous sitcom Bing Bang Theory. The genius scientist had to spend a whole day at the gaming store struggling to make a choice between PS4 and Xbox one. It is indeed hard to choose between both gaming machines, even for geniuses!

Let’s go over the features and decide which console might win this war of machines:

Microsoft Xbox Series X

U.S. tech giant, Microsoft unveiled their first Xbox product in 2001. Dipping their toes in the console market with the launch of Xbox on November 15, 2001, the company thus began its prosperous journey and eventually became a household name among the gaming community. 

After 2001, over a span of nearly two decades, arrived six more different models to continue the endeavor. The models include Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 S, Xbox 360 E, Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X. This year, Microsoft is back again with yet another impressive Xbox series X.

Launch Date

The company announced Xbox would be launched this ‘’holiday 2020”. The date of launch is still a mystery.

What We Know About Xbox Series X

The first sneak peek to Xbox Series X was displayed at the Electronics Entertainment Expo 2019 in June. Codenamed Project Scarlett, Microsoft gave away a few key specs at the Expo. They captured the attention of their fan base with another announcement, this time revealing many more interesting specs.

“Xbox Series X will be our fastest, most powerful console ever and set a new bar for performance, speed and compatibility, allowing you to bring your gaming legacy, thousands of games from three generations and more forward with you,’’ said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. 

He also revealed that the new gaming machine will have 8K resolution with a possibility of up to 120 frames per second. It will have hardware accelerated ray tracing and will be able to “virtually eliminate load times.” Powered by AMD's latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures Microsoft has promised to deliver four times the processing power of an Xbox One. 

Features

Microsoft invited techie vlogger, Austin Evans and Digital Foundry, a media company to scrutinize a beta version of the new gen console. The techie vlogger and the media company have posted reviews explaining every spec and gameplay on the device.

Evans is of the opinion that the Series X is four times better than the previous generation while Digital Foundry says that the improved ‘’memory and fast storage could be a game-changer”. 

  • Design

The Series X is a large rectangular box which is predominantly black in color, accompanying the wireless controller. The box measures 5.94 inches in both width and depth and has a height of approximately 10 inches. 

The front of the Xbox Series X exhibits a power button, an eject button for its 4K Blu-ray drive, the disc slot, and one USB-A 3.2 port. The rear port features a storage expansion slot, two USB 3.2 ports, an Ethernet jack, an HDMI 2.1 output, and a power port.

Also featuring in black is the new improved wireless controller. The wireless controller has a new D-Pad with slightly deeper dish, and finely tuned angles for precise movement. There’s  Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity for pairing with more devices, including PC, Android and iOS. You can spot a USB-C port for charging and a share button on the controller as well. 

  • Performance

The power of the Series X is derived from the system on chip [SoC]. The SoC houses both GPU and CPU. In addition to that it houses 8 AMD Zen 2 GPU Cores which can boost your game up to 3.8 GHz. 

While you are gaming, seven of these cores will be dedicated to your game while one of the cores will support the Windows and the operating system in the background. Seven cores are enough to give you sustained power and speed while you are gaming. The Series X processor is capable of running four Xbox One S game sessions at the same time on the same chip. 

The GPU delivers 12 teraflops of power via 3328 shaders. The GPU allows for work to be distributed between shaders without any load on the CPU, avoiding extra pressure on the Zen 2 cores. 

The key attraction of the Xbox Series X is the ray tracing. This means that your games will now have "true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time".  Therefore, the games on the Series X are bound to have great visual quality and striking graphics. 

  • Memory

The Series X has a 16 GB GDDR6 RAM. Games get a total of 13.5GB of memory which is split in two ways – 10GB of GPU optimal memory and 3.5GB of standard memory. GPU optimal and standard memories provide identical performance for CPU audio and file IO. There is 2.5GB of GDDR6 memory for the operating system and the apps. 

  • Storage

What improves the memory on this gaming machine is the one terabyte SSD. The unit hosts a PCIe 4.0 SSD that can pull up to four watts. Microsoft guarantees a throughput of 2.4GB/s via the SSD and expanded memory. 

Series X also supports a proprietary 1TB external SSD which is sold separately. The company stated that they have three channels running for the external memory.  

Other Noteworthy Specs

Microsoft boasts that this gaming machine will set the standard to more playing and less waiting. The new SSD contributes to the gaming world being visually intensive, dynamic and pushes the game to load much faster. 

To optimize the latency, the company has fitted the model with Dynamic Latency Input (DLI). This will ensure that there is no lag in input and display times. This makes controls more responsive and accurate. 

Another feature to look forward to is the smart delivery. This means that if you buy an Xbox X version of a game, you will be able to play it on the Series X as well. You wouldn’t have to spend those extra bucks on getting a separate Series X version. 

Moreover, Xbox Series X has system-wide HDR. It adds a degree of consistency to all the games and also helps add HDR to games that don’t already come with it. 

Game Titles on the Xbox Series X

This is the most important category gamers are interested in. Apart from the specs, Xbox fanatics are looking forward to the games that will launch on the new gaming console. 

The Xbox Series X will have all of the third-party releases that are on every other console. Franchises and games like Call of Duty, Destiny, Fortnite, NBA 2K, and FIFA will be available on the console. 

Regarding the exclusive games, Microsoft’s legendary Halo series will see the launch of a new entry called the Halo Infinite. The tech giant has confirmed that the game will be launch alongside the console.

Below is the updated list of gaming titles that will be available on the new Series X:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

  • Bright Memory Infinite

  • Call of the Sea 

  • Chivalry 2

  • Chorus 

  • Cyberpunk 2077

  • Destiny 2 

  • DiRT 5 

  • FIFA 21

  • Gears 5

  • Halo Infinite

  • Hitman 3

  • Madden NFL 21

  • Marvel’s Avengers

  • Outriders

  • Scarlet Nexus 

  • Scorn

  • Second Extinction 

  • The Ascent 

  • The Medium

  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 

  • WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship

  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon 

The Sony PS5

Sony entered the gaming world with PlayStation One video game console released in 1994. PlayStation used compact discs, pioneering the video game industry’s shift from cartridges. 

With its first launch in Japan, the entertainment company gathered fame with its consoles and by 2005 became the first console ever to ship 100 million units. After four innovative Playstation editions, the company is stroking the next Playstation, the PS5. 

Launch Date

The company announced PS5 would be launched this ‘’holiday 2020”. The date of launch has not been announced yet. Since PS5 is in direct competition with Xbox Series X, both gaming machines being launched at around the same time will see a lot of competition. 

What We Know About Xbox Series X

Sony has spent four years working on the console that will replace PS4. A preview to the PS5 happened in a June reveal event. The company also announced several accessories and the news of a digital-only PS5 edition. 

The new PS5 boasts lightning fast loading times, immersive 3D audio tech and backward compatibility with PS4 games. During the reveal event Sony showed of the DualSense PS5 controller, which includes a bunch of features like haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and a built-in mic.

Features

Thanks to several insightful and exclusive news pieces from the Wired, we have clarity on the specs and features of the new PS5. The interview with Mark Cerny, the game designer has given a detailed explanation of the features of the gaming machine. 

  • Design

The PS5 is shaped like a sleek, curved box spanning black and white with blue highlighting. This tall console can be orientated horizontally or vertically depending on the space available next to your device of choice. 

The trailer to the unit also showed a controller charging station which supports two DualSense pads, a headset with 3D audio support and noise-cancelling microphones. There is also a media remote with built-in microphone.

The PS5 will make its entry in two different editions –  one with a disc drive, and one without. Both versions have a USB and USB-C port in the front.

  • Performance

The PS5 houses eight Zen 2 cores working at 3.5GHz. The graphic card is a custom RDNA 2 card from AMD. The output of the processor stands at 10.3 teraflops running at 2.23GHz.  To make this possible the company has installed 825GB NVMe SSD. It contributes to faster data retrieval and loading, making the games faster and more responsive.

  • Memory

All Sony has said is that the PS5 will have 16GB GDDR6 RAM which will be running at 448 GB/s. 

  • Storage

Solid State Drives are not just for storage but also can be used as virtual memory. As mentioned earlier, the PS5 houses a 825 GB SSD that can load games at 5.5 GBs per second. It’s also said to support certain M2 external SSDs. There is a slot inside of the console which you can use to add storage. You can also just connect an external hard drive to the console and source your games from the drive. The custom 825GB SSD is equipped to improve performance. This ultra-fast SSD will be able to drastically reduce loading times. Since the SSDs are given more bandwidth, data can be directly loaded from the SSD whenever required. This avoids unwanted data being loaded into RAM, which in turn reduces load times. This also means that booting up from standby mode will become much faster. 

Other Noteworthy Specs

Sony’s new gaming unit features immersive 3D audio tech. According to Cerny it will make you feel more immersed in the game as sounds come at you from above, from behind, and from the side similar to virtual surround sound. He also states that headphone audio will be the “gold standard”. 

PS5 is made to act as both a home entertainment system as well as a gaming console as it is fitted with 4K UHD Blu-ray drive. This means that you can enjoy both movies and games at a high resolution. 

Another important feature is the backward compatibility to PS4. Almost all the top 100 PS4 games will be playable on PS5. However, the company hasn’t been clear about backward compatibility with other Playstation versions.  

Game Titles on the PS5

PlayStation recently highlighted 9 new indie titles for PS5 and PS4 as a part of its new PlayStation Indies Initiative.

 The first game on their list is F.I.S.T: Forged in Shadow Torch, an action-adventure indie game with as Rayton, a bunny as the protagonist who is in a mechanical suit that has a giant fist. Some other games mentioned was Maquette where the Heart Is and Heavenly Bodies. However, most of these games are slated to release on PS4 for now.

Below are the games titles Sony has confirmed will be on the PS5:

  • Horizon Forbidden West from Guerrilla

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales from Insomniac Games and Marvel

  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart from Insomniac Games

  • Demon’s Souls from Japan Studio and Bluepoint Games

  • Gran Turismo 7 from Polyphony Digital

  • Sackboy A Big Adventure from Sumo Digital

  • Returnal from Housemarque

  • Destruction All Stars from Lucid Games

  • Astro’s Playroom from Japan Studios

Which is Better? Xbox Series X or PS5?

Both these titans have clearly stacked their machines with the best features and technology. Both have eight Zen 2 cores for maximum efficiency. They have built in SSDs as well, promoting faster loading times.  The Series X has slightly higher GPU processing power of 12 teraflops while PS5 has 10.3 teraflops.   

This power factor is being critically judged by the gaming community. The teraflops of the Xbox Series X gives it an upper hand here.

They possess custom layouts for the graphics engine located on the motherboard. Comparing the gaming titles, PS5 has confirmed Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon II: Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7 on the new unit. Series X on the other hand, has confirmed Halo Infinite, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. 

All these games have a huge fan base.

Specs Comparison:

Specifications

Xbox Series X

PS5

Processor

7nm Enhanced

Not disclosed

CPU

8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU

8x Cores @ 3.5 GHz (variable frequency)

GPU

12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz 

10.3 TFLOPS, 36 CUs @ 2.33 GHz

Memory

16 GB GDDR6

16 GB GDDR6

Memory bandwidth

560 GB/s

448 GB/s

Optical drive

4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive

4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive

Internal Storage

1 TB Custom NVME SSD

825 GB Custom NVME SSD

External storage

USB 3.2 External HDD Support

USB External HDD Support

Expandable storage

1 TB Expansion Card

NVMe SSD Slot

Resolution

Up to 8K

Up to 8K

Frame Rate

Up to 120 fps

Up to 120 fps

FAQs

  1. What type of batteries will power the Microsoft Series X controller? 

This time around, Microsoft decided to go with AA batteries to power the controller instead of rechargeable batteries.

  1. Is PSVR compatible to PS5?

According to a report, Sony is building a brand new PSVR 2 to connect to the PS5. The report states that it will be a redesigned headset, completely wireless, with better motion controllers that adds proper support for full scale movement and tracking. 

  1. Will Series X support discs?

Yes, your favorite collection of gaming discs and movies can go right in. Also, due to its internal 4K optical drive, it is capable of playing 4K Blu-rays as well. 

  1. Will Series X support VR?

According to a report from Gameindustry.biz, Mike Nichols, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer for Xbox, said, “We don't have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality." Xbox fans will have to wait for Series X to support VR. 

  1. Should you wait for the PS5 or buy the PS4?

Well, if you are desperate for a console you can get a PS4. If you want to go for a cheaper console, head to the Microsoft store to pick up an Xbox One X. However, if you can wait for some powerful hardware and intensive graphics and also can shell out some extra money, you should definitely wait for the launch of PS5. 

Both have are entered the race with best features and exciting gameplay. 

They are both gunning to get ahead in the competition even fighting for the Warner Bros high profile project Harry Potter. According to a Bloomberg report, it is slated to release next year on both PS5 and Series X. 

Alas, a complete judgement can only be made when the units are fully launched. We will have to wait for the price to be announced and clarity on the full suit of specs on both the machines. 

Without the system in our hands for a hands-on experience, we can’t tell the real difference between the two. For now it is all just on paper. While the Xbox sounds more powerful and attractive, we will have to wait until their full release for a more just verdict.

If you are looking to enhance your gaming gear head to Chinavasion for gaming gadgets selling at attractive prices.


Author Alex Zhang 7.7.2020. | 14:49
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