It’s just amazing and equally curious as to how technology evolves over time. Look at how the smartphone revolution bloomed. Now all of us are owning a mobile device capable of computations once thought impossible for even the mightiest of computers. So it was only logical that we were to get the “next-generation” console hardware sooner than later. Hence, here’s a PlayStation 5 Vs Xbox Series X: Comparison.

Lo and behold, we now have concrete data on how both Sony and Microsoft’s consoles are going to be powered by. Given Sony was a bit shy in its advances with PlayStation 5’s info reveal to the masses. I was thinking like maybe they’re going to pull something similar to the PlayStation 3 debacle. As all, we knew officially about PlayStation 5 is a timed exclusive “Godfall”, the next-gen being all about SSDs and that enigmatic PS5 logo.

Official Specification Reveals

It was until March 18, 2020, when we received the full spec list of the PlayStation 5. Now on Microsoft’s end, its suffice to say Phil Spencer was completely open when it came to the next-gen Xbox reveal. I mean he was there with a complete trailer for the prototype design of the hardware at the Game Awards 2019. That was along with a supposedly “in-engine” rendered trailer for the newly acquired studio for Microsoft, Ninja Theory’s new game. They also revealed their full hardware specifications just two days before Sony did, i.e. March 16.

That being said, to get an exact idea of what actually is being upgraded. We will be comparing the current generation consoles, i.e. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (both base and pro models) with the new hardware.

PlayStation 5 vs PlayStation 4: Specs comparison

PlayStation 5 Hardware Specifications:

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
  • GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
  • GPU Architecture: Custom RDNA 2
  • Memory Interface: 16GB GDDR6 / 256-bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
  • Internal Storage: Custom 825GB SSD
  • IO Throughput: 5.5GB/s (raw), typical 8-9GB/s (compressed)
  • Expandable Storage: NVMe SSD slot
  • External Storage: USB HDD support
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray drive (Finally)
  • Controller: Still undisclosed design but will feature adaptive triggers and will retain the Speaker and Haptic feedback functions from PS4 with some QoL improvements. Also, the new addition will be the inclusion of a USB Type-C for charging.

Now let’s see how the current-generation hardware from Sony stands and how much is being improved upon in the PS5.

PlayStation 4 Specifications:

  • CPU: AMD custom Jaguar CPU architecture with 8 cores and a base clock of 1.6 GHz (2.13 GHz on Pro)
  • GPU: 1.84 TFLOPs (4.2 TFLOPs in Pro), AMD next-gen Radeon based graphics engine, 18 CUs at 800 MHz (36 CUs at 911 MHz in Pro)
  • GPU Architecture: Radeon GCN (Graphics Core Next) Architecture
  • Memory Interface: 8 GB GDDR5 (additional 1 GB DDR3 in Pro for OS and Swapping) 256-bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 176 GB/s (217.6 GB/s in Pro)
  • Internal Storage: 2.5″ 5200 RPM HDD (500 GB/1 TB) User upgradable (Pro versions by default come with a standard 1 TB)
  • External Storage: USB HDD Support
  • Optical Drive: Standard Blu-ray drive (No 4K UHD Blu-ray support but the console supports 4K images and videos)
  • Controller: DualShock 4 with Sony’s proprietary DualShock Haptic feedback, a revamped design from the previous generation controller (DualShock 3). Also the first-ever inclusion of a speaker and a dedicated touch panel on the controller.

As we see, the general takeaway here is Sony sure did pump-up the overall processing and graphics rendering prowess on the PS5. A much much higher CPU bandwidth courtesy of AMD’s Zen2 architecture. And a significantly high GPU clock and floating-point operations per second (TFLOPs). Also, the upgraded bus type for memory from GDDR5 to GDDR6 with essentially double the memory allocation is quite a noteworthy upgrade.

That Sweet Sweet 4K UHD Drive And PSVR

PlayStation 5
The alleged prototype for the PlayStation 5. Courtesy: SIE

Given the next-gen is all about the supposed revolution in “Ray Tracing” and ease of transition, these specs do seem like more than capable of delivering. Last but not least, the inclusion of a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive makes me super excited above all. Also, all the existing PSVR capabilities will be carried over to the PS5 with some fine-tuning done to enhance the overall VR experience.

Xbox Series X vs Xbox One: Specs comparison

That being said, let’s check out how Microsoft fairs out with it’s Xbox Series X. A quick side note is it just me or Microsoft really needs to work on its naming conventions. Their last console was Xbox One X and now Xbox Series X. Anyways back to the topic at hand, here are the officially revealed specifications of Series X by Microsoft.

Xbox Series X
The official system design revealed by Microsoft. Courtesy: Microsoft Xbox

Xbox Series X Specifications:

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2 with 8 cores at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)
  • GPU: 12 TFLOPs, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz, Custom RDNA 2
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6
  • Storage: 1TB custom NVMe SSD
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray
  • Controller: Xbox proprietary controller (similar to Xbox One controller) with minor QoL tweaks.
  • Additionals: According to Microsoft, their newer generation consoles will be fully backwards compatible with the current generation peripherals, i.e. controllers, headsets, etc.

Now, let’s take a look at the Xbox One (both Xbox One S and Xbox One X) hardware guts and see how they fare against the forthcoming Series X.

Xbox One Specifications:

  • CPU: 8-core Jaguar CPU at 1.75GHz (“Evolved” at 2.3 GHz in One X)
  • GPU: 1.23 TFLOPs, 12CUs at 914 MHz (6 TFLOPs, 40 CUs at 1172 MHz in One X)
  • Memory: 8 GB DDR3 (12 GB GDDR5 in One X)
  • Storage: Standard non-replaceable HDD 500 GB/1 TB/ 2TB with external HDD support
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray drive (Additionally, Microsoft released an all-digital Xbox One S that omitted the Blu-ray drive all together)
  • Controller: Xbox One wireless controller.

Let’s be honest Microsoft probably nailed it when it comes to a truly next-gen feeling console. I mean just look at the specs for Series X. A 12 TFLOPs RDNA2 GPU with CPU clocks as high as 3.8 GHz. This sure is the most powerful console yet. The rest of the specs are box standard ninth-generation console essentials i.e. NVMe SSDs, UHD Blu-ray drives, etc.

PlayStation 5 Vs Xbox Series X
The Zen 2 APU in all it’s glory on-board a Series X. Courtesy: Microsoft Xbox

Now, given Microsoft has already been upfront with its design for Series X, we already know the aesthetics to Series X. I admit it does look like a “mini-fridge” but that’s for a reason. According to Microsoft, that extra real estate gives the console’s innards to keep the temps in check. You won’t want to see your game console get engulfed in literal “ray-traced” flames now do you?

PlayStation 5 vs PlayStation 4: Framerates

Both Sony and Microsoft with their 9th generation consoles are targeting a base 60 FPS (frames per second) at the native target resolution. additionally, Microsoft is targeting past 60 to upwards of 120 frames per second. Only time will tell how they fare to achieve the said framerate quotas.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Target Resolution(s)

Microsoft being Microsoft has stated it’s hardware to be capable of outputting a base native 4K with support for 8K (native) and up to 16K via upscaling (checkerboarding). Well, honestly even with the given hardware specs I personally doubt even the native 8K capabilities, let alone the 16K stuff. But, I’m game if Microsoft can actually deliver on it.

Sony, on the other hand, is sticking with a stable 4K 60fps experience for users with a promise for 8K support.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Backward Compatibility

PlayStation 5 Vs Xbox Series X
Sony said, “the overwhelming majority” of the PS4 games will work seamlessly on PS5. Courtesy: SIE

Both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be fully backwards compatible with the current generation consoles. This may not come as news for Xbox owners as Xbox One too was heavily compatible with previous-gen titles. But, for Sony and PlayStation after PS4 restricting backward compatibility to the PS Now cloud service, this sure is news. According to Mark Cerny, most of the top played 100+ games will be straight up playable on the PlayStation 5 on launch. Along with most of the 4000+ games on PS4 to be playable eventually.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Price

Both Sony and Microsoft are tight-lipped about the exact pricing for their respective consoles. Several third party outlets have estimated the PlayStation 5 to stand somewhere between $500-$600 range and the Xbox Series X to similarly cost around $600. Allow me to give you a comparison of the current-gen base consoles both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S that come at around $250 to $300. So yes, a $600 console will be a pretty expensive investment for anyone interested. But then again the hardware in offering sure does make up for a compelling enough reason for the price, albeit not official.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Available Games (Including Exclusives)

PlayStation 5 Vs Xbox Series X
Hellblade II was a sweet surprise at Microsoft’s Xbox Series X reveal. Courtesy: Microsoft Xbox

Admittedly, a super-powered console is rendered obsolete if there is not much worthy content (games) to play on it. Take Xbox One for instance. Now, for the release line-up, there aren’t many first-party exclusives announced on either side. But, a good amount of cross-platform, cross-generation titles is announced for both Xbox Series X and PS5’s possibly late 2020 launch. At the time of writing this article, the following are the games that are officially announced for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

Xbox Series X Confirmed Games:

PlayStation 5 Vs Xbox Series X
Halo Infinite is also coming out for Xbox One systems as well as Windows 10 PCs. Courtesy: Microsoft Xbox
  • Halo Infinite
  • Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
  • Outriders
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Gears 5
  • Gods & Monsters
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Quarantine
  • Watch Dogs Legion

PlayStation 5 Confirmed Games:

PlayStation 5 Vs Xbox Series X
Godfall is also coming out on PC via the Epic Games Store. Courtesy: Gearbox Publishing
  • Godfall
  • Gods & Monsters
  • Watch Dogs Legion
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Quarantine
  • Untitled game from Bluepoint Games (Creators of Shadow of the Colossus Remake on PlayStation 4)

The rapidness at which the gaming industry is moving every other generation is just remarkable. It only feels like yesterday that I was playing on my PlayStation 4 and getting bedazzled by the wonders such a tiny box can produce. The number of texture works, special effects, SSR, immaculate lighting, and just what not. all that keeping me starry-eyed to the screen. And now we’re on the cusp of getting a new generation of consoles. With a whole new set of possibilities, both graphically and gameplay-wise.

That wraps up this comparative analysis of Sony and Microsoft’s upcoming consoles. What are you most excited about both these consoles? Are you planning on getting any of them? Feel free to tell us down in the comments.

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