The next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony are due to arrive by the end of 2020.
Microsoft has been quite open about its Xbox Series X, revealing things like its design, a few new games, (1) and features. (2) Sony, on the other hand, hasn’t released any real details yet for the PS5,  but a reveal event should happen very soon. In any case, these consoles should come out more or less on the same date, which is going to divide gamers once again. To that end, we’ve put together this Xbox Series X vs PS5 guide to show you what we know so far.
Xbox Series X vs PS5: Brief Overview
- Planned Release Dates: Both Microsoft and Sony have set a “Holiday 2020” release date, meaning the consoles will come out between October and December of this year.
- Which Games Will We See? Not many games have been announced as of yet. However, the consoles should be backward compatible to some extent, while certain titles, such as Cyberpunk 2077 (4) will come out on both platforms.
- Which Console is More Powerful? The Xbox Series and PS5 seem evenly matched. More on that below.
- What Will the Price for a PS5 and Xbox Series X? We’re expecting a price tag of $500, £500, or AU$500.
Xbox Series X vs PS5: Spec
In April of 2019, Sony made the first move, but after Microsoft’s appearance on E3 2019, it seems that these competitors are very evenly matched in terms of specs.
The PS5 will have a 3rd generation, 8-core Ryzen chipset from AMD, along with Navi graphics (5) capable of ray tracing that was until recently only available on high-end GPUs for PC machines. The PS5 will also support an 8K resolution, 120Hz refresh rates, and come with an SSD. Moreover, Sony hinted at their new console pushing the boundaries of immersive 3D audio. When it comes to the next DualShock controllers, Sony announced on their blog (6) that haptic feedback will replace the old rumble features, and that new adaptive triggers are being designed.
The Xbox series X will use the same architecture as the PS5, which will enable it to run content and probably games in 8K with the same refresh rates. Microsoft’s Project Scarlett matches Sony’s new console by providing ray tracing, besides having an SSD, and GDDR6 ram. The latest iteration of the Xbox will also have backward compatibility with ‘One’ accessories.
Another interesting feature from Microsoft is Smart Delivery which means you’ll be able to play the best version of a game such as Cyberpunk 2077, even if you initially buy it for the Xbox One before purchasing the Series X. Aside from that, there’s the ‘Quick Resume’ feature that will make it easy to instantly go to where you last left off in multiple games.
Xbox Series X vs PS5: Games
Microsoft has been more forthcoming about the games it’s preparing for the Xbox Series X, which includes Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. More importantly, Microsoft is expected to be generous when it comes to backward compatibility for games released on the 360, One, and original Xbox.
Sony hasn’t announced a launch title for the PS5, but we will see titles such as Godfall and Watch Dogs: Legion come out. Like the latest Xbox, the new PlayStation is going to provide backward compatibility for PS4 games, but Sony has historically been a little bit less generous than its rival if you exclude the PlayStation Now game streaming service.
Lastly, games like Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us: Part 2, and Ghost of Tsushima should be cross-platform.
Xbox Series X vs PS5: Expected Prices
Unfortunately, we can only speculate how much each console will cost at this point. Too many pieces of the puzzle are missing for us to come up with an educated guess on pricing. However, the specifications outlined above will not be cheap. Both consoles will be high-end products with big price tags for pre-order bundles.
Looking back and comparing prices, it might be possible that one company will try to undercut the other and try to win over more customers in the process, but with specs so similar, this becomes less likely.
With what we know so far, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are neck and neck, despite there being much more to find out in the coming months. What’s most exciting is the promise of collaboration between the two rivals through the sharing of online streaming technologies. This marks a move in the right direction for many customers who want to just play games, instead of having to listen to company politics.