PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X – Everything we know so far

Both Microsoft and Sony have announced their next-generation consoles, and pre-orders have already opened.

The PlayStation 5 was so popular, it sold out in just four minutes at some local online stores.

Many South Africans may still be deciding which console to buy when both consoles are again available for pre-order.

We have therefore compared both consoles across a variety of considerations including performance, features, exclusives, game subscription services, and pricing.

Specifications

Both consoles use octa-core AMD Zen 2 processors, RDNA 2 GPUs, and 16GB of GDDR6 memory.

They both will also offer support for ray tracing.

Where they differ, however, is that the Xbox Series X claims to offer 12TFLOPS of performance compared to the PlayStation 5’s 10.3 TFLOPS.

The PlayStation 5 offers 5.5GB/s I/O Throughput compared to the 2.4GB/s of the Xbox Series X.

The Verge reviewed the Xbox Series X and noted that load times have been slashed significantly – to the point where they are comparable to a custom-built gaming PC with a fast NVMe SSD.

Sony also has detailed that load times will change from 1GB in 20 seconds with the PlayStation 4, to 2GB in 0.27 seconds with the PlayStation 5.

View the full specifications of each console below.

Specifications Xbox Series X PlayStation 5
CPU AMD Zen 2 (8-Core 3.8GHz) AMD Zen 2 (8-Core 3.5GHz)
GPU AMD RDNA 2 (12 TFLOPS) AMD RDNA 2 (10.28 TFLOPS)
RAM 16GB GDDR6 16GB GDDR6
Internal storage 1TB SSD 825GB SSD
Expandable storage 1TB Expansion Card NVMe SSD
External Storage USB 3.2 External HDD Support USB External HDD Support
I/O Throughput 2.4GB/s 5.5GB/s
Optical Drive 4K Blu-ray 4K Blu-Ray

Key features and controllers

Sony has touted its immersive Tempest Engine 3D audio, which will offer a particularly impressive performance when PlayStation gamers are wearing a headset while playing their favourite games.

Its DualSense controller will offer haptic feedback, which is an improvement on the console’s previous-generation rumble technology.

Additionally, the L2 and R2 buttons have been improved so that game developers can program their resistance to simulate actions more accurately.

For example, if you are playing a racing game, using these triggers will make it easier to simulate how much you want to push your figurative foot on the throttle, or how hard you want to brake.

Microsoft has highlighted its new Quick Resume feature, which will allow users to leave multiple games open at the same time.

This means gamers will be able to switch between games incredibly quickly, and will not have to restart the game from the beginning every time they switch games.

Microsoft did offer a fast resume feature with its Xbox One, but according to reviews, Quick Resume puts this to shame.

Additionally, the Xbox Series X controller will have a new dedicated share button, as well as new textured bumpers and triggers.

Additionally, unlike the PlayStation 5, the Xbox Series X will allow owners to use their Xbox Series One controllers to play all of its games.

Exclusives

One of the biggest considerations when buying a new console is the exclusive games you will have access to.

This is an area where the PlayStation has historically beaten the Xbox, and the upcoming consoles are no exception.

The PlayStation exclusives coming to the PlayStation 5 are as follows:

  • New God of War
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Returnal
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure
  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Destruction AllStars

Additionally, the following games will be available on PlayStation 5 and PC, but not on Xbox Series X

  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • Deathloop
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo
  • Godfall
  • Project Athia

The Xbox Series X does not have any true exclusives, as all are exclusive to both of Microsoft’s gaming platforms – the Xbox Series X and the Windows PC.

These games are as follows:

  • As Dusk Falls
  • Avowed
  • Call of the Sea
  • Crossfire X
  • Echo Generation
  • Everwild
  • Exo One
  • Exomecha
  • Fable
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Forza Motorsport
  • Gears 5
  • Gears Tactics
  • Halo Infinite
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Sea of Thieves
  • State of Decay 3
  • Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
  • Scorn
  • Tell Me Why
  • The Ascent
  • The Medium

Game subscription service

While Sony has dominated Microsoft in terms of true console exclusives, Microsoft has historically offered the superior game subscription service.

Xbox Game Pass costs R99 per month in South Africa and offers over 100 games from Xbox studios as well as other publishers.

Current popular titles include Flight Simulator 2020, Outer Worlds, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Resident Evil 7, and multiple games from the Gears, Halo, and Age of Empires franchises.

Sony has a competing service – PlayStation Now – which offers over 800 games which can be downloaded to your PlayStation 4 hard drive.

However, PlayStation Now – which has the same $9.99 price as Xbox Game Pass in the US – is not available in South Africa.

Locally, Sony only offers PlayStation Plus – which costs R119 per month and offers only two games to download per month as well as special deals when purchasing other games.

Additionally, PlayStation Plus is required to play online – making it a direct competition with Xbox Live Gold, which is also required to play online and offers a limited number of free games per month as well as deals on other games.

This essentially means that Sony does not have a true competitor for Xbox Game Pass in South Africa – meaning users of this console cannot get access to this fantastic value-for-money service.

Pricing

Microsoft and Sony have matched each other’s pricing for their top new-generation consoles – with the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X both costing R11,999 locally.

However, the cheaper versions of each of these consoles are priced differently.

The Sony PlayStation 5 comes in a Digital Edition, which does not have a CD tray, meaning all games must be downloaded.

This version of the console costs R9,999.

Microsoft has launched a significantly lower-power console called the Xbox Series S, which offers 4TFLOPS of performance compared to the Series X’s 12TFLOPS.

This means that it will not be able to play the latest games in 4K – although all new-generation games will be playable on this console.

This console will also only offer 7.5GB of usable memory compared to 13.5GB of the Series X.

The Xbox Series S costs R6,999.

Now read: Epic Games faces an uphill battle in fight with Apple

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PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X – Everything we know so far