PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Which is better?

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Which is better?

The rivalry between the PS5 and the Xbox Series X is heated. Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X have been reviewed, and we have to say that both systems have impressed us. Both consoles are capable of 8K resolutions, high frame rates, strong processors, and fast SSDs. But which of the two systems is the better gaming machine, and which has the larger library?

In this PlayStation 5 vs. Xbox Series X battle, find out how each system fared. Also, keep in mind that the “best” console is always the one that supports the games you want to play.

While specifications are useful, they only tell half of the picture when it comes to performance. As a result, this part is ungraded. The Xbox Series X, on the other hand, offers more powerful hardware in terms of both GPU and SSD. See how this gear performs in action in the performance section.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Specs

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Specs

SpecsPS5Xbox Series X
CPU8-core 3.5 GHz AMD Zen 28-core, 3.8 GHz AMD Zen 2
GPU10.3 teraflop AMD RDNA 2 12.0 teraflop AMD RDNA 2
Storage825 GB custom SSD1 TB custom NVMe SSD
Resolution Up to 8KUp to 8K
Frame RateUp to 120 fpsUp to 120 fps
Optical Disc Drive4K UHD Blu-ray (Standard PS5 only)4K UHD Blu-ray
Price$500 $500
Key ExclusivesSpider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon II: Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7Halo Infinite, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, Forza Motorsport 8, State of Decay 3

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: What’s the Price Difference?

Both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X have a $500 price tag.  At first glance, this category appears to be a tie because the two systems are so similar. The basic PS5 and Xbox Series X are not, however, the only options. The PS5 Digital Edition costs $400, and the Xbox Series S costs $300.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Which is better?
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X

The PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition are identical, with the exception of the former’s 4K Blu-ray physical disc drive. The latter, as the name implies, lacks a disc drive. The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, features drastically different hardware than the Xbox Series X, such as a less powerful GPU, a smaller SSD, and less RAM.

As a result, both the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S have viable applications: the former for digital diehards, the latter for casual players or auxiliary setups. Even yet, it’s difficult to identify a clear winner because the Xbox Series S is a unique system rather than a console variant. The most essential thing right now is that both full-fledged systems cost the same amount of money.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Games

Game libraries on the PS5 and Xbox Series X are fundamentally different. The Xbox Series X is designed with the expectation that you’ll pick up where you left off on the Xbox One, and that you’ll want the best possible performance for all of your games. The PS5, on the other hand, boasts a slew of unique games that debuted alongside the new platform – though, to be fair, most of them are also accessible on the PS4.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Which is better?
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X

At the moment, it’s difficult to deny that the PS5 offers a more diverse game library. The PS5 launched with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and the surprisingly charming Astro’s Playroom as first-party titles.

When compared to the Xbox Series X, which didn’t have any exclusive games at launch. Instead, Microsoft announced a list of 30 games that are “optimized for Xbox Series X/S,” including fan favorites such as Gears 5, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Forza Horizon 4. While the Xbox Series X optimizations are amazing, these titles aren’t all entirely new, and they’re all available on Xbox One, PC, or both platforms.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X

Aside from that, third-party games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Borderlands 3, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and others are available on both systems. Late last year, they both got Cyberpunk 2077, Madden 21, and Destiny 2, and third-party parity is expected to continue this year and beyond. Both systems have good backward compatibility features, albeit those are covered in more detail later.

It’s also worth mentioning Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, for which Sony has yet to come up with a satisfactory solution. This $15-per-month membership service allows you to download and play over 100 games from a range of genres on your  Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, and even Android. PlayStation Plus customers may now download a few dozen PS4 classics thanks to Sony’s new “PS Plus Collection.” However, because it isn’t as broad as Xbox Game Pass, Sony might yet increase these offers significantly.

Both consoles will, of course, have some intriguing games in the future. However, if we only consider what we can play and review right now, the PS5 has a better lineup.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Performance Comparison

We examined the quality of two games: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition on both systems. The former is a massive open-world game where you can easily track load times as you travel quickly from one spot on the map to another. The latter is a fast-paced action game in which a frame rate reduction is quickly visible.

First, as far as we can tell, Sony’s lofty statements about the PS5’s load times aren’t overblown. From the main menu to the game, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla took less than a minute to load, and fast travel took less than 10 seconds from point to point. While the Xbox Series X took longer to launch the game at first (almost a minute), the rapid travel time was identical.

I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla if you threw me an ambiguous controller and a screen in front of me. Both systems ran the game in 4K at 60 frames per second (though I realize that the 4K is likely upscaled in both situations), and there was no discernible difference in animation fluidity, lighting, or other aspects of the game. On the Xbox Series X, texture pop-in seemed to be a little more obvious, though that could just be the location I was in.

Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition told a similar plot, but there were some minor modifications in the lighting this time. While ray tracing is available on both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, the Xbox Series X’s ray tracing in this game looked a little richer, with larger contrasts between light and shadow, especially in the game’s early, eerie red-and-purple environments. (The same behavior was discovered by Digital Foundry, with some statistics to back it up.) When I turned on the 120 fps performance setting on the Xbox Series X, it also looked a little smoother, though I wouldn’t be able to tell the two games apart if I didn’t know which one was in front of me.

However, judging performance in these two games is problematic because they were both created with the PS4 and Xbox One in mind, rather than the PS5 and Xbox Series X. While I can discuss how fantastic games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Gears 5 were, I can’t directly compare them.

For the time being, I can say that both consoles operate admirably. However, the PS5 has slightly faster loading times. Before we observe any substantial differences, we’ll probably have to wait a few more months—at the very least.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Design Comparison

The majority of the time, whether you enjoy a console’s design is a matter of personal taste. Our own choice, however, in which I can tolerate the way the PS5 looks. The system is not only ridiculously huge; it’s also a headache to switch from vertical to horizontal mode, and the regular version has an unattractive, unbalanced design.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X

The power and disc eject buttons are indistinguishable on the front panel, which is prone to fingerprints. It’s not often that I propose delaying a console purchase in order to wait for a more attractive makeover, but you should definitely consider doing so with the PS5.

The Xbox Series X, on the other hand, is still quite large, but it makes greater use of its space. Rather than looking like an enlarged router, the Xbox Series X is a sleek black box that resembles a compact tower PC in a vertical shape. It contains a well-defined power button as well as a pairing button for quick wireless connections.

The PS5’s only significant benefit over the Xbox Series X is the inclusion of a USB-C connector, which is a significant feature as more accessories become USB-C compatible. Even though the Xbox Series X design is more conservative, it is also more practical in general.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Controller Comparison

To its credit, the Xbox Series X’s controller is another area where it plays things safe. Except for textured grips and shoulder buttons, an enhanced D-pad, and a new “share” button in the middle, the Xbox Series X controller is essentially identical to the Xbox One version.

It’s a wise improvement for one of the best game controllers ever created. Still, the fact that it relies on AA batteries rather than a built-in rechargeable unit feels outdated, and it also passes on a significant expense to the end-user, whether they buy AAs or rechargeable packs.

The PS5 DualSense, on the other hand, features a two-tone color scheme and substantially larger grips than the DualShock 4. It also comes with a number of additional features, including incredibly sensitive haptics and a built-in microphone. The haptic feedback is excellent, simulating the sensation of things rolling about in a box or providing realistic resistance when you press a trigger. However, there is a lot of wasted space on the DualSense (especially on the touchpad), and the haptics has the ability to yank you out of the game as much as they can immerse you in it. If you’re debating between the PS5 DualSense and the DualShock 4, the new controller comes out on top for pure inventiveness.

PlayStation 5 vs. Xbox Series X: Cloud gaming

Because you can download games and play them on either the PS5 or the Xbox Series X natively, cloud gaming isn’t a major concern. However, as cloud gaming becomes more popular in the coming years, it’s important to understand where each company sits at the start of this console generation.

PlayStation Now is a feature on the PS5 that allows you to stream a range of PS3 and PS4 games to your PS5 or PC. Certain PS4 games are also available for download. It costs at least $8 per month and is not available on mobile devices.

Cloud gaming: PlayStation 5 vs. Xbox Series X
Cloud gaming: PlayStation 5 vs. Xbox Series X

As previously mentioned, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs $15 per month and allows you to stream games to Android. On a console or PC, though, you must still download full titles.

Neither Sony nor Microsoft’s cloud gaming services are complete at this time. The Xbox Series X’s version is slightly better in that it has a mobile option, but the PS5’s version is slightly better in that it includes a streaming option for non-gaming PCs. This one looks to be a tie.

While both consoles have a great start and plenty of space for advancement, the Xbox Series X appears to be a better investment at the time. With more powerful hardware, a nicer design, a more comprehensive game subscription service, and a comfortable controller, the Xbox Series X gets a head start on the next generation of consoles.

The PS5 does, however, have a few benefits over the Xbox Series X. There’s a full-featured digital console, a more innovative controller, a faster SSD, and — not to be overdone — a greater variety of unique titles.

After spending a lot of time with both consoles over the previous few months, I have the impression that they are more similar than they are different, and whatever one you choose should be more than enough to power your gaming for the next few years. You could, of course, just construct a gaming PC, but that’s a different story.

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