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Pre-Release Console Comparison: PS5 Versus Xbox Series X

Last Updated: 8.10.2020

The timeless battle between Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox will reach new heights, as the PS5 and Xbox Series X are both slated to launch later this year and almost certainly alongside one another.

Many comparisons have already been made about the price, specifications, controllers, and games. This only makes it more exciting as launch day creeps closer. We've taken a look at all the latest details, and we can safely say that both consoles are packing plenty of power behind them, making it a tough choice for undecided gamers.

Let's take a look at how the Xbox Series X Vs. PS5 battle is shaping up.


Image Credit: Howtogeek

On a hardware basis, both consoles are outright beasts, with the Series X having a slight edge on its rival counterpart. The CPUs are very similar. Though, Xbox Series X is moderately faster. It also has a GPU processing power of 12 teraflops, compared to the PS5's 10.28 teraflops. One teraflop is 1012 operations per second, which means the Xbox's extra 1.7 teraflops may be a notable, albeit slight, difference in graphics.

Yet the problem here is that while the console may be capable, not every game can take full advantage of its high processing power. And as performance heavily depends on each game's optimization, it is unlikely to be a noticeable difference, except perhaps on exclusives. This is because third-party games must provide performance parity between their Xbox Series X and PS5 versions.

Storage can also have a significant impact on game performance. With both consoles sporting built-in SSDs, games will load much faster than previously possible. Sony has already explained how rapidly an SSD-integrated console could load games, throwing around the word "instantaneous".

While Microsoft has not yet provided any concrete details, in a short PR video, Series X can be seen booting State of Decay 2 in 11 seconds flat, which when compared side-by-side with Xbox One X that took an entire 40 seconds to move past the static loading screen.

Both systems certainly look very powerful, although Xbox Series X might have a slender lead, with a higher ceiling for rendering graphics.

With both companies having revealed their specs officially, you can look extensively at their respective sites. But even a single glance at the Xbox's website makes it eminently clear that they are targeting a slightly more niche tech-savvy audience, as they flaunt their processors, cooling system, and other specs. While PlayStation, as they always have, are more focused on "the players", providing a more centralized focus on what will be on the platform.

Either way, you can see a breakdown of the specs in the chart below. Through it, you can see what leads us to believe that the Xbox Series X has the edge over the PS5, though it is difficult to tell if that will translate to superior performance and graphics.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X specs

Processing and graphics hardware

Image Credit: Forbes

We already know with certainty that these next-gen consoles will be much more potent than their predecessors. But by how much?

Microsoft claims the Xbox Series X will be around "four times more powerful than Xbox One X". It's hard to dispute these claims when backed up by an 8-core, 3.8 GHz AMD Zen 2 processor. Mark Cerny, the system architect at Sony, confirmed that PS5 would be operating on an 8-core 3.5 GHz AMD Zen 2 processor.

Both the consoles will have a similar RAM of 16GB GDDR6 and will run RDNA 2 graphics. But as mentioned, XBOX Series X will have 12 TFLOPS across 52CUs compared to PS5's 10.28 TFLOPS across 36 CUs.

Graphical capabilities

Microsoft and Sony cite near-identical graphical features.

Both companies are promising 8K resolution for gaming, though it might not be available at launch. Both consoles will also support 120fps, though smooth 4K 60fps gaming is what they are really aiming for and, so far, the Series X is the only one to have confirmed this. They will also provide support for ray-tracing, putting them on par with some of the best graphics cards on the market.

Backward compatibility

Image Credit: Fextralife

Both Microsoft and Sony have been very vocal about how backward compatibility will operate on their systems. Currently, Xbox Series X seems to be more comprehensive than the PS5, but Sony's console will still host a variety of older games.

Microsoft has assured users that all Xbox One games will be compatible with the Xbox Series X. Their Smart Delivery system promises that, for explicitly selected titles, players who purchase games on the Xbox One in the coming months will receive the same game on the Series X completely free. Furthermore, a few select Xbox 360 and original Xbox games will also work with the system, making the Series X able to host over 20 years of games.

Sony's approach here is somewhat less concrete. PS4 games will work on PS5 using universalized software only. PS4 Pro optimized games will keep their enhancements. However, since the software is a catch-all application, not every title may work well. And, as with the PS4: PS3, PS2, and PS1 games will not be compatible. Sony's piecemeal selection of backward compatible games is certainly less inclusive than what Microsoft has promised.


Xbox Series X will have a solid-state drive. It is a 1TB SSD utilizing NVME technology, supporting proprietary expansion cards.

Sony will also be shifting to solid-state drives for the PS5, which will house an 825GB SSD, with the option to expand storage via NVME.

Although both consoles will support an external HDD, they are unlikely to be fast enough to run next-gen games.


Image Credit: Gamespot

Taking a look at the two next-gen consoles' chassis further reveals the ideologies of the two companies.

The Series X stands large and tall, as a bulked-up smooth black tower with a small shining Xbox logo in the top left, and the optical disc drive slit directly below. It's smooth, clean, geometric, and dark.

The PS5 also stands tall, a change for PlayStation's traditional Horizontal positioning, and will be 3 inches taller than the Series X at an impressive 14 inches. It sports a black core surrounded by a flowing white outer layer, matching the DualSense controller's design. Its logo is a sleek cut-out on the console's side, and its discrete disc drive slit is also hugely appealing.

I am certainly taken by the Series X's simplicity and discrete, functional aesthetic over the PS5's more ornate and bold white on black design. Although both give us a lot to admire and I'm sure everyone will have their firm favorite, due to their sharply contrasting styles


Image Credit: Xboxwire

The Xbox Series X controller has evolved it's physical design with new textured grips on the rounded bumpers and triggers. The general idea was to develop a device that works well with a diverse variety of hands.

It also has finely tuned angles and a classic Xbox D-pad, which now sports a sleek new design and a deeper dish for the thumb. There is a USB-C rechargeable battery. We can also expect lower latency and a share button.

Image Credit: Playstation

Sony's new controller, PS5's DualSense, has a smooth and modernized design utilizing a two-tone finish, accurately reflecting that of the console. Haptic technology is used instead of the traditional rumbles for more nuanced sensations and realistic feedback. The adaptive L2 and R2 triggers will enable players to feel more tension in them for particular in-game actions.

The Create button has replaced the Share button, while a built-in microphone array will allow players to chat with their friends. There have been some tweaks to the shape and style of the controller to fit these components. The hand trigger's angles and the grip have been updated to make the DualSense small and light. Another pleasing aesthetic design choice shifts the light bar from the top of the DualShock4 to the touchpad's sides.

Both controllers perfectly reflect their console's design sense and sensibility. As always has been the case, fans of either console are sure to announce their love for their favorite design and button layout.

Video quality

The Xbox Series X and PS5 will both produce 8K visuals and support 8K gaming at 120fps, but what are the limits with 4K Blu-ray playback and video quality?

Both the Xbox Series X and the PS5 will have optical disc drives capable of reading and displaying 4K UHD Blu-Ray disks.

Both consoles have the capability of screening 4K at 60fps and have similar chipsets. So, we expect both will deliver remarkable performances. Therefore, it will come down to testing to differentiate the image quality of both devices.

Both consoles will support Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables to connect to displays. If your display has HDMI 2.1 inputs, then it will be able to take advantage of the consoles' incredible visual fidelity. However, be warned, not all current generation TVs or Monitors support HDMI 2.1. The Xbox Series X can also add HDR to legacy titles that didn't support it at the launch.

Sound quality

Image Credit: BusinessInsider

When it comes to sound quality, Microsoft is currently well ahead of Sony. At present, Xbox One has Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for gaming, whereas Sony's PS4 provides standard surround sound.

However, both consoles will be on a much even footing with both entries sporting incredible 3D audio solutions with the next generation. This type of audio aims to put the player center stage, increasing sonic immersion and realism. Although best experienced through headphones, Sony has exclaimed that their 3D system will work with almost any audio device, but obviously with slightly differing results.


Image Credit: PCGamesN

After their press conference in June, Sony finally broke their silence about their launch titles, revealing their impressive upcoming exclusives Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Gran Turismo 7, Godfall, Horizon Forbidden West, the Demon's Souls Remake, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal, Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Astro's Playroom. Their focus is clearly on securing an eye-popping number of exclusives to maximize the gamer's experience for those loyal to the platform at launch.

Xbox Series X has a pretty impressive game line-up, with several third-party titles already been announced, Assassin's Creed Valhalla being one of them. In August, you can buy Madden 21, the first official game of the Xbox Series X. The console also promises exclusives, including a new addition to Xbox's iconic Halo series (Halo Infinite) and a new Fable game, but the exclusives list pales in comparison to Sony's. Other confirmed notable titles are Bright Memory Infinite, Call of the Sea, Recompile, the upcoming Dragon Age, Cyberpunk 2077, and many more.

As has often been the case, Microsoft may have a slight edge in hardware, but Sony has undoubtedly adhered to their mantra "for the players" by doubling-down on their game offerings for the PS5.

Price and Release Date

As it stands right now, there has not been any official announcement on the prices of the Xbox Series X and PS5 from either Microsoft or Sony. There are only rumors. However, both the companies have confirmed release dates between October to December, during "Holiday 2020."

Best guesses peg both consoles' starting prices around $499, but we will have to wait and see with nothing officially announced.


The console war between the two giants, Microsoft and Sony, ensures new heights with the launch of their next-gen consoles. Until both companies reveal all the deets, it's difficult to say whether the PS5 or XboxSX will be the one you'll want to be getting.

Either way, 2020 is going to be a phenomenal new beginning for console gamers across the board.

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