Battle of the Consoles: PS5 vs XBOX Series X

The+Sony+Playstation+5+and+Microsoft+Xbox+Series+X+both+provide+options+that+students+can%27t+go+wrong+with+getting.

Emily Burgess

The Sony Playstation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X both provide options that students can’t go wrong with getting.

by Jason Freund, Staff Writer

Let the console wars begin – again.

Seven years after the release of the PS4 and Xbox One, Sony and Microsoft announced their next generation of video game consoles in 2019. 

The Xbox One X and PS5, released on Nov. 10 and Nov. 12, plan to usher people into a new realm of gaming. High-quality graphics, fast gaming engines and new user-friendly capabilities are a major focus.

Unlike previous years, both companies have announced two versions of their consoles instead of one. Along with a console featuring a physical disc drive, both companies are offering a “digital-only” console with no disc drive at all.

With the “digital-only” versions, gamers are restricted to only virtual products and cannot insert physical discs to play games or watch movies. 

The “digital-only” consoles, the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S, do come at a lower cost than their counterparts.

Each console offers exclusive benefits that the other doesn’t. However, it is up to the consumers to determine which console they will purchase come release.

So, which option is better for SDSU students?

Let’s see what these consoles have to offer.

Microsoft Xbox Series X

Aesthetically, the newest generation of Xbox is unlike any that has come before it. 

While previous iterations were designed to sit on its side, the Xbox Series X, at 301 mm high, is designed to sit vertically, similar to a PC. 

The Xbox Series X was initially announced at The Game Awards 2019 and continued to release information about the console in the months after.

While the regular version can only stand upright, the digital Xbox Series X has a unique design that allows it to not only stand, but also be displayed horizontally. 

In terms of processing, the Xbox Series X is a tank. With a graphics processing unit packing 12 teraflops of power (a data measurement used to process polygons to make games have sharp visuals) and 16 GB of RAM, the console can render games up to 4K resolution at up to 120 frames per second.

Its digital counterpart is no slouch in terms of processing capabilities either, but with only 4 teraflops of power and 10 GB of RAM, the Xbox Series S can only render at up to 1440p, albeit at 120 frames per second.

Perhaps this is why Microsoft made the smaller S console cheaper than its more powerful brother. The Xbox Series X will hit the shelves at $499 while the S will be available at $299.

The biggest pitch for Microsoft in selling the digital-only console is with a new Game Pass mechanic program. 

For a monthly fee of $9.99, Game Pass gives subscribers access to over 200 games which can be downloaded and played at any time.

Microsoft has already announced Game Pass will transfer over to the new generation of Xbox and will include the highly-anticipated “Halo: Infinite,” the newest addition to the acclaimed “Halo” series, at launch.

Hailed by reviewers as a video gamer’s version of Netflix, Game Pass has been aggressively marketed by Microsoft as a core purpose to choose Xbox over PS5 in the latest console war.

Sony Playstation 5

What’s in a name? With their new “PS5” moniker, Sony has kept their console name simple and consistent with their previous line of gaming equipment.

What’s different however is the design. 

While previous iterations of Playstation consoles have been jet-black, Sony is adding a splash of white to their latest console, as two white “wings” envelope the PS5 design. The console also comes with a base stand to allow it to be displayed vertically – a change from its traditional horizontal design. 

Both the PS5 and its digital counterpart have the same design and, in terms of dimensions, are quite big. 

At 390 mm in height, the PS5 will be tricky to place on a TV stand, but the ability to remove the base will help alleviate the problem. The Digital Edition shares similarities in size, but is slightly smaller at 92 mm.

Sony slightly lags behind Microsoft in processing power, but the PS5 packs in the same hardware as the PS5 Digital edition, meaning there is no graphical downgrade between consoles like the X and S.

With a GPU producing 10.28 teraflops of power, the PS5 won’t be as powerful as the Xbox Series X but will still be able to play games in 4K resolution at up to 120 frames per second. 

 While Sony’s “Playstation Now” service is similar to Microsoft’s Game Pass in allowing gamers to stream PS4, PS3, and PS2 games, new releases are not available until years later for subscribers.

Instead, Sony will be enticing customers to buy the consoles with a slew of exclusive first-party games. This includes new editions to the “Gran Turismo” and “Ratchet and Clank” franchises alongside sequels to “Spider-Man,” “Horizon: Zero Dawn” and “God of War.”

For those looking out for their wallets, prices for the PS5 are similar to the Xbox, costing $499 while the Digital Edition rings in at $299.

Much of Sony’s plans, from internal hardware to games, is marketed with a “quality over quantity” approach, but only the market will determine if it works.

Outcome

SDSU students can’t go wrong with either console, but the battle lines have already been drawn.

Some will side with Sony for the exclusive games while others fly the flag of Microsoft due to the Halo franchise’s popularity and new Game Pass subscription.

Both consoles have something for every student, but it is up to them to determine which console to purchase.

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