Features

Playstation 5 vs Xbox Series X – Which Should You Buy?

The next-generation is right around the corner, with both the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S due to launch in November. Both brands will have a full fat model with a disk drive, as well as a digital only platform, giving gamers 4 different options to choose from, all at different price points. But with so much option to choose from this November, which one should you buy? Here’s your guide of everything you need to know about the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

The Specs

The specs of a system is very important, the more power a system has the better gaming experience the player will be able to have, whether that’s better graphics, frame rate, resolution, or a combination of the 3. In the current gen it was clear that the Playstation 4 was more powerful than the Xbox One (before the Xbox One X), meaning that quite often games would play on the PS4 at a better resolution, such as 1080p on PS4 and 900p on Xbox One. With the next-generation the gaps closes to the point where it is virtually non-existent. Both systems’ specs are very similar to each, sharing virtually identical CPU, GPU, ram etc. The biggest change though is between the full fat consoles and the digital versions. While the full fat consoles are virtually identical, with the digital version the gap is much greater. Here are a breakdown of the specs for the 4 systems:

Playstation 5Xbox Series X
CPU:8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5HGz8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)
GPU:Custom AMD Radeon RDNA Navi 10.28 Teraflops, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz – (Supports Ray Tracing and 3D Audio via Tempest Engine)Custom AMD Radeon RDNA Navi 12 Teraflops, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz – (Supports DirectX Ray Tracing)
Ram:16GB GDDR6 RAM 16 GB GDDR6 RAM
Memory Bandwith:
448GB/s
10GB at 560GB/s, 6GB at 335GB/s
Data Transfer Speed:5.5GB/S (Raw), 8-9GB/S (Compressed)2.4gB/s (Raw), 4.8GB/s (Compressed)
Video Output:
4K, 120hz refresh rate, 8K Support
Native 4K, 8K Support, Up to 120hz
Optical Drive:4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive (Digital Edition excluded)4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
Storage:Custom 825GB SSD Storage Drive1 TB NVMe SSD Storage Drive
Credit: IGN
Playstation 5 Digital EditionXbox Series S
CPU:8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5HGz8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)
GPU:
Custom AMD Radeon RDNA Navi 10.28 Teraflops, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz – (Supports Ray Tracing and 3D Audio via Tempest Engine)
Custom AMD Radeon RDNA 4 Teraflops, 20 CUs at 1.55GHz – (Supports DirectX Ray Tracing)
Ram:
16GB GDDR6 RAM
10GB GDDR6 RAM
Memory Bandwith:448GB/s8GB at 224GB/s,2GB at 56GB/s
Data Transfer Speed:
5.5GB/S (Raw), 8-9GB/S (Compressed)
2.4gB/s (Raw), 4.8GB/s (Compressed)
Video Output:
4K, 120hz refresh rate, 8K Support
1440p, 4K Support through playback or upscaling, 120fps
Optical Drive:NoneNone
Storage
Custom 825GB SSD Storage Drive
512GB NVME SSD Storage Drive
Credit: IGN

When it comes to the regular consoles there isn’t much difference spec wise. Both have near identical CPUs, the GPU is slightly more powerful in the Xbox Series X but not enough to really notice. They’re both intended to be played in 4K with 8K support too and support frame rates up to 120fps, depending on the game. All in all players shouldn’t notice too much difference between the 2 consoles when it comes to performance. For example, it is unlikely we will see a game be playable in 4K on Xbox Series X but only 1440p on PS5, the 2 should play the same games at the same resolutions and frame rates.

RELATED: PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: Which One Should You Think About Getting?

The biggest difference is between the digital consoles. The digital Playstation 5 is identical to the regular PS5 in every way, except it doesn’t have a disk drive. Whereas the Xbox Series S is a much weaker console, in addition to being digital only. To buy into the next-generation at launch is a very costly endeavour, so Microsoft giving players a cheaper route into next-gen is a very smart move, especially considering the Xbox has a large younger market, who’s parents buy the consoles for birthdays and Christmas. 4K TVs still hold a minority share in TV sales, a gap that will shrink as time goes on, but it means many people are still using 1080p TVs, meaning a console targeting 4K isn’t going to see its full potential utilized. This could make something like the Series S more appealing as it targets 1080p/1440p and doesn’t require as much money on the table to get into the next-generation of gaming. However, if you are only buying 1 console at launch, I wouldn’t recommend the Series S, due to it being weaker. It would make an excellent addition as a secondary console to the regular Playstation 5. But if you’re going digital this gen, buy the digital PS5 as it is as powerful as its full fat counterpart. There is also the issue of storage and storage expansion, but I will get into that later.

The Storage

Over the course of this generation we have seen games skyrocket in terms of storage usage. Games such as Call Of Duty Warzone are now taking upwards of 200GB in storage on a system. This will become more common place as time progresses too and games get larger and look better. Meaning that players are left with 2 options, constantly uninstall and reinstall games and only have access to a handful at a time, or expand their storage.

The Xbox Series X comes with a 1TB NVME SSD, while the Playstation 5, and digital version, comes with a smaller 825GB NVME SSD. The Xbox Series S comes with an even smaller 512GB NVME SSD, which for a digital only console is rather small.

With the current-gen, storage could be expanded using a USB 3.0 external hard drive, a very cost effective way of increasing storage capacity of either system. This gen however, due to the NVME SSD’s in the consoles, USB drives can’t be used because the USB speed just isn’t quite there yet to keep up with the NVME drives. The Playstation 5‘s storage can be increased by adding another NVME SSD, a 1TB NVME will set gamers back around £100-150 depending on the brand, there is also the option to go larger if required. For the Xbox though, the only storage expansion comes in the form of a propriety expansion card. Seagate make one, its unclear whether other brands will be making their own or whether Seagate hold the exclusive license, but these cost $220 for a 1TB expansion card which is much more expensive than buying an NVME SSD. And with the Series S‘ low storage capacity, expansion will most definitely be needed. For this reason the PS5 is the clear winner when it comes to storage, despite having less internal storage.

RELATED: Xbox Series X vs Series S: Which One Should You Get?

The Games

What is a console without games? Which games are on a system is a major selling point for any player, whether you prefer God Of War or Halo, that choice will likely determine which system you go for. Both systems will have plenty of multi-platform games, such as Call Of Duty, FIFA, Resident Evil etc, but it is the games that aren’t available on the other which is the deciding factor.

Big name exclusive titles for the Playstation include the likes of The Last Of Us, God Of War, Unchartered, Spider-Man, Ghost Of Tsushima, Days Gone, and Gran Turismo. While big named titles for the Xbox include Halo, Gears Of War, Forza, Ori (although it is being ported to the Nintendo Switch), Fable, State Of Decay, and Crackdown.

When it comes to day 1 games, neither are really offering an amazing selection. There are a couple of great titles such as Spider-Man Miles Morales, but largely the launch titles are either ports of last-gen games, such as Devil May Cry 5, or competitive games such as Fortnite. Here are the launch titles for both systems, but these may change before launch:

Playstation 5

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Astro’s Playroom (coming pre-loaded on PS5)
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Destiny 2
  • Destruction All Stars
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • DIRT 5
  • Fortnite
  • Godfall
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Observer
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure
  • Watch Dogs Legion

Xbox Series X/S

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Destiny 2
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • DIRT 5
  • Fortnite
  • Gears 5
  • Gears Tactics
  • Observer
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Scorn
  • The Ascent
  • Watch Dogs Legion
  • Yakuza: Like A Dragon

The Subscriptions

Subscriptions have become a part of console gaming, with subscriptions to play online with PS Plus and Xbox Live, and more recently subscriptions such as Game Pass and PS Now, which give you access to a huge library of games to enjoy.

When comparing the 2 it is an easy decision that Xbox takes the victory here. Game Pass Ultimate is $14.99/£10.99 per month, or $99/£79 for the year. Included is Xbox Live to play online, Game Pass, and Game Pass for PC, giving players access to over 100 games to play. In addition to Game Pass, it will now include EA Play which gives player access to all of EA‘s top titles. Earlier this month Microsoft also added xCloud to Game Pass Ultimate, now allowing players to play most of the Game Pass games directly from the cloud on their Android phone or tablet. Now it is possible to play Halo Master Chief Collection, Forza Horizon 4 or The Witcher 3 on your mobile phone.

On the flip side is Sony. The PS Plus membership is the equivalent to Xbox Live, giving players access to online play, 2-4 free games each month, like Xbox, and discounts on games in the store, like Xbox. They also have the Playstation Now subscription which is like Game Pass, except most games have to be streamed from the cloud rather than downloaded.

But one huge benefit Game Pass has that PS Now doesn’t, every exclusive title will be available on day 1 on Game Pass. Meaning that you don’t need to pay $70 to play Halo Infinite, you can play on launch day with your Game Pass subscription. Whereas exclusives aren’t available on PS Now on launch, in fact titles such as The Last Of Us 2, Spider-Man, and Ghosts of Tsushima still aren’t on the service and likely won’t be for some time.

Physical vs Digital

For the first time ever digital only consoles are being released alongside consoles with disk drives. Digital has become more and more popular over the years, but should you buy one? The digital consoles are cheaper, $100 for the digital Playstation 5 and $200 for the Xbox Series S. However, despite being digital and requiring no manufacturing, transporting, storing etc, they are usually more expensive than physical games. This upcoming generation most titles will be $70, up from the usual $60. But, with physical it is usually possible to save a bit of money buying physical. I recently saw copies of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla for around £50 in the UK, but digitally it will sell for £69.99. So, you might save money on the purchase, but that saving will soon be lost with the extra cost of digital games. Digital also eliminates the possibility of buying pre-owned and trading in your old games. If you’re just buying one console I would make sure it has a disk drive, ideally your second console would too.

One option would be a full fat Playstation 5 for their exclusives and multi-platform games, such as Call Of Duty, and an Xbox Series S as a Game Pass machine, taking advantage of the impressive Game Pass library and day 1 exclusives on the service.

If you want the Xbox Series X, I would recommend getting the regular Playstation 5 too rather than the digital version. As mentioned above, you will soon make that extra cost back in the cheaper physical games you buy for the system.

RELATED: Everything That Happened During The PS5 Showcase Event

The Price

At launch the new generation is never a cheap buy in, a new console costs hundreds of dollars, and that’s before the games. This generation is no different, however both consoles ended up cheaper than expected due to both companies wanting to undercut each other. Of course the digital versions are cheaper too, so that should also be kept in mind when making your decision. The prices for the new consoles are:

  • Playstation 5: $499/£449
  • Playstation 5 Digital: $399/£359
  • Xbox Series X: $499/£449
  • Xbox Series S: $299/249

The Xbox Series S is $100 cheaper than the digital Playstation 5, but is an overall weaker system. The digital Playstation 5 is spec’d the same, just without the disk drive, hence the lower reduction in price. Whereas the Xbox Series S is a vastly underpowered version of the Xbox Series X, targeting 1440p rather than 4K.

The Launch Date

The Xbox Series X/S will be launching worldwide on November 10th 2020. The Playstation 5 will be launching in a staggered manner, with the console releasing on November 12th in the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea, and then November 19th for the rest of the world. So this time Microsoft is out of the gate first, with the worlds most powerful console, but if you’re a Playstation fan then you only have a few extra days to wait.

The Verdict

So which console should you choose? Well, whichever you want. In this instance there is no right or wrong answer. If you love Halo, get an Xbox, if you love God Of War, get a Playstation. Both consoles have their pros and cons. Microsoft is focusing heavily on accessibility, with Game Pass stepping up its game, allowing players to play over 100 games, plus 50+ from EA Play, cloud gaming, and more. While the PS5 is more heavily focused on the exclusive titles. Both systems are capable of 4K and 120fps, and both are similarly spec’d. Storage expansion will be better on the Playstation 5 than the Xbox Series X, so that is worth considering.

If you’re going digital I would recommend the digital Playstation 5 over the Xbox Series S. But if you’re buying the regular PS5 I would also recommend the Xbox Series S as a Game Pass machine. However, both the Xbox Series X and digital Playstation 5 would be a great choice also.

With this generation, I think whichever platform you choose is the correct choice, because they will both be great.

Be sure to check out more of the latest news and guides on Gamezo, the new and upcoming gaming site. Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with all the latest articles.