The age-old console war: Xbox versus PlayStation. Since the dust has truly settled on the clash of the next-generation consoles, we can finally have a proper discussion about which one you should invest in if you’re looking to buy one of these consoles. To keep things simple, I’ll run down the key comparative pros for each console, and you can make up your mind about which would better suit your use case.
Spoilers: It will mainly come down to which games you plan on playing and who with whom.
Xbox: Slightly More Powerful Console
The Xbox Series X is perhaps the most powerful consumer console ever produced, and it’ll probably stay that way for a good number of years yet. Seriously, this thing is built to last as it’s packed with some serious hardware.
However, I think it’s best to consider the consoles as being roughly as capable as one another. Sure, the Series X has 1.7 more teraflops of graphics processing (around 10% more than the PS5) and 175GB more storage, but beyond that, they run the same CPU, Memory and can output the same resolutions.
Thus, in terms of gameplay, you’re unlikely to see any difference.
PlayStation: Better Controllers
Controllers are how we physically play the games, so they are incredibly important. And in this department PlayStation’s DualSense controller blows Xbox’s offerings entirely out of the water. This is because DualSense includes innovative haptic drivers to produce some of the most unique controller haptics the gaming industry has seen.
If you’re not familiar with the term, haptics is a form of touch feedback. The DualSense offers a unique approach to providing controller feedback in the triggers and across the whole controller, allowing you to “feel” different textures and actions, giving them a whole new life.
Xbox: Microsoft’s Recent Studio Acquisitions
Believe it or not, Microsoft now owns ZeniMax Media (the publisher behind Bethesda, id Software, Arkane studios, and more) alongside Activision Blizzard. This is no small deal, as these two publishers create some of the most played franchises ever; including The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Quake, Dishonoured, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Candy Crush, and much more.
Beyond that Xbox also bought up a bunch of well-regarded developers such as Rare, Mojang (the creators of Minecraft), Obsidian (behind Fallout: New Vegas), and Double Fine (Psychonauts) to name just a few.
In other words, Xbox—or should I say Microsoft—now owns some of gaming’s most iconic companies. Thus, future installments in any of these developers or publisher’s franchises could become Xbox/PC exclusives. This would be an absolute game changer if, say, Elder Scrolls 6 was an Xbox console exclusive. However, this is not yet confirmed either way, and many are skeptical that such a big franchise would be exclusive.
PlayStation: PSVR 2 Is Coming Soon
Virtual Reality is here, and when it comes to consoles it looks like the PS5 may be the only one getting an official headset—at least for the foreseeable future.
PSVR 2 is set to release on February 22, 2023. This will come with a whole host of game support—including Horizon Call of the Mountains (exclusive), Resident Evil Village, and many other games, many of which are also available on other VR platforms.
So, if you want to get into VR but can’t invest in a computer and don’t want a standalone headset, PlayStation may be your best bet.
Xbox: The Series S Is a Cheaper ‘Xbox Lite’
The Series X and PS5 start at $499. While both consoles certainly pack in enough hardware to make this worth it, it’s still a lot to ask gamers to fork out. Thankfully, we have the Xbox Series S, which is Microsoft’s offering of a cheaper console, albeit with stripped-back specs.
The Series S sells for $299 and can often be caught at a discount.
The key downgrade on the Series S is that the console is not able to render as many games at 4K as the Series X. It can only render a certain handful of more lightweight games at 4K. That said, you only need 4K rendering options if you have a 4K setup—including a 4K screen.
The series S also has a notably smaller 512GB SSD.
PlayStation: Exclusive Games
It’s hard to argue against the fact that PlayStation currently has much better console exclusives for this generation of consoles.
Games like Demon’s Souls, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Horizon Forbidden West, and more are all console exclusives on the PS5.
Xbox: Backwards Compatibility
If you’re a long-term Xbox user with games still hanging around from previous consoles, you’ll be delighted to hear that the Xbox Series consoles have total backward compatibility.
The same can’t be said about the PS5 which only supports PS4 titles.
Either: What Your Friends Have
Let’s be honest, gaming is more fun with friends. Thus, if your friends already have game consoles it may be worth looking around to see what they are using. As, ultimately, you’ll only be able to play together on the same system.
Given, some titles allow for cross-platform and cross-generation play, such as Fortnite. However, if you want to play a lot of games online with friends. It’s best to join them in the ecosystem they have already committed to.