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PS5 vs Xbox Series S: What’s the difference between the two consoles?

It’s confirmed: we’re only two months away from the launch of the next-gen consoles. But what is the best option between the PS5 and Xbox Series S?

Now we’ve got the pricing and release date details for both consoles, that purchasing decision should be a little easier. But if you want to know all the major differences, right down to the nitty gritty specs, then you’re in the right place.

We’ve compiled all of the major differences we know so far to help you decide between Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series S. Each console has a lot of positives to offer, but your decision will ultimately come down to a number of important factors such as price, games, design, specs and more. 

Related: PS5 vs Xbox Series X 


PS5 vs Xbox Series S price – How much will they cost?

The PS5 is confirmed to cost £449.99 / $499.99 for the standard model, and £359.99 / $399.99 for the digital-only edition, which lacks a disk drive.

The Xbox Series S undercuts both by a significant margin, costing an incredibly affordable  £249/$299. However, it needs to be pointed out that Series S isn’t capable of a 4K performance like the PS5, and also lacks a disk drive. 

Related: Best Xbox Series X/S Games

Xbox Series S

PS5 vs Xbox Series S release date – When are they coming out?

Xbox Series S is confirmed to launch on 10 November alongside the Xbox Series X, giving consumers two different consoles with vastly different offerings later this year. 

The PS5 is a little more complicated, at it’s set to launch on 12 November in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. The rest of the world, including the UK, will have to wait until 19 November instead.

Related: Upcoming Xbox One Games

Ratchet and Clank

PS5 vs Xbox Series S specs – how powerful will they be?

You can check out the Xbox Series X specs and how they compare to its older sibling below:

Xbox Series S Xbox Series X
CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU 4 TFLOPS, 20 CUs @ 1.55 GHz Custom RDNA 2 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2
Memory 10 GB GDDR6 16 GB GDDR6
Internal Storage 512GB Custom NVME SSD 1TB Custom NVME SSD
Optical Drive Digital only 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
Performance Target Up to 1440p @ 120 FPS Up to 4K @ 60 FPS (Up to 120 FPS at lower resolutions)

As for the PS5, we already have a solid understanding of its innards, and it’s a supremely powerful console, arguably the most accomplished we’ve ever seen. 

Both consoles look to offer ray tracing support, while featuring an NVMe SSD for speedy loading times. However, the PS5 is expected to be significantly more powerful, offering 4K resolutions opposed to the the 1440p limit of the Series S.

PlayStation 5 PlayStation 4
CPU 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency) 8x Jaguar Cores at 1.6GHz
GPU 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency) 1.84 TFLOPs, 18 CUs at 800MHz
GPU architecture Custom RDNA 2 Custom GCN
Memory/Interface 16GB GDDR6 / 256-bit 8GB GDDR5 / 254-bit
Memory bandwidth 448 GB/s 176 GB/s
Internal Storage Custom 825GB SSD 500GB HDD
IO Throughput 5.5GB/s (RAW), Typical 8-9 GB/s (Compressed) Approx 50-100MB/s (dependent on data location on HDD)
Expandable Storage NVMe SSD Slot Replaceable internal HDD
External Storage USB HDD Support USB HDD Support
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive Blu-Ray Drive

Related: Best PS5 Games

Halo Infinite

PS5 vs Xbox Series S design – How do they look?

The size difference between PS5 and Xbox Series S is fairly astounding, especially when you consider how they might exist in your current entertainment centre. The PS5 is a huge, predominantly white machine with black stylings dashed through the media. 

It’s a huge departure from previous iterations of the console, and judging from images online, it’s positively massive. We’ve dug into exactly how big it might be compared to previous consoles here, since we haven’t seen one in the flesh to take exact measurements. 

Xbox Series S is being advertised as the “smallest ever” and beyond the strange circular vent, it seems very similar to the Xbox Series X with its bright white colour and matching controller. It’s a striking design, and one we’d be happy sliding under our televisions. 

Related: Cyberpunk 2077

Horizon Forbidden West

PS5 vs Xbox Series S games – what will they play?

Microsoft will be continuing its service-based approach with Xbox Series S, as all of its upcoming first-party exclusives will be playable on this platform alongside Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Windows 10. Better yet, all of them will be available on Xbox Game Pass on the day of release.

If you happen to own multiple consoles in the Xbox family you can jump between them with all your saves, achievements and digital library remaining intact. It’s a vastly different approach to what Sony is doing. Halo Infinite, its flagship title, has sadly been delayed into 2021.

Sony has stated that it ‘believes in generations’ with the PlayStation 5, and thus the platform will be home to a number of games you won’t be able to find anywhere else. This will begin with the likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls Remake at launch. Chances are this selection will only continue to grow, and PS5 will become essential for those who are fans of specific franchises.

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