Sony and Microsoft have now both revealed slight details on their next-generation platforms, opening the floodgates for the next chapter in the console wars. Seems this one will be all about load times, ray-tracing and backwards compatibility.
The PS5 and Xbox Series X (codenamed Project Scarlett) are both set to launch in the later parts of 2020, bringing with them a similar array of specs, games and capabilities. However, player loyalty will inevitably lean to one platform over another.
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PS5 vs Xbox Series X (Xbox 2) release dates – When are they coming out?
The Xbox Project Scarlett has been confirmed to release during Holiday 2020, which means just before Christmas next year.
There’s no word on the PS5 release date just yet, but expect it to be around the same time. Sony surely won’t let Microsoft get a big head start.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X (Xbox 2) system specs – How powerful will they be?
We’ve already got a decent idea what both consoles will offer, with the Wired feature detailing all of the PS5’s main features, while the E3 2019 showcase dished out a lot of exciting buzzwords.
The two consoles will feature an AMD Navi GPU and AMD Zen 2 CPU, but because both will be custom-built it’s difficult to know which of the two will be more powerful at this stage. Both the PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlett will be capable of real-time ray tracing, a revolutionary light rendering technique that’s currently only available in high-end gaming PCs. The duo will also support 8K graphics, although whether or not this will be upscaled remains to be seen.
Sony and Microsoft also seemed to stress that the SSD will play a massive factor for next-gen hardware, slicing down loading times and freeing up developers to add in more assets to their game worlds without overloading the system. Again, we’re unable to say which machine will offer the best SSD performance just yet, but Xbox did claim Project Scarlett will see a 40x SSD performance increase compared to current generation consoles, which is undeniably remarkable.
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PS5 vs Xbox Series X (Xbox 2) virtual reality – Will it support it?
While a new headset hasn’t been confirmed to be in development, Sony has said that PlayStation VR will be compatible for PS5. Whether the Move Controllers and all existing titles will carry over remains unknown. Here’s hoping!
Beyond headsets for Windows, Microsoft is yet to make a dedicated foray into virtual reality on consoles, and is yet to make any indication whether it will.
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PS5 vs Xbox Series X (Xbox 2) backward compatibility – Can you play your old games?
Yes! Well, Sony has announced that PS5 will backward compatible with all PS4 titles, and the console will experience a slow-transition with a number of cross-generational releases. A similar thing happened back in 2013, so this is no huge surprise.
However, it remains unclear whether the PS5 will apply similar upgrades to older titles like the PS4 Pro does with Boost Mode, bolstering performance without the need for a dedicated patch. If this does materialise it will be brilliant news.
A patent recently filed by Sony hinted at backwards compatibility for all PlayStation platforms, teasing the possibility of PS5 acting as a time capsule of sorts for thousands of games. Obviously, nothing concrete has been confirmed, but speculation is awfully rife.
Microsoft was less clear about backwards comparability. A spokesperson did say during E3 2019 that you’d be able to bring your games, achievements and accessories forward to the next-gen Xbox, but we’re not 100% sure whether that does mean backwards compatibility. It could be the case that the Xbox Games Pass will be used to play older titles, as Microsoft said this subscription service will be important heading into the next generation.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X (Xbox 2) Games – What can we expect?
There’s a surprisingly robust list of games coming to next-generation consoles, although they’re also likely to appear on PS4 and Xbox One. In terms of Sony exclusives, the PS5 could eventually be home to the likes of The Last of Us Part 2, Ghosts of Tsushima and other Sony blockbusters. We’re also keeping our fingers crossed for Knack 3.
Microsoft has a smaller library of titles in the works, with only Halo Infinite being confirmed as a high-profile exclusive for launch day. However, given how many studios it has acquired in recent months, the Xbox Series X has a potentially stunning library waiting in the wings.
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PS5 vs Xbox Series X (Xbox 2) price – How much will they cost?
No formal announcements have been made regarding the price of PS5 and Xbox Series X, although they’ll both be competing for the cash of gamers at launch. Speaking to Wired, system architect Mark Cerny said the PS5 price will will be “appealing to gamers.”
“I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set.” But with the high-end hardware both consoles are flaunting, you can expect these machines to be more expensive than the current-generation consoles when they first launched. We’re predicting something around £400.
What would you like to see from PS5 and Series X? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.