After some waiting and a bunch of Xbox Series X reveals, Mark Cerny has finally revealed the hardware capabilities of the PS5. The PS5 vs Xbox Series X battle is now truly underway.
PS5 lead system architect (and Sony vet) Mark Cerny has ventured beyond online interviews to provide us with a direct insight into what we can expect from the next-gen console and finally offering more clarity in the PS5 vs Xbox Series X debate.
Xbox Series X events so far have focused on faster SSD load times, a ton of backwards compatibility details, ray tracing and – of course – them glorious teraflops. We now know where the PS5 sits in these vital categories even if we don’t yet know how it’ll look.
We’ve brought together everything we know about the PS5 and Xbox Series X so far. Make sure to keep an eye on this page and the rest of Trusted Reviews for all the updated info as we go in-depth on the news from the PS5 event.
Release dates – When are they coming?
The PS5 and Xbox Series X remain slated for release during Holiday 2020. However, ongoing manufacturing concerns mean we could see this change but both companies have remained steadfast thus far.
System specs – How powerful will the PS5 and Xbox Series X be?
PlayStation has eventually unveiled the specs of its PS4 follow up. So, after months of only being to analyse what the Xbox Series X has on offer, we can now see how they match up.
Here’s the full comparison table of PS5 vs Xbox Series X specs:
|Xbox Series X||PS5|
|CPU||8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU||8x Zen 2 cores @ 3.5GHz (variable frequency)|
|GPU||12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU||10.28 TFLOPs, 36CUs @ 2.23GHz|
|Memory||16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus||16 GB GDDR6/ 256-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth||10 GB @ 560 GB/s, 6 GB @ 336 GB/s||448GB/s|
|Internal Storage||1 TB Custom NVME SSD||Custom 825 GB SSD|
|I/O throughput||2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)||5.5 GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9 GB/s (Compressed)|
|Expandable Storage||1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)||NVMe SSD Slot|
|External Storage||USB 3.2 External HDD Support||USB HDD Support|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray Drive|
|Performance Target||4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS||–|
The two next-gen machines included somewhat similar GPU and CPU load-outs, however they are custom-built, and this means measuring power at this stage is quite difficult.
Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X will be capable of real-time ray tracing. Ray tracing is a new light rendering technique and is only available on high-end gaming PCs at the moment.
Sony and Xbox have long stressed that the SSD storage plays a massive part in next-gen hardware. An SSD will significantly reduce loading times and enables developers to include far more (and/or more detailed) assets in their games.
Related: Upcoming Xbox One Games
Virtual reality – Will the PS5 and Xbox Series X 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!
Conversely, the Xbox One X does not support VR – it’s consistently not been a priority area for Microsoft consoles.
This trend is continuing into the next-gen, as it’s been confirmed that the Xbox Series X won’t have VR. Outspoken Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, controversially argued that “no one is asking for VR”.
Related: Google Stadia Review
Backward compatibility – Can you play your old games on the PS5 and Xbox Series X?
Yes! Well, Sony has announced that PS5 will be backwards compatible with all PS4 titles, and the console will experience a slow-transition with several 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. Nothing concrete has been confirmed, but speculation is rife.
Microsoft has been even more precise on backwards compatibility. You’ll be able to play any previous Xbox game, going way back to the original Xbox console, on your Xbox Series X. Some games made for Xbox One are also set to get an Xbox Series X boost, with Gears of War 5 being the only confirmed title thus far. Accessories will carry over too!
We’re still waiting to see if the PS5 can match this. Backwards compatibility with the PS4 is excellent, but what about the PS3 and even the PS2 and PS1? A lot of older PS2 titles have started appearing in the PlayStation Store recently, so we’re hoping that this is a sign that Sony is working hard towards comprehensive backwards compatibility.
Games – What can PS5 and Xbox Series X games 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.
Sony’s purchase of Insomniac games means PlayStation fans should also expect a new Spider-Man title, following the massive success of Marvel’s Spider-Man. A reveal trailer for Godfall showed off another PS5 exclusive, but the snippets seen so far have got a pretty mixed reception. Cross-generational title, Cyberpunk 2077, is likely to be one of the leading games on the platform at launch.
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, it sounds likely that the game could simultaneously launch on PC. Yet, given how many studios Microsoft has acquired over the last year, the Xbox Series X has a potentially stunning library waiting in the wings.
Related: Cyberpunk 2077
Related: Best PS5 Games
Price – How much will they cost?
Both platforms are keeping their cards close to their chests when it comes to price. Currently, we’re waiting eagerly to see which breaks cover first.
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 would 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 that 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.
Who would you like win the PS5 vs Xbox Series X showdown? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.