Console Wars

So, it’s the end of 2020 and starting with techtober, we had almost every tech brand announcing something with a million keynotes. Apple held 3 events, Samsung coming out with the best and most expensive Android smartphone aka the Note 20 Ultra and the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. OnePlus with their 8T and finally, Google with their Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5.

But, it’s the year we see the refresh in the gaming department. So, both Sony and Microsoft gave us the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series consoles. Both are very capable pieces of machinery. They both support 8k gaming at HDR and 4k 120 frames per second but which one is better?

The Series X packs an 8-core 3.8-GHz AMD Zen 2-based CPU while the PS5 has an 8-core, 3.5-GHz AMD Zen 2-based CPU. Both systems have 16GB of GDDR6 RAM. The Series X has a leg up on GPUs and storage with a 12-teraflop AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 52 Compute Units (CU) and a 1TB custom NVMe SSD for storage but the PS5’s CPU is AMD Zen 2-based CPU, 8 Cores / 16 Threads, up to 3.5 GHz and GPU is RDNA2-based GPU, 36 CUs up to 2.23 GHz, 10.3 teraflops. So, on paper the Xbox is running ahead of the Playstation. The Xboxes are backwards compatible even with the OG Xbox while the Playstation 5 only supports PS4 games.

When it comes to the main thing that connects you to the consoles and games, it’s the controller. The PS5’s new DualSense controller is major redesign and also comes with adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, which Sony claims that make you feel the water and air in the game, but the Xbox’s new controller is 99% same to the last generation, the new controller gets a new share button in the middle and textured grip on the back for better grip, Microsoft is going “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” and I agree with them, it’s a really comfortable controller to hold but, in 2020, it still powers by 2 double A batteries. The PS5 controller, now also has an integrated mic to have little chat without using any headset but the thing to note is that unless developers use the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, they’ll not work as well.

There’s one more thing, both Sony and Microsoft also launched a cheaper versions of their consoles i.e the Playstation 5 all-digital and the Xbox Series S. Talking about the digital PS5, the only major difference from the flagship PS5 is that there’s no Blu-Ray disc drive so you’re gonna need to download all the games on the internal storage which is 825GB exclusive of the OS, so you’ll get about 700GB to 750GB free. When it comes to the Series S, it is almost a different console, it has the same processor but has only 4 teraflops of processing power, it has 512GB with OS, so about 400GB. Seeing that games like Call Of Duty and GTA can take upto 100GB to 150GB, storage might be an issue but Xbox with Seagate provides a proprietary hard drive but it costs $219 which adds the Series S more than the Series X. Series S game at 1440p at 120fps which I’m not complaining about because many people don’t own a 4k TV and you can’t use your console to its full potential unless you have one, so acceptable resolution with high frame rate is the perfect combo. The Series S is also 60% smaller than the Series X.

Microsoft is also giving a subscription based service called Xbox Game Pass, it’s basically Netflix for gaming, you can play almost 150 titles on any android or windows device, just connect a Xbox controller and play. Game Pass gives a major edge to Microsoft over Playstation because now, you can just buy a Series S and play all your games on your phone or laptop anywhere.

Now, let’s talk price, both the Xbox Series X and Blu-Ray Playstation 5 cost $499(49,990 INR), the Digital Playstation 5 costs $399(39,990 INR), Xbox Series S costs $299(35,990 INR). Now, if you want to just get into next-gen consoles and don’t have a 4k monitor then Series S is perfect for you, if you have a 4k monitor but wanna stay all-digital then go with the digital PS5. Now, if you have the money and the monitor then if you want those haptics and adaptive triggers then its Playstation 5 but if you want more power then the Series X is for you. I would recommend that if you can push to the flagships then please do, these consoles come out in 6-7 years and won’t get out-dated for a long time and the storage of the digital consoles will run out really quickly. In India, if you don’t want the best then I suggest, go for the digital PS5 because it supports everything in the Blu-Ray PS5 and the Xbox Series S has less storage and it doesn’t support 4k, which would come in handy if you upgrade to 4k TV in the next few years. I would personally make a hybrid of the Series X and the DualSense controller but since I can’t do that, I’ll choose the Xbox Series X because of the Game Pass and the more comfortable controller and more horsepower.

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Check out links below(I’ll also leave the console links for both Playstation 5 and Xbox Series, once they come in stock) if you wanna buy any of these, it won’t cost you extra but it helps the blog.

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