The Next-Gen Battle
Updated: Oct 26, 2020
A look into the new PlayStation5 and Xbox Series X
by Nidhiyaa Anagananthan
Courtesy of Microsoft/Sony via Tomsguide
And the age-old debate returns. The new console designs for Microsoft’s Xbox series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 are yet again causing divide among players who make their purchases based on appearance, exclusive games, console specs, the controller designs and retail value.
The two different versions of PS5 come with an optical disk drive or without it – the Digital Edition. The absence of an optical disk drive makes the Digital Edition visibly slimmer. The white shell encasing the black middle portion of the console is meant to give a futuristic look. Comparisons made of its USB ports revealed the size of the gaming console to be bigger than Xbox Series X.
“The PlayStation sits in the living area of most homes, and we kind of felt it would be nice to provide a design that would really grace most living areas,” said Jim Ryan, the CEO of PlayStation in an interview with BBC. “That’s what we’ve tried to do. And, you know, we think we’ve been successful in that.”
The DualSense controller provides haptic feedback that emulates the feel of different activities such as gun firing. It has a built-in microphone to talk to in-game players without a headset. The controller retains a lot of its predecessor’s features including the central touchpad. The biggest change may be the white casing and the lightbars that match the modern look of the console.
The design, however, has been an outlet for memes as the internet continues to satirize the look. However, the CEO of PlayStation Jim Ryan recently revealed announced that there will be several special editions that may look different from the standard version. Sony has followed this similar trend of releasing different Limited-Edition consoles such as the bright red PlayStation 4 Pro Spiderman Edition. So, there is still hope for fans that would prefer the white exterior in a classic black shade.
A number of accessories have already been revealed including a DualSense charging station, a new HD camera – for livestreaming, a Pulse 3D wireless headset and a media remote. The console will support 4K graphics and 3D audio.
Microsoft went for a more toned-down design for Xbox Series X, a simple black box resembling a modern PC. It comes with indented cooling vents on the top with what appears to be green light inside. The disc drive is placed vertically on the left-hand side with the Xbox logo above it. Microsoft revealed the full specs and the console packs a punch with its 12 TFLOPs of processing power, raytracing, super-fast SSD and backwards compatibility with four generations of Xbox games. The Wireless Controller continues to push accessibility with the refined size and shape of the controller. Microsoft is introducing the Dynamic Latency input which according to the company “synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed”.
Microsoft is not only introducing backwards compatibility but also a system called Smart Delivery which ensures that the players have the right version of a game regardless of what console it was bought with initially. PS5 will also support about 4000 PlayStation 5 titles.
The deciding factor of the purchase may be the exclusive games the consoles have to offer. The PlayStation is releasing an all new Ratchet and Clank, Horizon Forbidden West, as well as the new Spider-Man: Miles Morales which has fans excited – no doubt after the massive success of its original. While the Xbox Series X has Scorn, The Medium and Halo Infinite among other titles on the way.
Sony and Microsoft are both releasing Digital Editions to adapt to the popularity and convenience that comes with downloading games. The absence of the optic disk drive makes it a cheaper option. The consoles otherwise retain classic features such as the colors and controller features. Whether it is loyalty to the PlayStation series or the Xbox releases, the consoles continue to divide players. And so, the Console Wars continue.
Microsoft and Sony are not backing down the competition either. Sony boasts their higher graphics which the Director of Program for Xbox Series X responded by saying the Xbox game studios is more concerned with “consistent and sustained performance”, implying that game developers will have difficulty optimizing the games for the PlayStation5 console. Neither parties have lost their flame it seems after last year’s surprise partnership between Sony and Microsoft.
For those who are choosing not to partake in this war – Nintendo users, anybody? – may want to wait for the retail prices to be disclosed nearing release date. An exact date of release for the consoles is unknown but both companies indicated a fall release, possibly during November. Microsoft indicated that they will not be making the same pricing mistakes as their previous generation while Sony hinted that it will have the ‘lowest prices’ out of the two.
It is undeniable that Sony and Microsoft will still dominate the market, both companies being receptive to buyer feedback. Whatever the retail turnout may be, the releases are to provide new experiences for players.