The race between the Xbox Series X and PS5 is hotting up. Despite the global health crisis closing down factories and interrupting supply lines, both consoles are on track for their holiday 2020 release date, and the inner workings of both PS5 and Xbox Series X have been revealed to the general public.
Both consoles look very impressive, with the PS5 bigging up its solid state drive (said to "change the way we game" by eliminating barriers to level design) and the Xbox Series X boasting about its impressive smart delivery (allowing Xbox One gamers to upgrade new titles to their Series X models absolutely free).
Other differences abound: from a graphical standpoint, the Xbox Series X seems to beat out the PS5 in terms of Teraflops, with the Series X capable of generating 12 to the PS5's 10.28. Although both Sony and Microsoft are keen to talk about the advances in ray tracing and spacial audio, the next-generation console war is still anybody's game.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer seems to fancy Microsoft's chances, especially when compared to the PS5's recently-announced specs. Speaking to IGN (opens in new tab), Spencer shared his reaction to Sony's tech-heavy reveal of the PS5 specs:
"No doubt, I felt really good about how Series X lines up. I think Mark [Cerny, PS5 lead system architect] and the team did some really good work on the audio processing that they talked about, their SSD technology is impressive, we like that.
"We saw the work that they did. But we took a holistic view on our platform from CPU to GPU to RAM to throughput, velocity architecture, latency, [backwards compatibility].
"It took us years to get to this point … so I definitely have respect for any platform team that's launching, because it takes a lot of work.
Although Spencer does heap praise on the Sony team, he believes Xbox Series X has taken the right approach. He mentions backwards compatibility specifically, and this is important: with its smart delivery and multi-generational approach to gaming, Microsoft is trying to lock Xbox gamers in for multiple generations by making it more cost-effective to stay with the brand.
The PS5's backwards compatibility, on the other hand, is a little more vague. During the presentation, Cerny mentioned "almost all" of the top 100 PS4 games of all time would work on PS5, but some wouldn't make the cut, as current-gen technology hasn't been incorporated into the PS5.
Although Spencer feels confident, there's still plenty we've not seen from the PS5. We're waiting for a glossier official announcement showing the console itself, and its capabilities, before we make any snap judgements. As Holiday 2020 fast approaches, anticipation is at fever pitch.