The Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) and PS5 (opens in new tab) have both been revealed and are on schedule for their holiday 2020 launch, and while each console has its pros and cons when comparing their various specs, Microsoft and Sony have arguably different visions for their hardware, with the former championing compatibility and cross-play, as well as speed and power that not only affect how next-gen games will look, but how they'll play too.
Jason Ronald, the director of program management for Xbox Series X, has explained what 'feeling' the power of the console means for the consumer, delving into the finer details of how this aspect is just as important as how slick a game looks.
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Speaking to GamesRadar+ (opens in new tab) Ronald revealed how the Xbox Series X's SSD will make the innovation that Microsoft has been looking for possible.
"With past console generations, the primary focus has been on graphics improvements – and with this next-generation we'll continue to see a step change in graphical fidelity. But more importantly, with this generation, is the power that you can feel.
"Internally, we think about this as 'the power you can see as well as the power you can feel'. When we talk about the power you can feel, this really is about changing how games actually play.
"Things like ultra-high framerates, ultra-low latency input, and how quickly and easily we can get players to jump into the experience with the virtual elimination of loading times. It's really much more about how games play and how games feel, than just looking at the graphic advancements alone."
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The Xbox Series X SSD is actually slower than the the one shipping in the PS5 - but has more storage space, which will be good news for fans because those next-gen titles are sure to be pretty hefty in terms of size. But Microsoft is still promising practically no loading times, along with other features the SSD makes possible that will transform the gaming experience with a huge leap between this console generation and the next.
In fact, Ronald says the console's SSD is "the foundation of the Xbox Velocity Architecture" and is a "radical reinvention of how game asset streaming works." For game developers, that translates to a breaking free of constraints that were the norm in previous generations, like load screens, or 'disguised' load screens like elevators or hallways; they'll be able to create "large living open worlds." Ronald added:
"It's really about putting the power in the hands of the player to make sure that they're able to experience those transformative experiences the game developers have created for the Xbox Series X."
The Xbox Series X launch is just less than six months away now, but if you're still on the fence about which console to pick up, you can check out some of our PS5 content below to help make up your mind!