PS5 Vs Xbox Series X: Which Should You Buy?
The PS5 vs Xbox Series X generation of gaming has been around for two years now. However, thanks to supply chain issues affecting console availability - and the prolonged transition period between game exclusives on last-gen to current-gen hardware - it feels like the current generation has just started
On the other hand, this has meant that since both Sony and Microsoft have had a couple of years to build up their new-gen offerings, gamers have even more elements to consider when trying to decide which console is best for them. Let's get into the PS5 vs Xbox Series X comparison of which you should buy.
- While you're here, check out the top 10 games on Nintendo Switch.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which Has the Best Games?
No matter how well a new gaming console performs or what new features come with it, none of it matters if you haven't got any actual games to play them on. Although it has taken a while to get going, both Xbox and PlayStation have built up a repertoire of games to choose from on their new consoles. Be that as it may, their strengths come in different forms.
If you are upgrading from a PS4, you probably already know while multi-platform games might not make too much of a difference in what you play them on, those exclusive to PlayStation have been amongst the very best.
God of War, Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima, Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Last of Us: Remastered and Part II, Ratchet & Clank, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Uncharted and more - all stellar, A-grade games on the PS4 that either have or will be having new-gen upgrades/remakes, sequels, expansions, spin-offs, or all of the above on PS5.
Even Astro's Playroom, the free platformer game pre-installed on every PS5 to double as a tech demo for the DualSense controller, is marvellous in its own right. When Game Awards season comes around, it's a guarantee you'll see one or not multiple PlayStation exclusives amongst numerous nominations.
This is not to say that Xbox doesn’t have any decent exclusives though. It's more of a comparison of both quantity and quality. Optimised for Series X/S, Microsoft exclusives like Gears 5, Halo Infinite, Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 5, Tell Me Why, and Psychonauts 2 are fantastic games in their own right.
When compared to PlayStation’s portfolio, big-name Xbox exclusives are not only few and far between, but also far often fail to set the world on fire against their PS4 and PS5 counterparts - not as often worth the full $60/$70 Day One price tag.
Yes, Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax has seen a new plethora of game series like Dishonored, DOOM, and Elder Scrolls come to Game Pass, but we’re still yet to see these bear fruit in brand-new games like Starfield - continuously being pushed back, currently to the first half of 2023.
What's more, even though the Blizzard/Activision acquisition was one of the biggest gaming stories in years, the deal is still yet to go through at the time of writing. Therefore, the gold star for best console-exclusive games without a doubt, goes to the PS5.
- Check out the top 20 games on PS5 for 2022.
Gaming subscriptions aren't for everyone. Still, if you want to catch up on some of the latest and greatest games, Xbox Game Pass or the competing Extra and Premium tiers of PlayStation Plus can give you the best value for money with multiple titles.
Still renowned as the "Netflix of Games," Xbox Game Pass makes up for its lack of exclusives and fewer titles with a quality-over-quantity manner of catalogue. Although PlayStation's Premium tier of its Plus service offers over 700 games against Games Pass' 400, the latter takes said value for money to the next level by honing on top-tier indies, more recent third-party titles, and most importantly, Day One first-party exclusives from all Xbox Studios.
This means that if you love the manner of games Xbox has in its range of exclusives and/or thrill in trying new smaller games, you'll get to enjoy brand new games from launch day as part of your Game Pass subscription at no extra cost. In addition, an increasing number of Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles on Game Pass are optimised on the Series X for up to 4K resolution and/or 60FPS.
Along with, free monthly games, PC games, and those from even more publishers on its Ultimate tier, Game Pass has introduced Cloud Gaming to let you game on the go. While this is more of an optional bonus feature for enjoying Xbox Game Pass titles, of which PS Plus' Premium tier also offers, streaming is still required for PS3 games - a frustrating technological drawback that brushes off an appeal from a huge portion of Sony’s massive selection.
Furthermore, PlayStation Plus' Premium tier, the best of which includes PS2, PS1, and PSP titles, has barely added anything new since its launch. While Game Pass is more integral to the Xbox Series X offering than PlayStation Plus is to PS5, Game Pass will give you the best selection of new games for what you're spending, courtesy of Day One exclusives.
Although PlayStation Plus DOES add its award-winning exclusives like Spider-Man and Ghost of Tsushima, you'll often be waiting after release for often months at a time. If you want to try a bundle of newer games you might have missed out on or try some intriguing indies without draining your wallet, Game Pass Ultimate will provide you with the finest selection and the highest level of versatility.
- Take a look at the top 20 games on Xbox Game Pass.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which Has the Best Features?
Compared to the Xbox consoles, the PlayStation 5 has more features overall, like Game Hub and in-game challenges. However, these bonuses are more or less community-based. So, unless you're regularly playing multiplayer games as a party, it's unlikely you'll use them more than once.
What this new generation of gaming comes down to is performance. Luckily, both the PS5 and Xbox Series X come packing in power. Although the Xbox Series X slightly tips the scales in technical prowess with its respective 12 Teraflop GPU and 3.6GHz CPU - versus the PS5's 10.3 Teraflop GPU and 3.5GHz CPU - the difference in execution is hard to distinguish unless you were a gaming hardware analyst.
In short, both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are capable of performing 4K and 1440p resolutions, as well as 60FPS and 120FPS framerates depending on what game you're trying to play. What's more, both consoles having a disc drive means you can perfectly play 4K UHD Blu-Ray discs without issue, along with streaming up to 4K as well.
- Here are the recommended settings for PS5.
The most important jump from PS4 and Xbox One consoles to the PS5 and Xbox Series X is the SSD storage on both systems - providing you with lighting-fast loading speeds to jump into and play through your games far quicker.
In terms of storage space, the Xbox Series X once again has another small one up on the PS5. Series X comes with 1TB of SSD storage, while the PS5 has 825GB of SSD storage. After taking away space needed for system files and operating systems, although the Series X actually translates to 802GB that's usable for games, that's still far more than the PS5's 667.2GB.
If you're the type of gamer who only plays one or two titles at a time, this isn't really too big an issue. On the other hand, video games as a whole are getting bigger and bigger as the years go by.
A lot of games from indies to mid-level productions still range from single-digit GB file sizes to less than 50GB, but now we're seeing triple-A titles like Call of Duty: Warzone, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, or even The Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut going above 100GB mark, even before taking heavy updates into account.
If you're deadset on both playing multiple large-file games and won't consider paying for extra SSD storage, the Xbox Series X is the winner in providing the most space for what you're paying.
- Check the best monitors for PS5 in 2022.
Additional Storage Options
Thankfully, despite limited SSD space against increasingly huge games, extra storage options are available for both PS5 and Xbox Series X. Annoyingly though, there are caveats on additional SSD storage for both PlayStation 5 and the Series X.
Firstly, the PS5 supports external storage via the USB or the M.2 slot under the console's faceplate. The catch though is that external SSDs connected via USB only support backwards-compatible PS4 games. This means you'll have to buy an M.2 SSD with a heatsink, and perform a quick-but-easy bit of DIY if you want proper PS5 game storage with the same quick loading speeds.
The Series X also supports external drives for previous-gen games. More so, it makes additional SSD storage for Series X/S-optimised games the simplest. But, it comes with a unique but equally frustrating caveat of its own. While an SSD expansion card can be simply inserted into the Series X's namesake rear slot, your only choices are the very expensive Seagate options.
In comparison, the PS5 is arguably best when it comes to additional SSD storage optimised for current-gen games. Although installation requires a bit more effort, the bigger variety of SSD choices in brands and sizes at better prices is far more worth it.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which Has the Best Controller?
A console's controller has increasingly become an essential element over the years, due to the advances in technology that need to be implemented under the hood to enhance the gameplay experience. Interestingly, the comparison between the PS5's DualSense and the Xbox Series X controller is almost night and day, possibly even more so when comparing the console's exclusives above.
PS5 DualSense is one of the finest innovations in gaming controllers ever seen. When you may have seen the words "haptic feedback" and "adaptive triggers" sprawled all over the PlayStation 5's marketing, that wasn't just a gimmick. Along with improving the overall heft and hold from the DualShock 4, the DualSense's added features are astounding on their own.
When implemented properly, the DualSense's Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers give gameplay those extra small but meaningful touches when climbing, drawing a bow, or just generally traversing a world - and take the experience to the next level. It's not that much higher, but the next level nonetheless.
As said, this isn't incorporated into every game. Be that as it may, all you have to do is simply minimally jump into the PS5's pre-installed Astro's Playroom, feel the realistic tactile vibrations from the pitter-patter of talking through sand, paired with pronounced sensations whilst climbing rocks and hitting targets with the adaptive triggers - and you’ll feel its full potential for when you play some of the DualSense-optimised PS5 exclusives.
The Xbox Series X controller, though, is more or less just an Xbox controller. It's not exactly the same, mind you. The overall grip is better - even more with tactile dots on the triggers, the dish-shape D-pad improves responsive gameplay, and the Dynamic Latency Input helps further reduce the lag between button presses and in-game actions.
Nevertheless, the Xbox Series X controller feels like only half a step forward next to the PS5 DualSense's leap ahead. Instead of trying something new to add to the gameplay experience, the Series X controller just plays it safe.
The biggest insult to injury is that whilst PlayStation consoles have been including rechargeable wireless controllers since 2006, the Xbox Series X still insists on the need for AA batteries - requiring you to buy a rechargeable battery pack separately if you don’t want to keep restocking.
When it comes to controllers, there’s no contest. In both hold, features, and value for money - the winner by a landslide is the PS5's DualSense.
- Find out the tiny easter egg found in the DualSense controller.
PS5 VS Xbox Series X: Which Should You Buy?
Even after assessing the most important elements to consider from exclusive games and subscriptions to a console's features and of their controllers, the ultimate buying decision of a PS5 vs Xbox Series X lies in what type of gamer you are and how much you're willing to invest in the hobby.
- Here is how to set up an account on PS5.
For Casual Gamers
If you're a casual gamer who just wants something fun to play regardless of title, like a quick racing game or shooter, aren't bothered about new controller features, and also want to see what else is out there without spending too much - getting the Xbox Series X and a Game Pass Ultimate subscription is for you.
Sure, you can still buy Xbox games à la carte without the need for a subscription. But, when you're getting the newest Xbox games available from Day One and a bunch of other fun titles to try - all for less than $15/£15 a month - that’s all an occasional player needs.
Plus, more value will be added when the ZeniMax and possibly the Activision/Bethesda acquisition start to bear fruit in new and exclusive games.
However, the Xbox Series X's greatest strength is also a weakness. As of right now, the console's biggest draw is still tied to a monthly subscription service which you'll need to keep paying to carry on playing. Presently also, there is only a handful of triple-A Xbox exclusive games, a fraction of which are first-rate.
- Here are the best monitors for Xbox Series X in 2022.
If You Want the Best Games
On the contrary, the PS5 as a console remains to be the very definition of "you get what you pay for." Yes, you have to pay $60/$70 for a brand-new game, but more often than not, when getting a PlayStation exclusive, you'll be buying something of award-winning quality in both gameplay and storytelling.
When thinking solely about its triple-A, Day One exclusive games, Xbox Game Pass is like a box of chicken nuggets. You're getting a filling, tasty meal at a remarkable price. There's even some protein in there.
Nevertheless, if you're a regular gamer, you can't have chicken nuggets all the time. If you're wanting to keep up with the latest and greatest games coming out throughout the year, in this ever-evolving medium of entertainment, you need some nutrition.
God of War Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon Forbidden West, The Last of Us Part 1, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Demon's Souls, and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection - critically acclaimed games already available PlayStation right now with more on the way.
For the present and foreseeable future, those making games for the PS5 include the best teams in writing and gameplay talent, and technological innovation - all with the production value to back it up.
If there are any games you missed over the years, that's where you use PlayStation Plus Extra or Premium. The difference compared to Game Pass is, PS Plus Extra or Premium is optional, not a necessity.
As long as you don't mind paying extra for the very best in what console gaming has to offer right now - in narrative-rich stories, thrilling gameplay, and the finest controller to come with a console, you should buy a PS5 without a doubt.
- Find out how to set up your PS5.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Where Can You Buy One?
Both PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles have luckily become more available across local retailers. In terms of which version of the PS5 to buy, it is always worth spending a bit more for the disc version of the console, so you’re not restricted to massive PS Store prices for digital versions of massive Day One exclusives.
Alternatively on the Xbox side, if you would like to enter the next gaming generation without too big an investment and don’t mind a drop in performance and losing the option to play discs, you can also buy a digital-only Xbox Series S for a fraction of the price:
- Buy a PS5 at Amazon for $499.99/£479.99 or from $499.99 at Best Buy.
- Buy a Xbox Series X at Amazon for $499.99/£440.81 or from $499.99 at Best Buy.
- Buy a Xbox Series S at Amazon for $283.99/£199.99 or from $249.99 at Best Buy.
That's a wrap on our PS5 vs Xbox Series X “which should you buy?” comparison. For even more news, guides, reviews, and original content on the latest and greatest gaming hardware, you can be sure to find it all right here at GGRecon.