TECH & GAMING
What we know about the PS5 and Xbox Series X so far...
Words by Nathan Irvine
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If there was ever a time for a new console launch it’s right now. Sure, most of us have got a PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch parked under our TVs, but since we’ve had a sniff of the next-gen consoles our thoughts move towards the end of the year when they’re out... and so are we, hopefully.
In the meantime we’re left with the drip feed of information the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Sony and Microsoft are very slowly building towards a huge crescendo that will climax with a holiday season launch of both consoles.
Until then, here’s exactly what we know - in layman’s terms - about the the upcoming machines so far.
At the time of writing only Microsoft has shown its hand with what the Xbox Series X will look like. Its been likened to a small fridge, but we’re digging the new vertical design. The vented top means it should run quiet and not overheat. In terms of controllers, it’s much the same as Xbox One. This is no problem, mind, as it’s already bordering on ergonomic perfection.
Although we’ve no idea what the PS5 will look like yet (come on, Sony!) we do at least know what the controller looks like. The DualSense controller will be packed full of haptic feedback (read: little movements that correspond to the action on screen). Apparently it will be able to mimic the feel of walking on ice, though we’re not clever enough to know how that will work.
Also, is anyone else getting BMW i8 vibes from this colour scheme?
We won’t bore you with the technical details, but on paper it looks like Xbox Series X will have a slight advantage over PlayStation 5. What this means in real terms is yet to be seen. Both have new ray-tracing technology that will make graphics even more exceptional, but Microsoft is using faster processing chips than its rival.
Sony is focusing on making load times in games a thing of the past. They want you in and playing a game within seconds and without any pauses from the discs being read.
Right, this is where we all should be getting excited, but, well, there’s not a lot to shout about.
Xbox Series X will have the shiny exclusives Halo Infinite and Gears of War 5. PlayStation 5’s biggest draw so far is new IP Godfall. And that’s really it for both.
There are cross-platform big hitters such as Cyberpunk 2077 starring Mr John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves. And there’s bound to be a new FIFA, Call of Duty and other annual releases too.
It’s a guessing game so far, but the internet and specialist press is awash with rumours and opinions.
Guesstimates suggest that with all the power that Microsoft has tucked into the Xbox Series X, it’s going to come in at an eye-watering $600 (approx AED 2,205). Which would make it the most expensive console of all time. Sony, on the other hand, is said to be positioning PS5 at around the $450-500 (approx AED 1,650-1,835).
Like we said earlier, this is guesswork and not final. But what we do think is that price will have a massive bearing on who wins the console war this generation. Especially given the current precarious global economy.
Both will be capable of 4K and 8K visuals. And they will also look to harness more immersion from the in-game sound to really throw you into the mix.
Xbox Series X killer-app right now is that it can play all of the old Xbox game library, right back to the original machine. This is a huge deal, especially to those who have attic space stuffed with old titles.
PlayStation 5 is a little more complicated. It had the super-quick load times and the insanely complex feedback you get from the controller, but that’s about it for now.
Obviously we’ll find out more about both consoles as we close in on the release date at the end of 2020.
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