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Playstation 5, Xbox S and X Series: The Next Gen Consoles


Microsoft and Sony will bring a total of four new consoles onto the market at the end of 2020. TechStage shows what the next-generation models do and how they differ.

We don’t even want to decide in this article whether Xbox or Playstation are more interesting. The decision for Microsoft or Sony is mostly a matter of taste. The brand loyalty to one of the two console worlds is likely to be decisive for most buyers. There are still some exclusive game titles, but many games are now available for both types of consoles.

In this article, we mainly want to provide a little more overview and compare the properties of the four different consoles Playstation 5, Playstation 5 Digital Edition, Xbox S Series and Xbox X Series.

Microsoft and Sony are taking two completely different approaches when designing their new consoles. While the two Xbox variants appear straightforward, sober and extremely straightforward, the two Playstation 5 models look very futuristic and eye-catching.


Playstation 5 Digital Edition and Playstation 5 in comparison.

The two white and black Playstation 5 variants with many curves and less straight surfaces look very similar. The main distinguishing feature is the insertion of the optical drive on the front, which is only available on the PS5. The Digital Edition is a bit narrower as a result, which is only noticeable in a direct comparison.


Xbox S Series

The two angular Xbox models, on the other hand, look like small mini PCs and are designed very differently. The case of the cheaper white Xbox S Series is not even half as wide as the black Xbox X Series. However, the height and depth of the housings are similar. Even at Microsoft, only the top model has an optical slot-in drive.

measures and weight

Dimensions (W x H x D)

39 cm x 10.4 cm x 26 cm

39 cm x 9.2 cm x 26 cm

27.5 cm x 6.5 cm x 15.1 cm

30.1 cm x 15.1 cm x 15.1 cm

Weight

4.5 kg

3.9 kg

1.93 kg

4.46 kg

In terms of computing power and equipment, Microsoft and Sony are also taking two different approaches.

The new Playstations differ not only visually, but also in terms of equipment mainly through the optical drive. An AMD Zen 2 processor with eight cores and a clock rate of up to 3.5 GHz works in both PS5 variants. The 16 GB RAM and the 825 GB SSD are identical in both Playstations. Both consoles have an AMD Radeon RDNA 2 GPU, which has a performance of just over 10 teraflops and can handle native 4K resolution. 8K upscaling is also supported by both versions.

At Microsoft, the differences in hardware and performance in the S and X Series are very different. Sony therefore offers an entry-level version and a flagship model. In addition to the omission of the optical drive in the S Series, this is noticeable in the CPU, RAM and SSD. While the top model uses an AMD Zen 2 processor with eight cores and a clock rate of up to 3.8 GHz, the S Series uses the same processor with just 3.6 GHz. The main memory is 16 GB (X Series) and 10 GB (S Series) on board. The storage capacity of the flagship is 1 TByte; the small Xbox only has 512 GB. The different performance of the GPUs (AMD Radeon RDNA) is also very clear. While the S Series has a performance of 4 teraflops and a native resolution of 1440p, the X Series has over 12 teraflops and native 4K resolution. Like both Playstations, the top model also supports 8K – the entry-level version only supports 4K upscaling.

Processor, graphics and memory

processor

AMD Zen 2 (8 cores, up to 3.5 GHz)

AMD Zen 2 (8 cores, up to 3.5 GHz)

AMD Zen 2 (8 cores, 3.6 GHz / 3.4 GHz)

AMD Zen 2 (8 cores, 3.8 GHz / 3.6 GHz)

R.A.M.

16 GB GDDR6 (448 GB / s)

16 GB GDDR6 (448 GB / s)

10 GByte GDDR6 (8 GByte at 224 GByte / s, 2 GByte with 56 GByte / s)

16 GByte GDDR6 (10 GByte / s with 560 GByte / s, 6 GByte with 336 GByte / s)

Storage

825 gigabytes PCI-Express 4.0, NVMe

825 gigabytes PCI-Express 4.0, NVMe

512 gigabytes PCI-Express 4.0, NVMe

1 TByte PCI-Express 4.0, NVMe

Reading speed (uncompressed data / compressed data)

8-9 GB / s / 5.5 GB / s

8-9 GB / s / 5.5 GB / s

4.8 GB / s / 2.4 GB / s

4.8 GB / s / 2.4 GB / s

GPU

AMD Radeon RDNA 2 (36 CUs, 2.23 GHz)

AMD Radeon RDNA 2 (36 CUs, 2.23 GHz)

AMD Radeon RDNA 2 (20 CUs, 1.565 GHz)

AMD Radeon RDNA 2 (52 CUs, 1.8 GHz)

power

up to 10.28 teraflops

up to 10.28 teraflops

4 teraflops

12.15 teraflops

Ray tracing

Hardware accelerated

Hardware accelerated

Hardware accelerated DirectX ray tracing

Hardware accelerated DirectX ray tracing

HDR standards

HDR 10

HDR 10

HDR 10, Dolby Vision

HDR 10, Dolby Vision

Performance Games

UHD up to 120 Hz

UHD up to 120 Hz

1440p up to 120 fps

UHD up to 120 fps

Maximum resolution

Native 4K, 8K support

Native 4K, 8K support

Native 1440p, 4K upscaling for gaming

Native 4K, 8K support

Ultimately, both Playstation 5 variants and the Xbox X Series are fully 4K-compatible and, thanks to the 8K upscaling, more than enough equipped for the next few years. However, since the spread of 4K TVs is currently still limited and 8K devices significantly exceed the budget of most buyers, the S Series also has a real right to exist. If you only play in FHD and if an extrapolated 4K signal is sufficient, you can get into the next generation of consoles relatively cheaply with the smaller Xbox.

Both Microsoft and Sony promise a certain backward compatibility when it comes to older game titles. However, if the games are available on disc, the respective top version with an optical drive is of course required. With games bought digitally, the whole thing should also be possible on the cheaper consoles.

According to Sony, 99 percent of the games from the PS4 and PSVR series will run on the new Playstations. The Playstation 5 series is not compatible with games from PS3, PS2 and PS1. It doesn’t matter whether the other person is sitting at the PS5 or the PS5 Digital Edition.

Microsoft also promises that with multiplayer titles it doesn’t matter whether the S or the X Series is used. In addition, older games from the original Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One should also work on the latest generation of consoles. However, games that rely on the Kinect camera are excluded.

As with all previous versions of the game consoles, there will be some exclusive game titles that only run on Playstation or Xbox, as well as those that work on the consoles of both manufacturers.

Streaming of multimedia content is possible with all four consoles. However, if you want to use your Playstation or Xbox as a playback device for movies on Blu-ray, you have to choose the more expensive variant.

In order to use the full multimedia potential of the consoles with high frame rates, HDR or VRR, the television used should have an HDMI 2.1 connection. Anyone who now fears that they will need a new TV can rest assured that the consoles will also work with older devices without the new HDMI standard. Suitable 4K televisions are shown, for example, in our purchase advice on UHD TVs from 250 euros.

Media and connections

Audio

Tempest 3D Audio

Tempest 3D Audio

Spatial sound, 3D audio, Dolby Atmos

Spatial sound, 3D audio, Dolby Atmos

optical drive

Yes, UHD Blu-ray drive

No

No

Yes, UHD Blu-ray drive

connections

Video and audio output

1x HDMI 2.1

1x HDMI 2.1

1x HDMI 2.1

1x HDMI 2.1

network

1x LAN, Wi-Fi 5/6

1x LAN, Wi-Fi 5/6

1x LAN, Wi-Fi 5 (dual band)

1x LAN, Wi-Fi 5 (dual band)

Accessory devices (peripherals, external memory expansion)

2x USB 3.2 (Type-A, 10 Gbit / s), 1x USB-3.2-Type-C, 1x USB 2.0 (Type-A)

2x USB 3.2 (Type-A, 10 Gbit / s), 1x USB-3.2-Type-C, 1x USB 2.0 (Type-A)

3x USB 3.1 (Type-A, 5 Gbit / s), built-in radio receiver for peripheral devices

3x USB 3.1 (Type-A, 5 Gbit / s), built-in radio receiver for peripheral devices

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 5.1

Bluetooth 5.1

No

No

Memory expansion games

using Sony-certified M.2 SSDs with PCI-Express 4.0

using Sony-certified M.2 SSDs with PCI-Express 4.0

using a proprietary SSD card

using a proprietary SSD card

Storage expansion media

via USB connection

via USB connection

via USB connection

via USB connection

Currently, all four consoles can theoretically be pre-ordered, but in practice the contingents have always been sold out very quickly in the last few days. The consoles were also listed again and again in the price comparison – but there are currently no offers available.

Price and publication date

Price (RRP)

499 euros

399 euros

299 euros

499 euros

release date

19 Nov 20

19 Nov 20

10 Nov 20

10 Nov 20

We have a little tip for everyone who doesn’t want to visit dozens of online shops every day in order to secure the console of their choice: The price alert of our price comparison.

To do this, select the desired console variant and click on the button Set price alert. The important thing is availability No matter because at the moment it is just a pre-order. The RRP should be entered for the price, since a price decline is not to be expected before the actual publication.

Anyone who decides on a Playstation 5 only has to weigh up in advance whether the optical drive makes sense. This is the case, for example, when using old PS4 titles or films on Blu-ray. If you opt for the Digital Edition of the PS5, you have to download the complete game title, which means you need a correspondingly fast internet connection. Both variants are fully 4K-compatible and also equipped for 8K.

The decision is a little more difficult for fans of Microsoft consoles. The Xbox Series S is the entry-level model of the next generation of consoles from Microsoft. Overall, it is somewhat weaker in terms of hardware, which can be seen, for example, in the native resolution of 1440p. However, 4K upscaling is definitely possible for games. The more compact Xbox S-Series is 100 euros cheaper and more compact than the X-Series. The console is particularly interesting for everyone who also wants to keep their budget and do not own a 4K television anyway. However, since content can only be downloaded, you should have a sufficiently fast internet connection.

The Xbox Series X is the flagship of the next generation of Microsoft’s gaming console. It shines with top hardware including an optical drive and is accordingly aimed at everyone who wants to take full advantage of their 4K television and surround system. Even 8K resolution is possible with the Xbox Series X. In addition to the higher price, this is also noticeable in the somewhat bulky case.

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