PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Should You Be Concerned?

By TheDblTap

WHAT DO THE PS5’S SPECS SAY ABOUT ITS FUTURE?

Just the other day, system architect Mark Cerny got on a small stage somewhere in the world to live-stream a deep dive into the PlayStation’s Hardware and architecture specifications, as well as the thinking behind it all, what the design philosophies are and ultimately their motivations.

It became very clear throughout the talk that the focus for PlayStation was not getting the highest numbers, but getting the best performance. Improving development time for developers, improving disk reading speeds and improving overall hardware integration. By which I mean, making the parts talk to each other quicker and smoother than ever before. 

Cerny highlighted several “bottlenecks” which can throttle performance on today’s consoles and then went on to explain how he and his team have focused in on these bottlenecks to ensure that there is a very smooth process going on in the background throughout any gameplay experience. This improves things for both developers and gamers.

Now, moving on from that, we see Sony reveal their numbers. Cerny knows what is going to happen as well as we do. So, he does his best to try and preface this information for the general public, but as soon as the information goes up on-screen, we here at PlatGet let out a collective groan of dismay.

Not because Microsoft has a higher number of “teraflops”, but because we know exactly what is going to happen. Just as Cerny knew… Just as the entire dev community knew would happen… Thousands of PlayStation fans around the world who tuned in just to see how pretty the console is are just going to look at the numbers and leave. And the numbers aren’t important.

As Cerny put it, Power does not equal performance and this is a very important thing to take away. While gaming journalists worldwide put up their little comparison charts which only show the numbers to spark controversy and arguments in the comments – the only things the wider community care about – Twitter is rife with professionals from within the industry desperately trying to get the general public to see this one very important thing;

Power does not equal performance.

I am sure many of you reading this are PlayStation fans, and I am sure that many of you are worried that Microsoft has already won. That you’re concerned you’re backing the wrong horse this gen. Let me assure you that when it comes to PS5 vs Xbox Series X, the PlayStation 5 will outperform the Xbox. And I’ll do so with a metaphor;

Let’s say that Microsoft and Sony are in a race. Not like the current “Console Wars” race but a real sports car race.

Both teams get to choose a car and a driver so immediately Microsoft go out and they look at the numbers on paper. They pick the car with the highest top speed and horsepower and then pluck the world’s best racer out of the F1 scene. 

“There,” they say, months before the race even starts, “We’ve already won, look at these stats!”

Sony, meanwhile, spend a little more time. They analyse the track, they look for flaws where a driver might struggle. They pick out the best car to handle the corners – while still being quite fast – and they pick out a driver who has experience with the track and spend some time training him. 

Through months of analysis, they pinpoint where the driver is losing time – using testimonials from other experienced drivers – and persistently improve on it until they are happy.

Race day comes and Microsoft has a big grin on their face. 

“Those numbers are pathetic!” They boast, leering at Sony’s lower horsepower and top speed.

Microsoft do have the fastest car and the better driver, but neither is suited to the track, neither has been specially and specifically optimised to perform at their best on this track… Unlike Sony’s pairing.

Who do you think would win?

To answer the question at the top of this post, you do not need to be concerned. Sony have more than proven with words alone that they care more about their user base and the developers than Microsoft – who incessantly shout numbers at us – ever have. And if this current generation isn’t enough proof of that then there’s nothing I can do to convince you further.

Microsoft released the Xbox One X, the most powerful console this generation. If you haven’t heard them very dryly say it without conviction in their advertisements enough, the console is indeed a powerhouse. But did that tip the scale? Did Microsoft’s sales suddenly loom over Sony’s? No. Sony offer a better experience.

The exclusive collection on PlayStation is second-to-none and Sony’s player-centric approach to the PlayStation business model has kept us happy for years and will continue to do so for many more.

I hope this helps to lay a few minds to rest. 

It is important to note that the live stream was not for us, too. The talk was originally prepared for GDC (Game Developers Conference) and so the information was targeted at people who would better understand the information; developers. As such, all of the developers we have seen voice their opinions on the PS5 have had a much more positive response than the PlayStation fans.

This should be seen as a positive thing, and also help to lay your mind to rest about the console.

I will concede that Sony must have been able to predict what was coming and should have had a dumbed-down portion of the talk for the general public or at least given them what they want and put up a picture of the console’s shell, but the more sell-able information will be available to the general public in the coming months, I am sure of it. So, sit tight and get your hype hats on because it’s going to be amazing.

If you’d like to check out Cerny’s deep dive video and take the opportunity to inform yourself, you can watch it here:

From two PlayStation fans to another, thanks for reading, we’re very excited for the PlayStation 5 and the deep dive into the architecture only helped to exacerbate that excitement. 

Read on for details about the PlayStation 5 specs and features.

 

Playstation 5 Specs

  • Ray-tracing for hyper-realistic lighting setups and reflections.
  • Exciting ray-traced audio for real-time calculations on things such as reverb depending on the environment
  • Custom-built expandable 825GB SSD. Expansions can be done using compatible SSDs on the market via an NVMe extension bay built into the console. This is, of course, preferable to using proprietary hardware as expected on the Xbox Series X, though we imagine a proprietary SSD extension will become available on the market in due time.
  • Support for USB HDDs for storing and loading Playstation 4 titles, allowing for easy transfer of your PS4 games library.
  • Obviously, backwards-compatibility with Playstation 4 titles. Due to the console’s increased power, all 4,000 PS4 titles need testing and tweaking individually for the new system, but Sony have already tested and confirmed compatibility for the console’s top 100 most played games and expect to have compatibility for all titles.
  • 10.28 Teraflops GPU consisting of 36 CUs running at around 2.23GHz (it is variable to allow for minimal power consumption and heat output depending on the game)
  • 8 Zen2 CPU Cores running at around 3.5GHz (also variable).
  • A 4K UHD Blu-ray drive. 4K UHD discs allow for up to 100GB of storage per disc and it also means you will be able to make use of it with 4K TVs to watch UHD Blu-ray movies unlike with the PS4 Pro.

Playstation 5 Details

When is the PlayStation 5 coming out?

Sony’s official statement on the matter is that the Playstation 5 will be available “In time for Holiday 2020”. Leading theories suggest that production will take a serious hit due to the current Coronavirus situation, however, Sony’s PR claims that the release date hasn’t yet been affected by the pandemic.

When can you pre-order the PlayStation 5?

There is no official word on this yet. If the PS4 is anything to go by, though, it’s November 2013 release was headed up with pre-orders starting in June of that year, immediately after an E3 price reveal. So then we could assume that PS5 pre-orders will begin around the same time in June 2020.

How much will the PS5 cost?

Again, there’s no official word on this. There’s been a lot of speculation and hearsay leading to an estimated $800 price tag, though more realistic estimations put it in the $450-$500 price-range, slightly more than the PS4 launched at, but that’s to be expected given it’s complex and expensive hardware.

About the Author

TheDblTap is fond of single-player action and adventure games as well as the odd collect-em-up or RPG. He thinks FPS games are stale and repetitive and has little patience for gunfights which are too drawn-out. Originally a Nintendo gamer, the PlayStation line of consoles quickly took their grasp as he fell in love with Sony’s gamer-centric approach and – eventually – collecting shiny, shiny trophies.

With a keen eye for secrets and treasure, TheDblTap’s play-style often benefits him as a trophy hunter, but as someone with poor timing, he struggles with more skill-based combat trophies…