I want to start off by saying, I’m an Xbox guy. I grew up a Nintendo kid and will always be a Nintendo kid at heart. But in the war between Sony and Microsoft? I jumped on the Microsoft train with the Xbox 360. With that being said, I have always owned every console for every generation of both brands. I owned a PS3 alongside my Xbox 360, a PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro to accompany my Xbox One S and Xbox One X, and now a PlayStation 5 to live alongside my Xbox Series X. As we celebrate the newest generation of consoles, here is this Xbox guy’s honest review of the Series X and PlayStation 5. This is my PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X comparison.
The PlayStation 5 is an awkward-looking console. Its alien design is definitely a conversation starter! Although I disliked the design at first—the longer I have it the more I like the design. You’re probably already aware that this thing is BIG and, unless you have a decent size entertainment center, you will more than likely opt to lay the PS5 on its side.
Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X has a more practical look compared to the PlayStation 5. Its monolithic design is similar to that of a small gaming PC. Although not as tall as the PS5, the Series X shares the same height as an Xbox One X with a much wider form factor.
The Verdict: Tie
It’s safe to say that from a design standpoint it comes down to your preference for a visually abstract piece of equipment to a more utilitarian one. The winner here comes down to personal choice and style. Either way, you can’t go wrong as they’re both sleek behemoths.
I’ve never really liked the design of the PlayStation controller. I’m not a fan of the stick placement and have always favored the much more ergonomic design of the Xbox controller. The DualSense controller, however, is one of the best controllers in gaming. The controller feels bigger and much more comfortable in your hands, making the stick placement almost unnoticeable.
Another great feature is the DualSense built-in microphone and speaker. Allowing you to chat with your friends directly from your controller without the need for a headset. Where the controller really shines is the DualSense’s Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Trigger technology. With Haptic Feedback you can physically feel the on-screen action far more precisely than previous models. It’s truly a feature that needs to be felt to believe. The Adaptive Triggers add an extra layer of immersion by creating tension when the on-screen character interacts with the environment. For example, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War makes use of Adaptive Triggers by giving every gun in the game a different level of pressure tension. Making for a truly immersive experience.
Xbox Series X
If it ain’t broke. Don’t fix it. I’ve felt that ever since the days of the Xbox 360. The Xbox controller has been the more comfortable and most ergonomic of the two major consoles since the beginning. As a result, Microsoft has made very few changes over the years. The Xbox Series X controller continues this trend.
This controller is very similar to that of the Xbox One controller with minor additions. Meet the Share button. No longer do you have to open and interrupt your game to capture a screenshot or game clip. Now you can at the touch of a button.
Microsoft has also done away with the traditional D-Pad and has instead opted for the disc-based D-Pad that’s featured with the Elite controller. Making this the best Xbox controller next to the Elite. Microsoft went for more refinement than change with this generation. Their controller is already amongst the best out there, and the Series X controller looks to continue to carry that legacy.
The Verdict: PlayStation 5
I originally felt that Microsoft really didn’t need to change an already fantastic controller, but when I got my hands on PlayStation’s DualSense my opinion quickly changed. The DualSense’s Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers feel like they have the potential to change the way we feel and interact with our games. Well done, Sony.
THE LAUNCH GAMES
If you purchased a PlayStation 5 you probably picked up Spider-Man Miles Morales. Though amazing, Miles Morales felt more like a piece of add-on DLC content for the previous Spider-Man game than a full next-gen experience. Demon’s Souls was one, if not the only, game we experienced that truly felt next-gen. The graphical overhaul from the 2009 original is one of the best looking games we have ever seen on a console. It’s absolutely amazing. Although you wouldn’t think of Bugsnax as a next-gen showcase game, it certainly has been reviewing well. We wish we could say the same about the shiny but shallow Godfall.
Xbox Series X
The unfortunate delay of Halo Infinite meant that Microsoft was without a killer app when the Series X released. Most people that buy a console purchase a single console and the biggest determining factor with their purchase is the exclusive titles. Not launching with the long-awaited, and much anticipated, Halo: Infinite meant that Gears Tactics and Tetris Effect Connected had to carry that weight of expectations. One that ended up being too much when competing against Demon’s Souls and Miles Morales.
The Verdict: PlayStation 5
As far as Launch Games go both consoles had some great titles to play, but PlayStation’s exclusive titles like Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, and even Bugsnax are definitely winners worth checking out.
THE CONSOLE FEATURES
PlayStation 5 UI has seen a vast improvement from that of the PS4. Menus are much easier to navigate. Media and Games are separated into their own compartments, and hitting the PS button no longer takes you completely out of your game as it once did with the PS4.
One of my favorite features for PS5 is the new Activities and updated Achievements. Achievements are now much more easily trackable. They also provide you with gameplay hints as well as take you directly specific achievements you’re trying to complete. You can switch between games, check notifications, party up with friends, and more without ever having to leave your game.
If you’re a member of PS Plus you also get the PS Plus Collection for PS5. Packed with some of the last gen’s best games, the PS Plus Collection is a great way to experience some of the best games that the PlayStation 4 had to offer.
Xbox Series X
On the other hand, the Xbox Series X feels like a continuation of what already made the Xbox One great. But its Quick Resume feature is by far one of the most next-gen feeling features on both consoles. The ability to switch between games within mere seconds is absolutely amazing and a feature I’ve used quite a bit.
Unlike the PS4 UI, the Xbox One saw many UI changes over the years and it transitioned beautifully onto the Series X. The new UI makes things much easier to find and is much more responsive than the Xbox One series. A great addition is the ability to customize your home screen with games you want front and center. Pin them and receive Achievement info, news, and see which friends are looking to team up and play.
Touted as the best deal in gaming, Xbox Game Pass is an absolutely unbelievable deal. You can play hundreds of games from the original Xbox through to the Xbox Series X as long as you’re a subscriber. You also get access to many of those games on PC as well! Microsoft has even mentioned that all games released by Microsoft Studios will release on Game Pass the same day the game launches.
The Verdict: Xbox Series X
Another amazing feature that was recently released for public beta is cloud gaming on Xbox. Now you can take your Xbox on the go. All you need is a stable internet connection and a compatible smartphone. What Microsoft does with Xbox Game Pass could potentially define the future of the gaming landscape.
The biggest con of this gen has to be the lack of storage. Although both new consoles come with super-fast SSD the amount of storage is lacking for 2020 gaming. The PS5 comes with only 825GB of internal storage. We can assume that as games get more advanced so will the sizes of them. You will be able to upgrade the PlayStation storage capacity, but there has been no announcement as to when we will see this feature updated.
Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X comes with 1TB of storage but it still isn’t enough given the size of some of these games. The expansion SSD runs about $220 for an additional 1TB of storage. Almost half the price of the Series X! You can still use an external SSD to run your previous-gen games, but it won’t take advantage of the Series X performance features.
The Verdict: Xbox Series X (For now…)
SO WHICH IS BETTER?
Well…you can’t go wrong with either console. These towers of power truly pack a punch and with the upcoming games for either console the potential is limitless. Whether you choose to ‘Power Your Dreams’ or ‘Play Like Never Before,’ the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 look to have a bright future ahead of them.