Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and X Rival PS5 — What You Need to Know

By Thomas Price Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Within the past few days, both Microsoft and Sony have made major announcements regarding the next generation of video game consoles. Each company put out basic information, photos, and specs for their new consoles, with Microsoft announcing the Xbox Series X and S, and Sony announcing the PlayStation 5. This announcement marks each of these companies’ additions to the ninth generation of modern video game consoles, surpassing Nintendo, who released the Nintendo Switch in 2017. So, with this in mind, how do the two consoles stack up, and what can the modern video game consumer expect from each company within the coming months and years?

The PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 5, or PS5, had been announced initially in 2019, with a release date scheduled for the early summer of 2020. However, that date had been delayed due to a series of unforeseen circumstances involving both the COVID-19 pandemic as well as protests incited by the death of George Floyd. Sony has since confirmed that the PS5 will be released in time for the holiday season at the end of 2020. While there has been no official word from Sony yet about the console’s price, it has been rumored that it should cost around $500. Due to the expensive nature of that as the cost for a flagship video game console, Sony will also be releasing the slightly cheaper PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, with rumored prices being closer to $400. However, with these expensive price tags, the PS5 has made major hardware adjustments that should lead to a more ergonomic, reactive controller, incredible graphics quality, and a lighter, more powerful overall console. In short, Sony has made tangible improvements across the board in the capabilities of the console, the equipment the user will be handling, and what the end product will look like - both as a machine and for the screen’s resolution.

The Xbox Series X and S

Microsoft has also announced that it will be releasing two versions of its newest console. The Xbox Series X will serve as their higher-end product and the Series S will offer a slightly worse graphics processing unit (GPU) and lower resolution. While Sony had not announced the more specific details about their release and pricing, Microsoft, on the other hand, has put out the official release date for each console on November 10. The price points for each system serve as both more expensive and less expensive than each version of the PlayStation 5 with the Series X priced at $499 and the Series S priced at $299. The Series S will be capable of running all games available to the Series X at comparable levels, but will not have a disc drive. Microsoft has similarly made across the board improvements that will result in perhaps the most powerful gaming system ever. While instead of creating a new controller that will be the exclusive controller of the system, as Sony did, Microsoft instead has announced that all wireless Xbox controllers from previous generations will still work with their newest system. With each company announcing high end and lower-end versions of their newest video game consoles, how do they compare?

Comparing Microsoft and Sony Consoles

From the standpoint of the actual hardware, each system is incredibly impressive and also rather similar. Both consoles will be using a solid state drive (SSD), which should help run the software and games extremely smoothly. Microsoft and Sony have gone to incredible lengths to ensure backward compatibility for games initially built for their older systems. In addition, they have created a slew of interesting titles that will be exclusive to their specific consoles, while also sharing a large plethora of games capable of being played on either. Getting into the slightly more specific details of each, both systems will be using custom versions of AMD’s most powerful chips in order to ensure maximum processing power; however, Microsoft’s system will have slight edges in compute performance as well as speed capabilities.

Final Conclusions

With each new video game console from Microsoft and Sony coming in with incredible processing power, next-generation resolution, price availability for the highest performance, and more affordability, the debate over which system is superior is still undecided. For the many gamers who plan to buy one or the other over the holidays, it may simply come down to brand loyalty or which of the two consoles’ platform exclusive games they prefer.

About the Author


Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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