Console Wars: Who Wins?

A review of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5


Photo via Tech Radar

Zachary Ludwick, Staff Writer

Contrary to popular belief, there is something else to talk about besides COVID-19 and the election. Console wars are back! The Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 released in earlier this month, so let the showdown begin:

The Xbox Series X

Price: $500

CPU: 3.8-GHz AMD Zen 2-based processor

GPU: 12-teraflop AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 52 Compute Units (CU)

Memory: 16 GB

Storage: 1 TB NVMe SSD

Max Resolution: 8K

Max Framerate: 120 FPS

Ports: HDMI, USB-A, Ethernet

Size: 11.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches

Weight: 9.8 pounds

For $500, these are insane specs. The Series X is the most powerful console ever created and can run most of the games near the 8K 120FPS as advertised. However, the UI within the menu is the exact same as the 1 X and does not feel like a next-gen console. The same can be said for the controller, which has barely changed from the last-gen system. The main issues with the Series X are in the little things. The specs are incredible, but lousy UI and controllers along with a lackluster selection of games at launch hold it back from its full potential.  

The PlayStation 5

Price $500

CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz

GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz
Memory: 16 GB

Storage: 667.2GB

Max Resolution: 8K

Max Framerate: 120FPS

Ports: HDMI, USB-A, Ethernet

Size: 15.4 x 10.4 x 4.9

Weight: 9.9 pounds

Although not on the exact playing field in terms of specs, the PS5 is still sturdy in its performance. The system is huge, and size-wise is the largest console ever — primarily due to the huge fan cooling the hardware. The controller is next-level cool, with an incredible feel and immersion that blow out every other controller on the market. The selection of PS5 exclusive game is incredible, a huge selling point for the console. The UI is decent, simply being sleeker than the previous generation and has sufficiently fast speed. Like the Series X, users have complaints about it not being next-gen, but it does not have the same speed issues. The party system is incredible. It almost feels like Discord, with super easy sharing and joining capabilities. This is a huge selling point for the PS5.

The Verdict

Both consoles launch the world of gaming into a new dimension. With improvements in all aspects of the gaming experience, from controllers to games to performance, there is no wrong in buying either console. However, the PlayStation 5 has a slight edge at launch. 

Despite not having specs as good as the Series X, its UI, controller, parties, and selection of exclusive games vault it ahead of the Series X. At the exact same price point, the PS5 offers the better experience. 

The Series X still is an incredible system and has more room to grow with its superior specs. However, right now, it is not the better buy. The lack of improvements in the UI and controller does not let the console reach its full potential.