Photo Credit: Akhil Arora/Gadgets 360
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are both finally available in India: which one should you buy? Well, available is a strong word right now, given they are both sold out virtually everywhere — and there's no word on new stock is expected to arrive, unlike the weekly drops that happen in other markets. That's largely because of chip storages across the industry at large — from car manufacturers to laptop makers, no one is able to cope with the global demand, fuelled in part by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. AMD, which makes the custom chips for both PS5 and Series X, admitted recently that it will continue to have supply issues through the first half of 2021, so picking your next generation console might come down to availability.
But when do you get the opportunity to pick between Sony and Microsoft's next-gen console offerings, which one is the best choice? The short answer is that there isn't an obvious winner. That's why I decided to compare them across the board. It's all in the video below. I'll talk about games, from what's available right now — in terms of exclusives and backward compatibility — to what's coming up in 2021. How the games perform. The varying strategies to sell those games (Xbox Game Pass for one vs. a higher price for the other). How the two new controllers (DualSense and Xbox's) shape up. The problems with storage. And the unique features they offer.
For a very detailed look at the different consoles, you can always refer to our in-depth reviews of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Both PS5 and Series X cost Rs. 49,990 in India.
Sony also offers a PS5 Digital Edition at Rs. 39,990 that has yet to launch in India. It doesn't have a disc drive, but everything else about it is exactly identical to the PS5.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has a less powerful cousin to Series X in Xbox Series S at Rs. 34,990. It too doesn't have a disc drive, and has half the storage capacity of the Series X.
You can learn more about the Series S in our guide to the Xbox Series family.
|PlayStation 5||Xbox Series X|
|Price||Rs. 49,990||Rs. 49,990|
|Resolution||4K @ 60fps, up to 120fps||4K @ 60fps, up to 120fps|
|Disc||4K UHD Blu-ray||4K UHD Blu-ray|
|CPU||Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.5GHz with SMT (variable frequency)||Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)|
|GPU||Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz (variable frequency)||Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU 52 CUs @ 1.825GHz|
|10.28 teraflops GPU power||12.15 teraflops GPU power|
|RAM||16GB GDDR6 RAM||16GB GDDR6 RAM|
|Memory bandwidth||448GB/s||10GB at 560GB/s, 6GB at 336GB/s|
|Storage||825GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD||1TB PCie Gen 4 NVME SSD|
|External storage||NVMe SSD Slot, support for USD HDD||1TB expansion card, support for USB HDD|
|I/O throughput||5.5GB/s (raw), 8-9GB/s (compressed)||2.4GB/s (raw), 4.8GB/s (compressed)|
|Dimensions||390 x 104 x 260 mm (15.35 × 4.09 × 10.23 inches)||151 x 151 x 301 mm (5.94 x 5.94 x 11.85 inches)|
|Weight||4.5kg (9.92 pounds)||4.45kg (9.8 pounds)|
The DualSense controller for PS5 is a major upgrade on the DualShock 4 for PS4. It's more ergonomic and made of higher quality material, but most importantly, it adds to the gaming experience with haptic feedback and trigger resistance. Microsoft had both (or something similar) with the Xbox One controller, but Sony is pushing those systems further with the DualSense.
Microsoft has kept things much the same with the new Xbox Wireless Controller. It's got a new “Share” button borrowed from DualShock 4, and a modified D-pad borrowed from Xbox Elite Controller. Unfortunately, Microsoft still doesn't offer in-built rechargeable batteries, preferring to give consumers choice (the AA batteries route), but I think that's the wrong move.
At launch, neither next-gen console can boast of a stellar line-up. PS5 has Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon's Souls, Astro's Playroom, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, The Pathless, Godfall, Bugsnax, and Destruction AllStars (nearly three months after launch, in fact). But very few of these are actually PS5 exclusive, they are also on PS4 and/or PC.
Meanwhile, Xbox Series X boasts of Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, and The Medium (over two months after launch). Most of them are games from the Xbox One era or older, and one is an exclusive only for a limited time.
The launch line-up for PS5 and Series X is much bigger beyond PlayStation Studios and Xbox Game Studios. We've the likes of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Immortals Fenyx Rising, FIFA 21, NBA 2K21, Dirt 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Rainbow Six Siege, Just Dance 2021, Mortal Kombat 11, Borderlands 3, No Man's Sky, and Destiny 2.
If it's more exclusives you're after, 2021 has a fair few. On the PS5 front, there's Horizon Forbidden West, God of War: Ragnarök, Deathloop, Returnal, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Gran Turismo 7, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. The Series X will get Halo Infinite, Flight Simulator, STALKER 2, CrossfireX, The Gunk, and Sable.
Now there's a big difference in how these next-gen games are being delivered. Sony will charge PS5 owners individually for exclusives, with prices going up to Rs. 5,000. Microsoft will offer its exclusives as part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription — it costs Rs. 699 per month, before tax — at launch for no additional charge.