Monday, May 10

Black Friday Showdown: Xbox Series X/S vs PS5


The next-generation of console gaming is set to kick-off this November, with the new Xbox Series S and Series X consoles launching, along with the Playstation 5 making its appareance shortly after; but which one should you buy? Saying it’s a difficult decision is an understatement, so here’s what you need to know to help make your console-decision a whole lot easier.

What are they?

Simply put, the Playstation 5 is Sony’s successor to the PS4, which features two different models: the standard 1TB model with a disc drive, and a digital-only PS5 model with no disc drive and a slightly lower profile.

The standard PS5 and PS5 digital edition.

The Xbox Series X is the top-tier version of the new Xbox line-up, with a 1TB hard-drive and disc drive, while the Series S is a smaller, discless version with a 512GB hard drive and a little less power output, but not by much.

The Xbox Series X (left) and Xbox Series S (right).

Release Date & Price

Below are the prices for each console model, along with the South African release dates:

Under the Hood

Playstation 5: The PS5 (and its digital alternative) are rocking an AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and a custom RDNA 2 AMD GPU that puts out 10.28 TFLOPs of processing power. The digital-only Playstation 5 ditches the disc-drive in order to save cost and space.

Xbox Series X: The Series X is a processing beast, with AMD’s Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures providing 12 teraflops of power. It supports ray tracing, it can render up to 4K (3,840-by-2,160) resolution at up to 120 frames per second, and it’s “8K ready,” which indicates it can upscale to that resolution.

Xbox Series S: The Series S uses the same AMD’s Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architecture at the Series X, but it has only 4 TFLOPS of processing power. It also has 10GB of RAM compared to the X’s 16GB, meaning the Series S has a much lower rendering resolution ceiling of 1440p. It can still handle ray tracing, and supports 1440p at up to 120 frames per second, but games won’t render at 4K. The system still upscales to 4K, so it’ll look fine on your 4K TV, but don’t expect quite as much sharpness, smoothness, or overall detail.

Digital Subscriptions

The battle of digital offerings and subscription services from either console-maker will prove to be pivotal this generation. Microsoft’s GamePass is a great service already, providing Xbox gamers with over a hundred games to download and play, including all first-party Xbox titles. Microsoft also dropped a bombshell earlier this year, announcing that Electronic Arts’ digital game subscription service, EA Play, will be bundled with Xbox GamePass going forward. GamePass Ultimate is priced at R149 p/m, while standard GamePass is R99 p/m.

Playstation’s PS Plus membership gives PS gamers two free games per month, although these are random, along with discounts on other games. Sony did announce the PS Plus Collection, which is bundled with the normal PS Plus membership and will allow gamers to play a handful of first-party PS exclusives and other big-name titles, such as God of War and Uncharted 4. At launch, there will be 18 games available on the PS Plus Collection.

What about the games themselves?

Both Microsoft and Sony have been tightlipped on details of upcomingquiet on the announcements of exclusives, but if you’ve been a fan of either company’s exclusives in past generations (such as the God of War franchise on Playstation or the Gears of War series on Xbox, for example), you can expect sequels to those respective games on the new systems.

Smart delivery/free upgrades: Also good to keep in mind is what Microsoft is calling ‘Smart Delivery’, which essentially means that Microsoft will automatically enable you to download the ‘best’ version of any game if you’ve already purchased it on a previous generation, i.e. if you buy Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on Xbox One, you also get it on Xbox Series X/S. Sony is doing this too with most cross-generational PS4/PS5 games, although they don’t seem to have a buzzword for it.

In terms of launch line-ups for both consoles, what we do know is the following:

All PS5 Launch Games

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Borderlands 3
  • Bugsnax
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Destruction AllStars
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • DIRT 5
  • Fortnite
  • Godfall
  • Just Dance 2021
  • Maneater
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered
  • Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Planet Coaster: Console Edition
  • Poker Club
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure
  • The Pathless
  • Watch Dogs Legion

Find the best price on PS5 games on PriceCheck.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS5.

All Xbox Series X/S launch games:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Smart Delivery)
  • Borderlands 3 (Smart Delivery)
  • Bright Memory 1.0
  • Cuisine Royale (Smart Delivery)
  • Dead by Daylight (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • DIRT 5 (Smart Delivery)
  • Enlisted
  • Evergate
  • The Falconeer (Smart Delivery)
  • Fortnite
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Gears 5 (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Gears Tactics (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Grounded (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • King Oddball (Smart Delivery)
  • Maneater (Smart Delivery)
  • Manifold Garden (Smart Delivery)
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Planet Coaster (Smart Delivery)
  • Sea of Thieves (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Tetris Effect: Connected (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • The Touryst (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • War Thunder (Smart Delivery)
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (Smart Delivery)
  • WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship (Smart Delivery)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Smart Delivery)
  • Yes, Your Grace (Smart Delivery)

Find the best price on Xbox Series X games on PriceCheck.

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Bright Memory 1.1 on Xbox Series X.

Which one to buy?

The final decision essentially comes down to your budget, expectations, and how badly you want to play exclusive games on either console. In terms of sheer power, the Xbox Series X is more powerful than the PS5, but with both consoles essentially having the same game library (barring a few exclusives), it shouldn’t count for too much.

When considering your option, look at the upcoming exclusive games you’d like to play, and if more of them are available on one console rather than the other, this should play a big role in your decision.

PriceCheck advice: If you want to dive into next-gen at the best possible price and don’t mind not having the highest resolution, the Xbox Series S is an affordable and more than capable next-gen gaming machine.

Find and compare the best prices on games and consoles on PriceCheck!

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