Xbox Series X PlayStation 5: The Battle of the Super Specs

Xbox Series X vs. PlayStation 5: The Battle of the Super Specs

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 have both been out for a few years. But it’s only now that consistent stock is starting to land on our shores. So if you plan to finally get your hands on one of these consoles, which one should you choose?

New console generations don’t come around often. While Apple happily drops it’s yearly iPhone alongside several other updates, there’s no yearly release to look forward to in gaming. Well, at least not for the consoles themselves.

So a few years back, when the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 dropped, fans eagerly anticipated getting their hands on one. And if you fast forward to now, many fans are still eagerly anticipating!

Supply shortages have hit many industries over the past few years, and the gaming industry is no exception. For the vast majority of the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5’s lifespan, they’ve been out of stock. Many retailers here no longer bother to even list the consoles on their websites.

However, 2022 looks to be the year that changes. While supplies are still somewhat slim, fresh drops of stock are becoming more regular. And if Microsoft and Sony are to be believed, production is set to ramp up significantly. So, the supply of consoles should only get more consistent from here on out.

So if you can finally get your hands on one of these next-gen consoles, which one should it be? The Xbox Series X or Playstation 5? And what about the Series S and PlayStation 5 Digital?

Canstar takes a look.

In this article:

Xbox Series X: Overview
PlayStation 5: Overview
Head to head specs
So which console is best?
Xbox Series S vs. PlayStation 5 Digital

xbox series x playstation 5

Xbox Series X ($799*)

Xbox Series X console

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X sports a box-like design with a smooth black finish, trim optical drive slot, and capped with a glowing concave mesh.

Some key details include:

  • Processing power – a custom-designed AMD processor, harnessing the latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures, provides four times the processing power of the Xbox One, with 12 teraflops of GPU performance, which is more than eight times that of the original Xbox One.
  • Graphic and audio realism – variable rate shading, allowing for more stable frame rates and higher resolution, and hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing, powering more dynamic and realistic environments, underpins enhanced visual and audio effects.
  • Next-level visuals – delivering 4K at 60 frames per second (fps), with the possibility of up to 120fps, including variable refresh rate support, and 8K capability, providing for heightened realism and fast-paced action.
  • HDMI 2.1 – supporting auto low-latency mode and variable refresh rate, cutting lag and delivering more responsive gaming.
  • SSD storage – delivering all-round improved game play, supporting larger and more dynamic game worlds that load fast.
  • Quick resume – allowing users to continue multiple suspended games almost instantly, bypassing long loading screens.
  • Dynamic Latency Input – leveraging Microsoft’s proprietary wireless communication protocol, decked out to deliver players more precise and responsive controls.

Exclusive titles

While the Xbox Series X itself has very few exclusives, there are several notable titles that are Microsoft console exclusives. So while they may be available on PC/mobile, and older generations of Xbox (such as the Xbox One) they are not available to play on PlayStation or Nintendo consoles.

For example, Halo infinite is available on Xbox Series X, Series S, Xbox One, and Windows.

Some notable console exclusives/upcoming exclusives include:

  • Halo Infinite
  • Fable 4
  • Forza Motorsport
  • State of Decay 3
  • Sea of Thieves

Xbox Games pass

To get the most out of you need to pay for an online subscription. Whether it be PlayStation Plus, Nintendo Switch Online, or Xbox Games Pass.

You can view a brief overview of the Xbox Games Pass options, and what they include below, or you can read our article on the Xbox Games Pass here for a comprehensive breakdown

Xbox Live Gold | $12.95/month

  • Multiplayer
  • 2 free games per month
  • Game discounts and free-play days

Game Pass: Console | $12.95/month

  • Play over 100 high-quality console games on console
  • New games added all the time
  • Xbox Game Studios titles the same day as release
  • Member discounts and deals
  • PC version comes with EA Play (exclusive EA games, rewards and content)

Game Pass: Ultimate | $19.95/month

  • Play over 100 high-quality games on console, PC and mobile devices
  • New games added all the time
  • Xbox Game Studios titles the same day as release
  • Exclusive member discounts and deals
  • Play games from the cloud
  • Free Perks including in-game content and partner offers
  • EA Play (exclusive EA games, rewards and content)
  • Includes Xbox Live Gold, including: Deals with Gold, Games with Gold and console multiplayer

PlayStation 5 ($819.95*)

Playstation 5 gaming console
PlayStation 5 console

The Sony PlayStation 5 features a drastically different design to the Xbox Series X. Coming in white with black contrast, it sports a sleeker design rather than the boxy look of the Xbox. However, it maintains many of the sharp corners found on the Xbox, opting for a more razor-like appearance.

Some key details include:

  • Processing power – the CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line, containing eight cores of AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture, with the GPU a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family.
  • Graphic and audio realism – the GPU supports ray-tracing, delivering heightened graphic realism and also audio benefits.
  • Enhanced audio – the AMD chip includes a custom unit for 3D audio, designed to deliver an immersive audio experience.
  • Next-level visuals – beyond 4K, the PS5 supports 8K graphics
  • SSD storage – providing greater speed and efficiency, and saving space.
  • Optical drive – physical games use 100 GB disks, with an optical drive to double as a 4K Blu-ray player.
  • User interface – a revamped user interface incorporates additional gaming information.

Exclusive titles

Much like with the Xbox above, the below titles are games/upcoming games that are console exclusives. That means they may be available on PC/mobile as well as the PlayStation 4 lineup.

  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • The Last of Us Part II
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • God of War Ragnarök

PlayStation Plus

You can view a brief overview of the PlayStation Plus options, and what they include below, or you can read our article on the PlayStation Plus here for a comprehensive breakdown

PlayStation Plus Essential

Cost: 1 month $11.95 / 3 months $33.95 ($11.32/m) / 12 months $79.95 ($6.66/m)

Provides exactly the same benefits as the current PlayStation Plus membership, for around the same price:

  • Monthly downloadable games
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Cloud storage for saved games
  • Online multiplayer access

PlayStation Plus Extra

Cost: 1 month $18.95 / 3 months $54.95 ($18.31/m) / 12 months $134.95 ($11.25/m)

  • Delivers all the same benefits as the Essential membership
  • Plus adds a library of up to 400 of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games

PlayStation Plus Premium

Cost: 1 month $21.95 / 3 months $63.95 ($21.31/m) / 12 months $154.95 ($12.91/m)

  • Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers
  • Catalogue of classic PlayStation, PS2 and PSP downloadable games
  • Classic PS3 games to stream and play on PS4, PS5 and PC
  • Time-limited game trials

→Related article: PlayStation 5: Where to Buy the PS5

Xbox Series X vs. PlayStation 5: head to head specs

We’ve listed a breakdown of the specs for each console below. As you can see, the Xbox Series X is technically the better spec’d console (if looking purely at CPU/GPU). However for the most part the consoles are identical, and the areas where the Xbox shines are unlikely to provide any significant performance benefits.

In other words, your gaming experience is unlikely to be noticeably hindered by 10.3 teraflops vs 12 teraflops…

Price $819.95* $799*
CPU 8-core 3.5 GHz AMD Zen 2 8-core, 3.8 GHz AMD Zen 2
GPU 10.3 teraflop AMD RDNA 2 12.0 teraflop AMD RDNA 2
Storage 825 GB custom SSD 1 TB custom NVMe SSD
Resolution Up to 8K Up to 8K
Frame Rate Up to 120 fps Up to 120 fps
Optical Disk Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray 4K UHD Blu-ray
Backwards Compatibility Almost all PS4 games, including optimized PS4 Pro titles All Xbox One games / Select Xbox 360 and original Xbox games

Which console is the better choice?

At the end of the day, both consoles provide the best in modern gaming. There’s very little one can do that the other can’t. So your decision will more likely come down to other factors.

For example, consider:

  • Exclusive titles (is Halo a must-have?)
  • Which eShop do you prefer? (price, range of titles available etc.)
  • The appearance of the console (after all, it has to sit in your living room)
  • Any affinity you have to either brand. If you’ve owned every PlayStation since the PS1, you’ll probably continue to opt for the PS5
  • And of course, price. Especially as the PS5 is already more expensive even before you consider the high likelihood a price hike is on the way

→Related article: Best Broadband Plans to Keep Up with your Gaming Needs

The Xbox Series S vs the Playstation 5 Digital

While the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are the flagship devices, this generation of consoles also sees the Xbox Series S and PlayStation 5 digital in the lineup.

Playstation 5 Digital

The PlayStation 5 Digital features the same specs as the PS5, it simply removes the disk drive (so no physical games and no blueray) for a cheaper $649.95* starting price. Again, this is likely to see a price increase in the near future, in line with what we’ve seen overseas.

It also maintains more or less the same design, although in a slightly smaller package.

Xbox Series S

The Xbox Series S sports a notably different design from the Series X

The Xbox Series S, like the PS5 digital, cuts the disk drive. But it also cuts some of the specs of the Xbox Series X. While it is still capable of playing all the same titles (but again, digital-only as there is no disk drive) and has all the same features/interface, there may be some slight performance differences between the Series X and the Series S.

Notably, the Series S  targets a resolution of 1440p instead of native 4K as with the Series X (some games do support native 4K, though).

However, those compromises do mean the Xbox Series S comes in at a great price, just $548* (more than $100 cheaper than the PS5 Digital Edition).

*All prices listed are correct at the time of writing (September 2022) and may have changed since this story was published, especially since Sony is raising the price of its standalone consoles. They should be used as a guide only.

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author andrew broadleyAbout the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an
experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth
working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism
and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more
recently, finance for Canstar.

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