First, there are no new consoles for years – and now the new Xbox and Playstation 5 appear almost simultaneously, with very similar technology. However, there are still differences.
New smartphones and tablets are available more or less constantly, but new consoles are only available every few years. Playstation 4 and Xbox One were released in 2013, followed by The Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X updates in 2016 and 2017.
Now both Sony and Microsoft have announced the real successors – and revealed prices and other details.
In Germany, the Xbox Series will be launched on November 10, and the PlayStation 5 will follow on November 19. But what can the new devices do – and what are the differences between the different models? The most important information at a glance:
What new consoles are there?
In total, four models will launch in November: Microsoft’s new console flagship is the Xbox Series X for 499 euros. There’s also the Xbox Series S, which has less computing power and no Blu-ray drive, but comes in a more compact case and a true battle price for console start ratios: 299 euros for the model.
Sony also has two models, but they differ in only one respect: the regular PlayStation 5 costs 499 euros, the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition without a Blu-ray drive costs 399 euros.
Which console is better?
An answer to this question will probably not be available until November at the earliest. What is clear is that there are no sky-wide differences between the flagship models. Both consoles work with AMD Zen-2 processors, and the graphics hardware also comes from AMD – for ultra HD graphics in previously unseen quality, as both manufacturers promise.
A first in the console market: Both consoles have SSD storage onboard – long loading times should end. But there’s a downside to that: If you need more hard drive space than the built-in 825 gigabytes (PlayStation 5) or 1 terabyte (Xbox Series X), you can’t just connect an external hard drive, as was possible with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Instead, console manufacturers want to offer their own storage extensions – this could be expensive.
This is a problem for Xbox Series S buyers in particular: it also has an SSD onboard, but only with 512 gigabytes of storage space. Considering that modern games are already more than 50 or even 100 gigabytes in size on the current consoles, this is rather little. Otherwise, the Series S contains similar hardware to the Series X, including the same processor, only the graphics chip is significantly weaker.
How do manufacturers want to score?
Not much. Both manufacturers are basically continuing as before: Sony relies mainly on strong games of in-house developer studios, combined with exclusive titles from other manufacturers such as the just-announced “Final Fantasy XVI”, in addition to the game streaming service “PlayStation Now”.
Microsoft also focuses on game streaming with its X-Cloud technology, but the focus is clearly on The Game Pass – a subscription service for download games that gives users unlimited access to more than 100 games for as much as 10 euros a month, including all-new Xbox games from Microsoft and its developer studios.
In addition, of course, both consoles offer the usual apps for streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime – that’s now standard. And the controllers of both consoles have only changed in detail or design.
What can I play on it?
That is the crux of the matter. Neither console sits on a real cracker that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Microsoft had to postpone its long-awaited shooter flagship “Halo Infinite” until 2021. And Sony has a new “Spider-Man” game, which will also be released on PlayStation 4
There are plenty of games from other manufacturers to start, from “Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War” to the new “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” to the inevitable “Fifa 21”. All these titles are also available for the consoles that are currently available.
Do my old games work on the new consoles?
Yes. This was not always taken for granted in the past, but Microsoft in particular has discovered backward compatibility: All Xbox One games also run on Xbox Series consoles, along with numerous titles for its predecessors, Xbox and Xbox 360. Sony isn’t leaning out of the window. All play games for PlayStation 4 should also run on PlayStation 5.
It gets spongy when it comes to the question of which version of the games is running. Microsoft promises with its smart delivery program that users always automatically have the best possible version – so no one should have to pay for updates to the new generation of consoles. However, it is still unclear whether and which game publishers will participate or whether the offer applies primarily to Microsoft’s own titles. Sony promises similar, but only for selected games like the new “Spider-Man”.