For months, gamers the world over have been anticipating news about the PlayStation 5 from Sony. With just hours left to go in February, it seems unlikely that this will be the month we learn more about the next-gen console, which is why even a page on GameStop’s website to sign up for notifications about the PS5 has made some waves online. To be clear, you can’t even preorder the console — GameStop will just email you when you can.
Snark aside, GameStop does run down a few of the key features and specifications we learned about last year, so we thought it might be interesting to compare everything we know about the PlayStation 5 with the detailed blog post that Microsoft shared earlier this week about the ridiculously powerful Xbox Series X.
Here are the PS5 bullet points on GameStop’s website, summarizing virtually everything we know so far:
- Full 8K TV support
- Bespoke 8-core AMD chipset
- 3D Audio
- Built-for-purpose SSD storage
- Backwards compatibility with PS4 games/PSVR hardware
- Ray tracing capabilities
In order to make it easier to compare the two, I condensed the Xbox Series X blog into bullet points as well:
- AMD CPU with Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures
- 12 teraflops of GPU performance
- Variable Rate Shading
- Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing
- Next-generation SSD
- Quick Resume
- Dynamic Latency Input
- HDMI 2.1 Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate
- 120FPS support
- Backwards compatibility with Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox games
- Smart Delivery for buying games on multiple console generations
Let’s start with the similarities. Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will support 8K gaming, both will feature next-gen solid-state drives that should all but eliminate load times, both will take advantage of ray tracing, and both will feature at least some backwards compatibility with games from previous generations.
The biggest mystery remaining for the PS5 is GPU performance. Will Sony be able to match Microsoft at 12 teraflops, or are the rumors about a 9 teraflop console true? Unlike phone leaks, there has been virtually no consensus among supposed “insiders” and “leakers” about the true power of the PS5, but it’s hard to imagine Sony letting Microsoft release a substantially more powerful console at virtually the same time.
Sony said that because the PS5 is “based in part on the PS4’s architecture, it will also be backward compatible with games for that console,” but we still don’t know what this means for PS3, PS2, and PS1 games. Microsoft has made it clear that games from all of its consoles will be playable on the Xbox Series X, but the extent of the PS5’s backwards compatibility remains a secret. This could be a huge separator between the two.
Oh, and if you want to know what I think of Smart Delivery, just read what I wrote on Monday.
With the Xbox Series X all but fully revealed, it’s hard to imagine Sony letting Microsoft soak up the spotlight for too much longer, but we still haven’t heard a peep about the PS5 this year. Maybe if we’re lucky that will change before the end of next week, because we’re only going to get antsier in the meantime.