There’s precious little question that Sony’s upcoming PS5 and Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox Series X are two of the most hotly-anticipated new product launches of 2020. Their current consoles are now seven years old, though we of course saw some iterative updates midway through this console generation. More powerful rigs like the PlayStation 4 Pro were great at the time, but gamers are ready for something new. They don’t just want more power and faster game loads, they want exciting new features and next-gen gaming experiences unlike anything available right now from older consoles.
The good news is that according to everything we’ve seen and heard so far, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are going to deliver. A big leak from earlier this week may have finally revealed the full specs for both new consoles, and they’re shaping up to be monsters. All that power isn’t just about speed though — insiders say that Sony and Microsoft’s new gaming rigs will “blow people’s minds” and usher in entirely new gaming experiences for people to enjoy. For example, we’ve heard rumblings about a new multiplayer mode on the PS5 that will allow different players to control different functions of the same character, which sounds crazy. There are so many things that have come up in the rumor mill so far, and Sony and Microsoft have also each made preliminary announcements about their upcoming new consoles. With both the Xbox Series X and the PS5 set to be unveiled in the coming months, we’re starting to wonder what gamers will be paying attention to most when deciding which next-generation console to buy.
Is it cutting-edge graphics? Or perhaps instant game load times thanks to new blazing-fast SSDs? Are gamers going to focus on which console has better exclusive game titles available at launch? Or is it something else entirely, like something as simple as Sony’s momentum after dominating the Xbox One so brutally in the current generation of console wars?
Everyone will have his or her own set of priorities when it comes to the crucial decision all gaming fans will face ahead of the holidays in 2020. Of course, any insights into what those priorities might be are quite intriguing, and NetherRealm Studios’ creative director Ed Boon took to Twitter this week to find out what people are thinking. Boon is a co-creator of Mortal Kombat and has amassed a large following on Twitter, so he posted a poll asking gamers a simple question: “Next Gen consoles… What’s the most important thing for you?”
The poll ended up with more than 50,300 votes, and here’s how things turned out:
Next Gen consoles… What's the most important thing for you?
— Ed Boon (@noobde) February 17, 2020
People clearly put the least weight on exclusive titles, which definitely makes sense. All of the biggest games will obviously be available on both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X. Sure there will be some big exclusives here and there, but that will be the case on both sides of the fence. The next-lowest priority is better graphics, which also seems logical. After all, both consoles will be roughly on par in terms of hardware, so performance and graphics will also be comparable. Why base your decision on that?
Backward compatibility is a big one, having raked in 30% of the votes in Boon’s poll. This also makes perfect sense because people won’t want to lose access to all their old games when they upgrade later this year. Both consoles are expected to support previous-generation games, and there’s even a rumor that the PlayStation 5 will support games from every single PlayStation generation that came before it. That seems pretty unlikely, but it would be a huge accomplishment for Sony if it really happens.
So what’s at the very top of the list? Price, which pulled in 38% of the vote and won by a big margin. With games priced at $60 a pop and everyone stressing about other holiday shopping when the new PS5 and Xbox Series X are due to be released, the more affordable console will definitely have an edge.