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Here’s one more reason Xbox Series X will beat the PS5

Published Aug 7th, 2020 5:14PM EDT
PS5 Price
Image: Microsoft

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  • As promised, Sony did not reveal the PS5 price or the console’s launch date during its State of Play announcement on Thursday.
  • There’s no telling when Sony and Microsoft will reveal availability details for the new consoles, but that information can’t be withheld for much longer, given that the holiday season is approaching fast.
  • Regardless of what the PS5 and Xbox Series X cost, Microsoft has one more unexpected advantage over Sony that might matter for price-conscious buyers this year.

Sony’s State of Play event on Thursday gave us a look at the various PlayStation games heading our way, but it was all rather boring. We knew going into the even that Sony wasn’t going to announce pricing, preorder timing, or a release date. Sony is still playing a cat and mouse game with Microsoft, as the Xbox maker hasn’t revealed those details either. Word on the street is that Microsoft is looking to undercut the PS5 price, and that’s why the company is waiting for Sony to make the first move. Not to mention there’s a cheaper Series S that’s supposedly going to be announced soon. That said, the Series X already has a few advantages over the PS5 when it comes to price that Sony can’t match. And now, Sony just lost another battle.

Even if the PS5 and Series X end up having the same exact price, Microsoft still holds an important ace up its sleeve. That’s the Xbox All Access program that lets you pay for the new console in installments. Microsoft will also let you upgrade the current Xbox version to the Series X if the purchase is made through a version of the program.

Aside from the hardware, the All Access bundle includes Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which delivers a growing collection of games. On top of that, Project xCloud game streaming might be available free of charge to Ultimate subscribers who got their accounts via the All Access bundle. The latter is just speculation based on Microsoft’s latest announcements about the new game-streaming product.

If that’s not enough, Sony made it clear earlier this week that PlayStation 5 games will require a DualSense controller to work. Each console ships with one free DualSense controller, but you’ll have to buy additional controllers if you want to play PS5 games with your friends. The DualSense 4 controller will continue to work with PS4 games that will be supported on the PS5. So if you have spare PS4 controllers, you can continue to use them with the PS5… but not to play PS5 games.

Comparatively, any Xbox wireless controller that you have around the house will work with the Xbox Series X. You won’t have to buy additional ones for the new Xbox.

We have no idea how much the DualSense controller cost, but it should be at least as expensive as DualShock 4 controllers. That’s $60 you won’t be spending on games or subscriptions After coughing up all that cash for a new console and new games, no one will want to spend another $60 on a controller if they don’t have to.

Truth be told, the DualSense controller seems to be a better controller upgrade than the Xbox controller. It features a new haptics engine that Sony redesigned for the PS5, and it comes with a built-in microphone that might power a secret PS5 feature that Sony has not yet announced. But there should be nothing preventing the DualShock 4 controller from getting basic support with PS5 games.

Ironically, Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming program will support DualShock 4 controllers, as Inverse points out. So if you plan on moving to the Xbox from a PlayStation 4, you might want to keep some of the extra controllers around to play games on tablets and smartphones.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.