With consoles becoming more and more available after a lengthy chip shortage, it’s finally time to start thinking about which of the two major current-gen consoles you might want to invest in. Pretty soon, we’ll be at the point where you can simply order a console and have it arrive soon after, with no delays or stock issues holding up the process. Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X|S have merits and drawbacks that you may wish to consider, so without further ado, let’s take a look at whether you should pick up a PS5 or an Xbox Series X|S.
In this area, the Xbox Series X|S takes home the gold. The PS5 has plenty of fun features, including activity cards to help you jump back into a game, but some of the most intriguing ones (game walkthroughs for specific moments, anyone?) are hidden behind PlayStation Plus. On the flipside, the Xbox Series X|S has lots of features the PS5 doesn’t have, including a fully-fledged web browser, so if you’re hoping to check out some fun online casino games on sites like casinohex.at, you’re going to struggle if you buy a PS5.
Winner: Xbox Series X|S
There’s pretty much no denying that the Xbox Series X|S can’t hold a candle to the PS5’s lineup of exclusive games right now. Horizon Forbidden West, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal, and Demon’s Souls are just some of the great games you can only play if you’re in the PlayStation ecosystem. The Xbox Series X|S has some great exclusives too – it’s got Gears of War, Forza, and Halo, after all – but for sheer fun, you can’t match the PS5. If the software library is the most important element of a console for you, then it’s all about the PS5.
Technically speaking, the Xbox Series X is a more powerful console than the PS5. It offers 12 teraflops (TFLOPS) of power where the PS5 only has 10.3, so if you’re looking for the machine that is objectively the more powerful of the two, it’s the Xbox Series X. However, there are two big caveats to that statement. First, the Xbox Series S is nowhere near as powerful as either of them, and second, you’re not likely to notice an appreciable difference between the Series X and the PS5 on a use-case basis. As such, we’re going to declare this one a draw.
There’s pretty much no competition between the two consoles when it comes to backwards compatibility. The PS5 is able to play PS4 games, and it can also play a selection of PS3, PS2, and PS1 games (as well as PSP games) through its PlayStation Plus subscription service. However, you can’t just slot any old-school game into the PS5 and expect it to play. By contrast, the Series X|S plays a huge number of previous-gen Xbox games, including games dating back to the Xbox 360 and original Xbox days, so if you’ve got a large classic library, it’s the Xbox that emerges victorious here.
Winner: Xbox Series X|S
Controllers and peripherals
This is one area where the PS5 undoubtedly has the edge over the Xbox Series X|S. The DualSense is, quite simply, the best controller Sony has ever created; it has incredible haptic feedback, wonderful adaptive triggers, and a premium feel that puts it head and shoulders above the Xbox Series X|S’ barely-redesigned offering. Of course, the Xbox Series X|S controller is still perfectly fine and will more than suffice for a gaming session, but the PS5’s controller is a joy to use, and once you’ve used a DualSense, you won’t want to go back.
Xbox Game Pass is the Xbox ecosystem’s secret weapon, although it’s arguably not so secret anymore since it has tens of millions of subscribers. There’s a good reason for that, too; great games are being made available on Game Pass every day, and the service grows in popularity and power every time it gains another classic. PlayStation Plus got a revamp in mid-2022, but it’s fairly weak by comparison, offering a smattering of classic titles and some games that many people will likely already have played. This is Xbox’s category, no question.
Winner: Xbox Series X|S
It’s not really possible to make an objective judgement on the aesthetic sensibilities of these two consoles. Whether you prefer the space-age style of the PS5 or the huge, sensible and straightforward monolith that is the Xbox Series X (or, indeed, the tiny adorable box shape of the Xbox Series S) is a matter entirely up to you. Our personal preference slightly edges towards the PS5, just because it’s a more interesting and divisive design than the Series X, which we think plays it somewhat safe. However, we’ll have to declare this one a draw.
If you’re paying close attention, you’ll see that the Xbox Series X|S has won slightly more categories in our run-down than the PS5 did. However, that doesn’t mean we think you should buy the Xbox Series X|S. Our conclusion is thus: if you have a PS4, it’s safe to upgrade to the PS5, but if you have a solid gaming PC or an Xbox One X, an upgrade to the Series X might not be necessary just yet. In an ideal world, it’s a good idea to buy both, of course, but the PS5 is the must-have next-gen console of the moment.