This year has been terrible. But hey, at least we’re getting a new video game console just in time for the holidays. Well, for those who are willing to part with your older one.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S mark the next generation of video game console gaming full of 4K, ray tracing, non-existent load-times, and so many more features. All these consoles are absolute beasts, which makes choosing which to buy a chore.
Unless you somehow find enough video game console fun money lying around to pay for more than $1,000 (not even including games), you’re going to have to choose. Do you know your choice? If not, we have assembled a guide for the next generation to reduce your Christmas shopping stress this year as much as possible. Good luck!
More Power to the Player
Without a doubt, the Xbox Series X is the most powerful console of this next generation. It has one TB of SSD storage that creates rapid load times, 12 teraflops of GPU, and has 3.8 GHz in its CPU. But that doesn’t really mean a lot right now.
The PlayStation 5 falls just short of those specs, but that doesn’t put it at any sort of disadvantage. It can still run games at 120 FPS in 4K resolution, have equal load times, and play games that are just as powerful.
Xbox is pushing that “most powerful console” title hard for the Series X, but please don’t buy into that too much. When compared to the PlayStation 5’s performance, it doesn’t mean as much as it seems like it should.
When comparing the PS5 to the Xbox Series S, that’s where differences come into play. It runs games at 1440p instead of native 4K and only has four teraflops of GPU, and has half the amount of SSD storage than the Series S. Yet, this is one video game console that packs a whopping punch.
It still runs games with ray tracing enabled at great framerates and has the rapid load times of the other consoles. Every game available on the Series X plays simply fine. Of course, there are a few compromises with the Series S. For value, it brings at a $200 discount that should not be overlooked.
All this means that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are more future-proof and will last longer. And that is with the Series X just barely edging out its competition. But gamers don’t just buy a video game console for the power, they buy it for the games.
What Video Game Console Has the Best Launch Lineup?
What good is a video game console without games?!
There’s a handful of solid third-party games releasing on both platforms, like “Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War”, “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla”, “Watch Dogs: Legion”, and how could we forget the granddaddy of them all, “Cyberpunk 2077“.
But those games are releasing on all platforms, so that doesn’t help make any decisions. The exclusives on each console tell us a lot more. Check them out:
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Demon’s Souls
- Astro’s Playroom
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
- Horizon Forbidden West
- God of War: Ragnarok
Xbox Series X/S
- The Falconeer
- Halo Infinite
- The Medium
- Hellblade II
If you’re looking for that next-gen experience that will blow you away, look no further than PlayStation 5.
Their games are designed to use the full power of the new console, while Xbox is more focused on the number of games available than new ones.
There aren’t any shiny new Xbox exclusives, but Game Pass Ultimate is what Microsoft is banking on with their video game console. With over a hundred games available, new games added every month, an Xbox Live Gold membership, the ability to play on console, PC, or mobile, the service is one hell of a deal. PlayStation has something similar with PlayStation Plus Collection, but they can’t match the number of blockbuster games available with Game Pass.
It becomes even more impressive with their recent acquisition of Bethesda and the fact that all new Xbox exclusives and Bethesda titles will be delivered directly to the service.
This leaves the winner of this section split.
If you’re looking for that next-gen “wow” factor, PlayStation 5 has Xbox beat. But if you’re looking for an expansive library at a reasonable cost, spring for an Xbox with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Best Gaming Experience
There’s a considerable amount of information that goes into this section. Yet today we’ll be focusing on the controller. I know that sounds dumb, but trust me, this is literally a game-changer.
The Xbox Series X and S have the same controller but in distinct colors. It’s about the same as the controller we have now that we’re all familiar with, but with a slightly distinctive design and a new share button. Other than that, there’s no new investment Microsoft made in the controller.
Now, I never thought I’d say this, but this generation’s “winner” could be defined just because of the controller.
PlayStation 5’s controller is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Their haptic feedback and adaptive triggers seemed extremely gimmicky at first but is looking to be something we’ve never experienced before.
People who’ve tried it out say the haptics feel incredible and that it feels different for each experience.
Walking over sand will feel different than it does to walk on stone or grass. There’s plenty of more features too, but here’s the most amazing of them all.
Adaptive triggers is a new technology in the triggers (shocker) that will add resistance and other feedback to the button. That means that if you are using a spring in-game, the controller’s trigger will feel spring loaded.
But like the title suggests, it’s adaptive!
For example, say your gun jams in the game. The trigger will stop halfway and not go any further. If you’re using a powerful weapon, the trigger will push back with every round fired.
“Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War” have already implemented adaptive trigger features, and I’m sure more will be adding support soon.
Despite being close in every other category, the controller is where PlayStation absolutely destroys Xbox. There is so much potential for how developers decide to implement this technology, and I cannot wait to see what comes out of it.
The Video Game Console Winners
Best console on a budget: Xbox Series S ($299.99). All the power and speed of next-generation is jammed into this incredibly small and remarkably priced box. While it may not be as powerful as the Series X or PS5, it definitely shouldn’t be laughed at.
Most power: Xbox Series X ($499.99). Running at 2 teraflops and .3 GHz faster than the competition, there’s no doubt that the Series X is the most powerful console on the market. While there’s no advantage to that power as of yet (both the PS5 and Series X run games equally well), it’s good future-proofing nonetheless.
Best console overall: PlayStation 5 ($499.99/$399.99 for all-digital). For the same price as the Series X (or only a hundred more than the Series S for digital), you get more bang for your buck. The controller is game-changing, it runs games just as well as the Series X, and the exclusives can’t be compared as of yet. The PlayStation is once again the console to get.
Friends are the most important though, and that’s something we can’t account for. If your friends play on Xbox, or vice versa, that’s probably the console you’ll want to get (unless you hate your friends, then by all means).
We hope you found this guide helpful, and as always, happy holidays!