As an owner of both a PlayStation 4 (2 actually, one's broken) and an Xbox 360, I can attest to the fact that both companies, Sony and Microsoft, deliver in their own intriguing ways. While the PS2 still, in my mind, remains the zenith of all platforms (even to this day and age), there's much to be said about the issues that plagued its older brother. And though the 360's flimsy tray isn't the best in light of its counterpart's nonexistent one, the Xbox controller's heavier mass and bulkiness are somewhat more comfortable to hold (in addition to being able to withstand some intense gamer rage).
There are always pros and cons to the new and improved platforms that reach the market. What with the broader competition of Nintendo's Switch and Google's Stadia, it's clear there will be some interesting years ahead, not only in the world of video games themselves but also in the fundamental technology that drives them and separates them from all other forms of media.
Scarlett's Got Lots Of Numbers On Its Side
It's quite obvious both the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett will be far superior to Stadia, but how much? Aside from tackling Google in its own arena with xCloud's mobile streaming capabilities, Microsoft is also boasting a slew of immeasurable enhancements to its main platform. From the obvious, like raytracing and 8K resolution, to the more technical RAM and GPU upgrades, Scarlett's definitely expected to be one powerful machine, but can it outshine its opponent?
The E3 trailer was nice, but it really didn't show off much in the way of detailed facts or behind-the-scenes functions that may be crucial to understand how the newest Xbox platform will operate. Despite leaning more toward cloud gaming, Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, assured that of utmost importance is "to give people choice," which is why a disk drive is still necessary despite many downloading their titles nowadays.
On the topic of space, it's clear that the now typical 1-2 TBs will be tremendously enhanced, along with the addition of what is called SSD storage, which will do away with loading times. Remember how bad Fallout 3 or Skyrim were when entering and exiting different locations? Wait until Grand Theft Auto VI, when the entire city and all of its interiors are enterable via near-nonexistent loading capacities. Streamlined gaming like never before, run by a brain that's supposedly four times stronger than that of the Xbox One X. That's what Microsoft claims to reveal come Holiday 2020.
PlayStation 5 Just Needs To Do The Same, But Better
Yet, with all of the hype surrounding the Xbox 2 (or Project Scarlett), it's already well-proven that the PlayStation 5 will not only outrank the Microsoft rival, it will also be far more enjoyable to the gamer, as well. As has always been the case, PlayStation lends itself more to the gamer crowd, whereas Xbox has always been more akin to entertainment gurus and more mature individuals. Simply look at the main Xbox exclusives, Halo and Gears of War. Both very violent adult games. Sony's Spider-Man, which won Game of the Year in 2018, is available for all audiences.
One of the main factors for driving home the PS5's acclaim is the rumor of its GPU far surpassing GeForce graphics cards. Despite being one of many rumors surrounding this next-gen platform, it's clear Sony is keeping inside details as close to its chest as possible. They've remarked very little on the development or even the level of production the console may be in, but most of the info available has been reproduced from the one and only Mark Cerny.
Initially revealed in an interview on Wired, Cerny goes into length on the many advancements Sony's newest console will include. He says:
"As a gamer, it's been a little bit of a frustration that audio did not change too much between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. With the next console the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it."
As much as GPU and RAM capabilities run the show, it's clear Sony isn't leaving any rocks unturned. They want to ensure that the player's experience while on the system (as much as in the game) is memorable to the highest factor, which separates them from their counterparts by miles. Sony has been at this for quite some time. With ray tracing and backward compatibility at the forefront of its main enhancements, in addition to an extremely powerful GPU, which utilizes eight cores of AMD Ryzen's 7nm microarchitecture, the PS5 is nothing to scoff at.
The Next Round
We can go back to the real roots when the question of PS1 vs N64 still mattered. There are loads of ways to look at the gaming console war. Some gamers like Xbox for Halo specifically, others simply prefer Microsoft and the tech support they provide. There's also the entertainment factor mentioned previously, wherein Xbox offers a wide variety of ways to watch and experience media in varied ways rivaling that of its counterparts.
Still, Sony's console has always thrived, even with the lackluster PS3 and the many security breaches Sony has failed to protect customers from. The arguments over which console looks the prettiest has always been the main point of the debate, whereas, with their upcoming console, Sony intends on looking at not only graphics but sound and immersion in all-new exciting ways.
It really comes down to preference more so than it does who would win, but if I had to choose I'd easily go for Sony. I've stuck by them my whole life and while I may not have any real complaints about Xbox, it's honestly due to the fact that I was raised on the PlayStation. I've had them all, even the Vita (bless its mini-tech soul). The 360 was obviously a far superior system to the PS3 (despite the console's initial launch having backward compatibility), yet Sony still wins out in the contest. They're situated in the future, so it simply makes sense to stand by what's ahead of time. Still, maybe Microsoft will prove me wrong...
Either way, the only losers will be our wallets when that $650 price tag gets revealed.