UPDATED - September 20th : Do I want a Sony PS5 or Xbox Series X this holiday season?
Let me start by saying, I briefly owned the original Microsoft Xbox when it came out back in late 2001. I have since only owned Sony consoles and am partial to Sony and most of their products. That being said, this will be a subjective comparison of the Sony Playstation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X but I will present equal data for all aspects weighed. I will also only refer to these new console releases as the Microsoft Xbox Series X and Sony Playstation 5 and only refer to the lower end Microsoft Xbox Series S and Sony Playstation 5 digital edition consoles when comparing prices. The Microsoft Xbox Series X US launch date is scheduled for November 10th while the Sony Playstation 5 is set to launch on November 12th. The launch price for both Microsoft and Sony higher tier consoles with the optical media drive will be $499 USD, with the Microsoft Xbox Series S digital only console priced at $299 USD and the Sony Playstation 5 digital edition priced at $399 USD. Each console features exclusive game titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales for the Sony Playstation 5 and Halo Infinite for the Microsoft Xbox Series X. The Microsoft Xbox Series X edges out the Sony Playstation 5 in raw hardware specs except for RAM where they both have 16 GB of GDDR6 memory. They each have AMD 8-core ZEN 2 CPU's with the Microsoft Xbox Series X ahead at 3.8 GHz versus the Sony Playstation 5's 3.5 GHz. Both are running AMD RDNA 2 GPU's with the Microsoft Xbox Series X again leading at 12 teraflops versus the Sony Playstation 5's 10.28 teraflops. For storage the Microsoft Xbox Series X will have a 1TB SSD drive and the Sony Playstation 5 will have a 825 GB SSD drive. Other features like up to 8K video output, 120 fps frame rates, and 4K UHD Blu-ray drive will be available on both systems, as well as digital only console variants which will not have an optical drive for physical media. Aesthetically speaking the Microsoft Xbox Series X is living up to its name and looks pretty much like a black rectangular box with the digital only edition resembling a white cube, while the Sony Playstation 5 seems to be heavily inspired by its VR product line with its white and black paneling and deep blue lighting. Backward compatibility might be one of the big deciding points for many buyers this year with the Microsoft Xbox Series X promising a good selection of titles going back to the original Microsoft Xbox. Sony on the other hand has taken a more limited approach to the backward compatibility feature and presently only promises some of the top games from the previous Sony Playstation 4 product line, there is hope this might be expanded to most Sony Playstation 4 games and earlier Sony Playstation console versions in the future. Virtual reality is presently exclusive to the Sony Playstation 5 with it leveraging the already available PSVR headset available for the Sony Playstation 4, there is no information on any anticipated release of a VR headset for the Microsoft Xbox Series X. For subscription services, both consoles will presumably use the already in place service infrastructures used by existing consoles though this may be enhanced at a later time. So what console will you be getting this holiday season? If your a stickler for raw hardware specs then the Microsoft Xbox Series X is your choice as it will be the most powerful gaming console ever created to date. The effort Microsoft put in to backward compatibility also shows their consideration for it's users and the value it places on the Microsoft Xbox legacy. On the other hand, if you're a diehard Sony Playstation fan and love access to their typically immense library of Japanese titles switching to a Microsoft Xbox may just not be an option. The Sony Playstation 5 is just about as powerful as an Microsoft Xbox Series X which might not even get the opportunity to use that additional horsepower. I think for new or younger gaming console buyers price and raw specs will be the decision maker this holiday season and that is what Microsoft is betting on. For legacy gamers like myself, I don't expect too many people changing teams anytime soon. Hope you enjoyed the read and come back again soon.