Feature Article

PS5 Vs. Xbox Scarlett: Comparing Next-Gen Console Specs And Details

Let's dive into the nitty-gritty.

After first discussing it earlier in the year, Sony has officially announced the PlayStation 5 and confirmed more of the next-gen console's specs. With those details confirmed, we can begin diving into the differences and similarities between the next-gen Xbox Scarlett and PlayStation. Granted, we don't have enough to give a just comparison between Project Scarlett and the PS5, but we can at least start with what Microsoft and Sony have already given us. We'll continue to update this as the companies reveal more about their next-gen systems as their late 2020 release dates approach.

In the following article, we dive into the differences and similarities between Microsoft and Sony's respective next-gen consoles. Though both companies have been keeping details close to the chest, they have revealed certain specifications for their respective consoles, as well as what those nitty-gritty numbers translate into in a performance sense. In response to the growing market of players who are buying games digitally, both companies have laid out how storage will work on their next-gen consoles too. We go into all that, and more, below.

Names

Sony is the only one of the two to announce the name of its next-gen console. And--surprising literally no one--it's PlayStation 5, or PS5 for short.

Microsoft refers to its next-gen console as Project Scarlett. For the sake of convenience, we're going to refer to the console as Xbox Scarlett, or Scarlett for short.

Release Date

Both consoles are currently scheduled to release within the same window, the holiday season in 2020. Much like the Xbox One and PS4 before them, Scarlett and PS5 will be going head to head during the biggest shopping window within the same year. If you're planning on buying both, you may want to begin saving now.

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Specifications

There's a lot about the exact specifications of each console that we don't know yet, like how much each one is going to cost. We do have enough to at least begin comparing Scarlett and the PS5 though. As you'll see below, both consoles aren't all that different though. Both support ray-tracing, for instance, which will allow them to better simulate light in games.

PlayStation 5Xbox Scarlett
Processor8-Core AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU1.6GHz AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU
GraphicsAMD Radeon Navi GPUAMD Arcturus GPU
RAMunknown16GB GDDR6 SDRAM
StorageSSD1TB SSD
Optical DriveYes (4K Blu-ray)Yes
Max Output Resolution8K8K
Max Frame Rate120fps120fps
VR SupportYesunknown
Cloud GamingPlayStation Now (unconfirmed)Microsoft xCloud (unconfirmed)
Backwards CompatibilityYes (PS4 games)Yes (Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One games)
Dimensionsunknownunknown
Colorunknownunknown
Release DateHoliday 2020Holiday 2020

Performance

Regardless of which console you go for, you're getting an upgrade. Scarlett's specs suggest a much stronger console than the Xbox One X, while the PS5 sees a similar improvement over the PS4 Pro.

Storage

Both Scarlett and the PS5 are using solid-state drives, or SSDs, this time around. PlayStation 5 users should see a noticeable improvement in the time it takes for a game to load on the next-gen console in comparison to the PS4 as a result. The same is true for Xbox Scarlett in comparison to Xbox One, which Microsoft already confirmed at E3 2019; but by how much has yet to be announced. That said, results will vary by game.

For more:

Online Service

Neither Microsoft nor Sony have announced how online multiplayer will work on their next-gen consoles, but it would not be surprising to see both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus make their return. Given its success, it's also probable that Xbox Game Pass will return on Scarlett.

The key difference this time around will be cloud-streaming, which has picked up in recent months--with Google entering the fray in November 2019 with Stadia. Microsoft has Project xCloud, which will likely make its way onto Scarlett in some form. Sony already has a game-based cloud-streaming service, PlayStation Now, which presumably would be supported on PS5 to some capacity.

Backwards Compatibility

Both Scarlett and PS5 will have backwards compatibility support. Scarlett will support backwards compatibility with original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games. What will and won't be playable on PS5 is a little trickier, largely because of PSVR. Sony hasn't announced whether their next-gen console will support the current-gen headset--which is mandatory for playing certain PS4 console exclusives, like Beat Saber.

For more:

Playable Games At Launch

Sony has yet to announce any launch titles for PS5, but we do know Bluepoint Games, the studio behind the Uncharted and Shadow of the Colossus remasters, is working on "a big one." Microsoft has revealed only one for Scarlett: Halo Infinite.

For more:

A previous version of this article listed the CPU and GPU information for Microsoft's next-gen console incorrectly--implying the PS5 and Project Scarlett had much more similar specs than they do. Both pieces of information have since been amended.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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lonesamurai00

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Max framerate 120fps - comedy at its best.

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Vegeta-sama

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Edited By Vegeta-sama

>_> I'm not sure where these specs came from

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PCPS4XB

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Next gen power is going to be the least of the matter. It won't be a console (hardware) war this time but a software one. And that's the way it should be. Counting games not pixels.

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Tony56723

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Honestly now that I have my gaming rig I have no interest in either of these consoles whatsoever. Microsoft has turned all of my favorite exclusives (Halo and Gears) from them into disappointing microtransaction storefronts and Sony’s new censorship policies irritate me to no end so like said I’m good. Nintendo is the only major console manufacturer that I will be buying hardware from in the future.

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Moonco

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Edited By Moonco  Moderator

I miss the likes button

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emorog

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@moonco: 👍

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Ensabuhnur

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you are a spreading LIES.

The Spec of Scarlet has not been confirmed.

the leak you are referencing is for a SOC that starts at 1.6 but boosts to 3.4 so other than being clueless I can't seem to understand the attempt spread FUD and sharing the lower benchmark. The other rumor is that the Scarlet is 16 threads , so why not include that as well since you are already not reporting facts

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DEVILTAZ35

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Edited By DEVILTAZ35

Xbox Scarlett
Processor8-Core AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU1.6GHz AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU

1.6 GHZ for Scarlet are you drunk by any chance? It is something like 3.5 GHZ not 1.6 lol.

It is a console you are talking about not a mobile phone.

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Ensabuhnur

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@deviltaz35: yup, I also noted this attempt to spread FUD

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vknyvz

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Not having an optical drive would be a huge mistake, given if both don’t have it then hell no!

Why? first you can’t watch blu rays second and most importantly you can’t sell your games after playing and this is a big no no omg hope this won’t be the case.

So many here don’t understand this I guess :(

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rodoxthedark

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@vknyvz: sony already said it will have a drive

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DEVILTAZ35

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Edited By DEVILTAZ35

@vknyvz: Scarlet will have one as it will have complete compatibility with all previous Xbox consoles so they will have to anyway.

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newhere

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I like what both of them are doing in terms of hardware but with this list both of them are going to be at least 500 to 600 bucks at launch. no word on SSD drives being changeable or if they are going to include a 2.5 drive slot to let people add in a laptop drive. (sorry i hate having a USB 3.0 harddrive sitting there with no fan on it). will wait and see how this turns out. i do know no matter what they need to up the exclusive games on both of them or i might skip this gen and stay on nothing but PC as most of the claimed exclusives this gen so far have only been console exclusive with PC releases.

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Carpetfluff

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Nobody that cares about games cares about the power unless the machine has the games. MS just pissed away an entire gen with very little to show for it gamewise and if they don't fix that, people are going to ignore them through the next gen too.

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ScreamingSatori

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Edited By ScreamingSatori

@Carpetfluff: I care about power. Just because I'm a gamer doesn't mean I can't also be an environmentalist.

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LiveDreamPlay

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@Carpetfluff:

Exactly...

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Coolyfett

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The fact that PlayStation keeps getting compared to Xbox is so corny. Xbox just doesnt have the history or IPs to compare. Nintedo VS PlayStation articles are far more meaningful. Plus specs are for nerds.

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Neurogia

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@Coolyfett: Specs are also for people who want to know if their money will get what they pay for; that is reasonable.

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Nargg

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@Coolyfett: Xbox not only has a strong history, but also keeps that history strong with much better backwards compatibility. Plus, Sony's IPs are getting old and tired. Sony's history is riddled with shame and terrible support and the dreaded Blu-Ray format, which should have never seen the light of day. Optical media is dead. Xbox knows that, Sony doesn't seem to get it, or much of anything any more.

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ScreamingSatori

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@nargg: "Dreaded Blu-Ray format"??? What's wrong with it? I suppose you still have the HD-DVD add-on drive for the 360?

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Gamerforlife96

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Edited By Gamerforlife96

@nargg: ohh so Sony IP are getting tired and not xbox what about gears,halo,forza you Xbox fanboys are really funny

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DEVILTAZ35

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Edited By DEVILTAZ35

@nargg: Hit the nail on the head. I pretty much gave up on Sony a while ago. Used it 3 or 4 times in the past 2 years.

I do want to give Day's Gone a proper go now it has been fully patched though. It was the only game i was remotely interested in Since Detroit:Become Human.

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allencc3

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Edited By allencc3

@deviltaz35: Lol. You guys are hilarious. Gave up on Sony why? As if the xbox has better games. People that go Sony, are the ones that want a more variety of games. "Sony IPs are getting old", and xbox IPs are not? Forza, Gears, Halo have gotten old and all xbox has other than this is multiplatform games. No VARIETY. I can't play awesome JRPGs like Super Robot Wars on Xbox. If the shoe were on the other foot, I'd be in favor of the xbox, but its not. Sony has more to offer, thats just the way it is.

Edit: Day's Gone is a very good game and so is State of Decay 2. Hard to decide which one is better because I am a big fan of both.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@Coolyfett: I mean, Xbox has been the PlayStation's most direction competitor for the last two generations. Nintendo's systems are kind of their own separate thing anymore.

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Alexander2cents

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Edited By Alexander2cents

PS4 only backwards compatability? That's weak sauce.

Scarlet is a sexy name on the other hand. Hello Xbox Scarlet~

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Panthorium

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@Alexander2cents:

Scarlett is a sexy name as a Placeholder, hence called “Project” so that name will go the way of the doo doo just like “Kinect” did 🤷‍♂️

In the end they will probably call it another corny name like X Box X X X to join the family of its predecessors -> x360, xbox one, xbox one x, xbox S .....

If they left it Scarlet it would be something, but they wont.

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walbo

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@panthorium: hopefully they will dowhat they done with tbe x at release. I have project scorpio on mine.

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ScreamingSatori

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Edited By ScreamingSatori

@Alexander2cents: Given the PS5's hardware specs, it should be a breeze for them to emulate any PS1 and PS2 game in software. The PS3 might be a little more tricky given the complexity of the hardware, but nobody knows that hardware better than Sony, so It could be a possibility. Microsoft did a masterful job of emulating the 360's custom hardware on the low-spec Xbox One, so there's no reason Sony can't pull a similar trick out of their hat, especially given the PS5's specs.

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LiveDreamPlay

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@Alexander2cents:

Different architecture, that's the reason why they didn't even push backwards compatibility this gen. Plus now you have PS Now, and older games are playable over there.

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Cargan2017

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@Alexander2cents: only confirmed they maybe keeping 1 threw 3 quiet to announce closer to release. As way to push initial purchases up because surprise announcement

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allencc3

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@cargan2017: Don't really need 1 through 3 backwards compatibility. You are trying to turn the PS5 into a dream machine.

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Cargan2017

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@allencc3: they indicated that it was possible in earlier development. So it's not impossible for them to be holding that information back for now

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speedytimsi

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Does anybody know if Xbox Game Pass for PC is gonna carry to next gen? If so i might just skip buying the next Xbox.

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johnny0779

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The PS5 releases on holidays 2020....and in other news water is liquid!

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ScreamingSatori

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@johnny0779:

Unless it's really hot, then it's vapor.

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LiveDreamPlay

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@johnny0779:

Unless it's really cold, then it's solid.

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ArtB86

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In the color section they should just go ahead and fill in black now Microsoft may go with a white but we know Sony coming with a boring ass black lol

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ScreamingSatori

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@artb86: The PS5 will be None More Black. They're using that new compound NASA just discovered that absorbs more than 99% of all light.

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allencc3

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Edited By allencc3

@artb86: Lol. You silly. Mostly all DVD, BluRay, HT Receivers, etc... are black. It seems more ODD to put a white console around nothing but black devices. Your comment makes no sense at ALL. Nine times out of ten, the TV is black too. SMH, you sounding like a real hater right about now.

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Panthorium

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@allencc3: Considering both systems are looking at lower power consumption, imagine if they were both colored GREEN 🤔

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streamline

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@artb86 said:

...ass black

interesting shade

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HalcyonScarlet

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Edited By HalcyonScarlet

I highly doubt they're going to use SSDs on their own. It'll most likely be a small SSD in conjunction with a big HDD. A huge SSD is not cheap.

Even I use a 2 TB 2.5 inch HDD with a small 64GB SSD, with Intel Smart Response Technology for PC gaming. It's a cost effective method. Sony will use something like that, but it's games will be designed to constantly stream the content you need before you need it to increase speed further, as well as other customisations.

That's my opinion anyway. I think it makes sense. A one or two Terabyte SSD will cost a lot, and eat into the consoles resource budget. Remember a console doesn't sell well when they cost more than $400. Yet apparently people think it'll have a graphics card which cost around that on it's own in the stores. :-S

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DEVILTAZ35

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Edited By DEVILTAZ35

@HalcyonScarlet: They will likely use SSD of about 1TB or so in order to cache games when needed. Cost will be the biggest issue in a massive SSD so it will either be a hybrid solution or two seperate drives in each.

It is all that is needed really as you can use external drives of 4-5TB for hardly any cost otherwise anyway.

Personally i prefer to use External as i have two active Xbox one X's so it's easier to just take that drive off one machine and use it in another part of the house when i want to.

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spartanx169x

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@HalcyonScarlet: I'm pretty sure Spencer said or at least very strongly implied that they were going to use both a SSD and HDD for the Xbox. He commented about it related to what are gamers biggest complaints, loading screens are one of the chronic complaints about games. I can't say about PS5.

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HalcyonScarlet

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@spartanx169x: Forza Motorsport games would definitely benefit from this. It's cost effective and it's a fairly easy solution.