Feature Article

PS5 Vs. Xbox Series X Specs: Let's Compare Next-Gen Console Hardware

Let's dive into the nitty-gritty.

After first discussing it earlier in the year, Sony 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 Series X and PlayStation. Granted, we still don't have enough quite yet to give a straight comparison between the Xbox Series X and 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 came out of the gate first with an official name for its next-gen console. And--surprising literally no one--it's PlayStation 5, or PS5 for short.

Microsoft previously referred to its next-gen console as Project Scarlett, but recently at The Game Awards 2019, it was officially unveiled to be the Xbox Series X. We were able to get exclusive coverage of the new Xbox in an interview with Xbox boss Phil Spencer, and also got insight into why it's named Series X.

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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, Series X 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.

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 Series X and the PS5 though, and as you'll see below, both consoles share several similarities. Both support ray-tracing, for instance, which will allow them to better simulate light in games. Here are some of the specs we know so far:

PlayStation 5Xbox Series X
ProcessorAMD Zen 2 CPUAMD Zen 2 CPU
GraphicsAMD Navi-based GPUAMD Navi-based GPU (est. 12 TFLOPs)
RAMunknownGDDR6 SDRAM (capacity not confirmed)
StorageSSD (capacity not confirmed)NVMe SSD (capacity not confirmed)
Optical DriveYes (4K Blu-ray)Yes
Max Output Resolution8K8K
Max Refresh Rate120Hz120Hz
VR SupportYesunknown
Cloud GamingPlayStation Now (unconfirmed)Microsoft Project xCloud
Backwards CompatibilityYes (PS4 games)Yes (Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One games)
Dimensionsunknownunknown (but design has been revealed)
ColorunknownBlack
Release DateHoliday 2020Holiday 2020

Performance

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

According to Phil Spencer, the Series X's GPU is eight-times faster than base Xbox One and twice as fast as the Xbox One X, while the CPU is said to be four-times more capable. Further performance metrics have not been given.

The Xbox Series X and the new controller.
The Xbox Series X and the new controller.

Storage

Both the Series X and 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 Series X in comparison to Xbox One, which Microsoft already confirmed at E3 2019; but by how much has yet to be clearly defined.

In the PS5's hardware reveal, it was said that load times in Marvel's Spider-Man could go from roughly 15 seconds (PS4) to 0.8 seconds (PS5), while Phil Spencer asserts that developers now have the ability to "virtually eliminate" load times. That said, results will vary by game.

For more:

Controller

We may have gotten our first look at the PS5 controller through patent design images from Sony. It's not clear yet if Sony will be calling this the DualShock 5, but based on these early concepts, it seems pretty similar to the DualShock 4, but with a few major changes: a USB-C charging port, larger triggers, and no more light bar.

The Xbox Series, on the other hand, will be introduce a new version of its tried-and-true controller. The new controller has a slight reduction in size, a share button, and a hybrid four-way and eight-way directional pad. You'll still be able to use Xbox One controllers with the Series X, and the new Series X controller can be used on Xbox One.

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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, Xbox Game Pass will be a large part of the Series X experience.

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

Backwards Compatibility

Both Series X and PS5 will have backwards compatibility support. Series X will support games for the original Xbox and Xbox 360, and it has been confirmed that all Xbox One games will be backwards compatible on launch. 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

We know that Bluepoint Games, the studio behind the Uncharted and Shadow of the Colossus remasters, is working on "a big one." And Gearbox's recently announced game Godfall will be on PS5, and is set for the holiday 2020 like the console.

Microsoft first revealed Halo Infinite as a Series X launch title, though it did showcase Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 alongside the Series X reveal at The Game Awards 2019. No word has been given about Hellblade 2's release date.

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 Xbox Series X 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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PlaystationZone

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We don’t know what PS5 do until see it in Feb so why write consle war that gamespot not a gamer because support Xbox more because it’s from USA .

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Thanatos2k

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"Granted, we still don't have enough quite yet to give a straight comparison between the Xbox Series X and PS5, but"

But we're gonna write this console war clickbait article anyways!

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ScreamingSatori

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I don't see any changes since the last time this article was reposted.

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attirex

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Edited By attirex

I am outraged? Also, what I have is better than yours.

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jhpiv4

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PSVR was confirmed for PS5: https://www.roadtovr.com/ps5-psvr-support-next-gen-playstation-sony-confirms/

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SystemOverload

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Edited By SystemOverload

So nothing is really known...

PS5 will only have PS4 backwards compatibility? PS5 and PS4 have the same architecture not much of a feat.

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ScreamingSatori

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I'm sure I'll get them both eventually. The question is which one will I get first. Even though I own every previous Sony and Microsoft console, I tend to favor the Playstation, mainly because I prefer Sony's exclusives over Microsoft's, and Sony has always had a much better selection of JRPGs. If the PS5 turns out to be backwards compatible with all previous generations, I'll probably get that first. It also depends on what changes they make to the PSNow and GamePass services for the next generation. Will Sony integrate PS+ with PSNow like MS did with GamePass Ultimate? Will Microsoft's xCloud be a standalone service, or will it be integrated into Gamepass like Sony does with PSNow? Or maybe I'll wait for the dust to settle and get the "slim" versions like I did with the current generation. I certainly have enough of a backlog to hold me over until then.

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lonesamurai00

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Edited By lonesamurai00

Max resolution 8K good grief...

Framerate 120fps, not at 4K...

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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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ScreamingSatori

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@tony56723: What censorship policies are you talking about?

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Moonco

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Edited By Moonco  Moderator

I miss the likes button

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GirlUSoCrazy

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@moonco: I miss Joystiq and 1up

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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  Online

@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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