Now that the Xbox Series X and Series S are available for preorder, the Great Console War of 2020 can officially begin. On one side you have the aforementioned new Xbox series from Microsoft. On the other side is Sony’s next-generation console, the PlayStation 5 (PS5). Over the next few weeks, you’ll probably hear a lot about which of these is the better console, but not from us. We’re more concerned with which console is better for you. With that question in mind, we’ve put together a detailed overview of the new systems, one that gives you all the facts and figures you need to know to make an informed decision.
Before we dive into which system does what, let’s run down the players. As mentioned, the Great Console War of 2020 involves two familiar faces, Microsoft and Sony. But there’s a twist. This time around, the initial engagement isn’t just Sony v. Microsoft or Xbox v. PlayStation. This time, both companies have two different console options, so it’s more like Sony v. Sony v. Microsoft v. Microsoft. Here are the combatants:
Xbox Series X: The more powerful, and costlier, of Microsoft’s new Xbox consoles. It represents Microsoft’s most premium gaming experience, with an emphasis on processing power, visuals, and resolution. One of the big distinctions between the Series X and the Series S is that the Series X allows you to game in native 4K resolution; the Series S does not.
Xbox Series S: The more affordable alternative to the Xbox Series X. The Series S’s significantly reduced price tag gets you roughly the same performance, only at 1440p resolution (but it can upscale to 4K). The other “drawback” is that, unlike the Series X, the Series S doesn’t have a disc drive (so can’t play Blu-rays or physical games—everything must be downloaded or streamed). Whether or not that matters, and to what degree, is going to vary from person to person.