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Road to Next-Gen Begins Now

With 2020 having kicked off, all eyes are fixed on Microsoft and Sony as the two Gaming behemoths get ready to duke it out in World War Next-Gen. Here’s how it all stacks up.

Yes, both Tech giants have shown a little bit of each of their hands, but there’s still a huge amount of details we still don’t know about the upcoming Next-Gen consoles. The gaming fans of the world clamour on in anticipation for more details of what we can expect during holiday season 2020 when these two consoles finally hit the shelves. Now, here’s what we know so far. Reader Warning! There are rumours and speculation ahead, mixed in with what is already confirmed. Pinchfull of salt is required to proceed!

Xbox Series X

In a complete, out of nowhere move, Microsoft announced not just the official name but also the final look of the Next-Gen Xbox console during 2019 Game Awards. Xbox Series X is a monolith looking thing akin to Amazon Echo speakers that are so popular these days. It’s a very unique look for a console. I both love and hate the design, still can’t really make up my mind about it, but it sure is striking to look at. FYI, Microsoft confirmed that it can be orientated both vertically and horizontally. And that name… I see what you did Microsoft, you called your new console…Xbox! The Series X part just donates which model you rocking, kinda like how BMW has a 3 Series…Another love, hate scenario to add to the list. So here’s what’s been confirmed so far.

The console will be powered by an AMD Zen 2 based 8-Core 16-Threads CPU. Navi-based GPU and an ultra-fast semi-custom NVME SSD. Hardware Raytracing has also been confirmed. Microsoft stated the CPU offers 4X more performance than the Xbox One. Roughly twice the GPU power of the current “World’s Most Powerful Console” Xbox One X. First things first, don’t buy into the Teraflop quotes, quite frankly that’s marketing bullet point nonsense that doesn’t really mean much this time around. As Digital Foundry has proven, not all teraflops are created equal as 1 TF from Polaris based GPU doesn’t equate to 1 TF from Navi. So whatever the final number (rumours point to 12 TF target), ends up being, it doesn’t really, properly quantify just how powerful these new consoles will be.

One thing’s for sure, Microsoft is looking poised to be gripping the “Most Powerful Console” title this gen around too. The APU die on Phil Spencer’s Twitter account has analysts measuring it up to be quite a massive piece of hardware which somewhat correlates to the 56CU rumours. Making 12TF quite possible. Again, these numbers won’t mean that much this time around so we’ll have to wait and see when more details are released.

PlayStation 5

Unlike Microsoft, Sony is still keeping quite a lot of details about the console close to the chest. We’re looking at pretty much identical specs as the Xbox Series X. Though reports seem to be conflicting in terms of the GPU capabilities. Some suggesting the PS5 will have 36CUs at 2GHz which brings the TFLOPS to 9.2. Other speculations are suggesting 11 TFLOPS. Again, don’t let the numbers fool you. There are patents that Sony filed which add some secret sauce to the APU. The PS5 has “SIMD” (Single Instruction Multiple Data) implemented into each IPC (Instruction Per Clock). Means that PS5’s GPU/CPU (APU) can execute more than 2 instructions per cycle.”

If those reports are correct that means the PS5 will be faster than the numbers lead one to believe. But there’s more. More rumours have been swirling around claiming the PS5 will be capable of “Remaster by emulation”. This concept isn’t that different from the Xbox One X’s ability to upgrade Xbox 360 games to Native 4K with some added Texture filtering improvements. This is one feature I’m really hoping to be true so I can finally retire my PS3. Did I also mention it might be able to play every PlayStation game from PS1 to PS4? Well PS4 confirmed by Mark Cerny for sure, the other consoles are still pretty much just a rumour. None the less, this console will be an absolute powerhouse of a machine and we’re all waiting patiently for the rumoured February reveal event.

No matter what ends up being true out of the speculation and what is debunked as fake news. These consoles are going to be closer than ever before. It will be less about raw graphical power and more about what sort of simulations they will be capable of rendering. Raytracing is a light simulation of sorts. Throw in some more realistic AI, physics and read/write speeds like we’ve never experienced before on a console and we have a Mid-Range PC at an affordable price. It’s going to boil down to what the consoles makers will pack in terms of added features and services around the consoles. Xbox has Project X-Cloud and GamePass services while Sony has a strong First Party exclusive library. This is going to be an interesting Generation indeed. Stay tuned to SkyGamers as we’ll continue with the Road to Next-Gen series as more details about the consoles are released. Happy Next-Gen-Gaming!