Road to Next-Gen: Next-Gen Console Race So Far…
In Case you Missed all of the developments in the Next-Gen Console Race So Far , we’re here to give you a little bit of a refresher on the Next-Gen Console War.
This has been a roller-coaster ride of all sorts of emotions in the Road to Next-Gen. From excitement to disappointment and even straight up frustration for the lack of information coming out of one of the two console camps (Looking at you Sony!). With the world wide pandemic wreaking havoc on what would now be E3 season around the corner. Everything is in disarray and yet, gaming fans like ourselves are still holding on with bated breath for more Next-Gen details to arrive. So here’s a quick catch-up on the Next-Gen Console Race So Far.
Console Specs Revealed
|PlayStation 5||Xbox Series X|
|CPU||8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz|
(variable frequency, with SMT)
|8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz|
(3.6GHz with SMT)
36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
52 CUs at 1.825GHz
|GPU Architecture||Custom RDNA 2|
w/ hardware RT support
|Custom RDNA 2|
w/ hardware RT support
|Memory||16GB GDDR6||16GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||448GB/s||10GB at 560GB/s,|
6GB at 336GB/s
|Internal Storage||Custom 825GB NVMe SSD||1TB Custom NVMe SSD|
|IO Throughput||5.5GB/s (Raw),|
|Expandable Storage||NVMe SSD Slot||1TB Expansion Card|
|External Storage||USB HDD Support||USB HDD Support|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray Drive|
|HDMI||2.1 (4K/120Hz, 8K, VRR)||2.1 (4K/120Hz, 8K, VRR)|
|Backwards compatibility||PlayStation 4(*)||Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
First up, the Specs of both consoles have now been officially confirmed. Both machines are using the same Zen 2 CPU architecture and both using RDNA 2.0 sourced GPU architecture from AMD. Both machines are pretty close in terms of specs, however, achieving their goals in very different ways. Xbox Series X has gone the Brute force route while PS5 goes the leaner faster route. Xbox Series X definitely has the edge on GPU compute and a slightly higher clocked CPU. Where the PS5 shines is in its Ultra fast SSD and the extremely high clocked GPU (even though with fewer CUs). That being said the hardware spec sheet is only half the battle and we’ll have to wait and see how the games perform when it comes to third-party multiplatform titles.
Xbox Series X Features Showcased
Microsoft follows up with some pretty impressive showcasing of their upcoming console. Not only did they allow some very lucky YouTubers and tech channels hands-on access to the physical hardware itself (at MS HQ of cause), they continued their impressive messaging campaign by showing off some of the console’s features. From the awesome fast load times of current-gen titles, to the Multi-game Suspend and Resume feature. With the latter feature allowing players to hold, in a suspended state, multiple current-gen games and switch between them instantly. No more waiting for games to boot up before continuing your session, just pick up right where you left off. There’s was also some Gears 5 Series X version gameplay and Minecraft with Raytracing to give us a hint of what’s to come.
Sony Finally Shows Off New Controller
Out of nowhere, through their very own PlayStation Blog, Sony shows off the very first images of the new consoles’s controller. Now called the Dual Sense Controller. Sporting a very unique two-tone design and with a shape very similar to the Xbox camp of controllers. This new controller’s design was immediately splitting opinions between those who loved it and those who weren’t quite sure about its design. That being said, the controller packs some rather impressive features. Replacing the age-old rumble motors with far more adjustable Haptic-feedback setup similar to Nintendo’s Switch Joy-Cons. Sony claims you’ll be able to feel the difference of the road surface in games as you travel from tarmac to gravel. They’ve also added some adaptive triggers to the controller allowing devs to change the tension of the triggers dynamically. Throw in the light bars being moved from atop the controller to a slick, flanking lines around the touchpad and you get a pretty slick looking controller (Side note, not really a fan of the design though). Lastly, you get USB-C for quick charging.
Xbox Series Shows some “Gameplay”
Ok, so this was Microsoft’s first misstep in terms of their messaging about the Series X so far. Touting this event as a First Look at Xbox Series X gameplay. Microsoft showed off some upcoming Series X titles from their third-party partners. Some rather interesting games were on display, such us the One-Man developed Bright Memory Infinite and the highly anticipated Assassins Creed Valhalla. We got the rather unnerving level design from the HR Giger inspired Scorn and the interesting horror title The Medium from developers of The Blair Witch game and Layers of Fear. All of this sounds great except, there was no gameplay insight. Just trailer after trailer and not quite what we were all expecting. Fans were quick to point out to Microsoft just how misleading and disappointing the whole affair was. Microsoft announced their first-party titles would be showed off in July. Here’s hoping we see more gameplay there and much fewer trailers.
Unreal Engine 5 Running on PS5
After Microsoft’s slight misstep with their “Gameplay” showcase, Epic just a few days after, shows off exactly what to expect from Next-Gen with their upcoming Unreal Engine 5 tech demo. What made this exciting for fans, was this tech demo was 100% playable and running on PS5 hardware. Where all of the trailers from Microsoft were “representative of Series X”, Epic shows us the goods right from a PS5. And it was breathtaking! Stand out features being the ultra-high polygon count of all the in-game assets, scanned in from high-quality Hollywood movie assets straight into the game. The demo showcased some impressive global illumination that gives Ray-Tracing GI a run for its money while being much less resource expensive. The entire demo was really impressive and gives a glimpse of what to expect from these Next-Gen behemoths. The Engine will ofcause run on both PS5 and Xbox Series X, but is also scalable to current-gen consoles too, but without any of the exclusive features.
We still have no idea what the PS5 even looks like or what features the console will have when it comes out. Rumours suggest Sony will have a massive PS5 blowout in Mid-to-Early June. While Microsoft has commiting to revealing new Xbox content every month through a stream until the release of the console this holiday season. Price is still a massive unknown with a lot of rumours on the web suggesting Microsoft will take a big hit on the console just to undercut Sony on Price. And Sony on the other hand struggling with pricing due to the expensive components inside the PS5. We’re waiting with bated breath for any and every Next-Gen details we can get our hands on. For now, this has been our Next-Gen Console Race So Far and we’re looking forward to your thoughts and comments below.