More than a year after its launch, the battle between PS5 and Xbox Series X is still fierce. In our reviews, we’ve been adequately impressed by both gaming consoles and continue to be, with both machines gaining more features and games as the latest generation picks up speed. But if you can only choose one, you’ll want to know which one is right for you.
As such, Tom’s Guide compared the two consoles head-to-head, and without spoiling the results, it’s a very close contest between two high-quality consoles. Read on to find out how each system fares in our PS5 vs. Xbox Series X matchup.
- Discover our Xbox Series X Review
- PS5 Review – our verdict is in
- Xbox Series X vs PC: Which is Right for You?
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Specs
|ps5||xbox series x|
|Price||$500 (PS5); $400 (PS5 digital edition)||$500|
|key exclusives||Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon II: The Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7||Halo Infinite, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, Forza Motorsport 8, State of Decay 3|
|backwards compatibility||Almost all PS4 games, including PS4 Pro optimized titles||All Xbox One Games / Select Xbox 360 and Original Xbox Games|
|CPU||AMD Zen 2 8-core 3.5GHz||AMD Zen 2 8 core 3.8GHz|
|GPU||10.3 teraflops AMD RDNA 2||12.0 teraflops AMD RDNA 2|
|RAM||16GB GDDR6||16GB GDDR6|
|Storage||825 GB custom SSD||1TB Custom NVMe SSD|
|Resolution||up to 8K||up to 8K|
|Frames per second||up to 120fps||up to 120fps|
|optical disc drive||4K UHD Blu-ray (Standard PS5 only)||4K UHD Blu-ray|
While the specs are helpful to know, they only tell part of the story when it comes to performance. As such, this section is not scored. However, we can say that Xbox Series X has more powerful hardware, both in GPU and SSD. Check out the performance section to see how this hardware performs in action.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: price
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are $500 each. As the two systems are very similar, this category would seem at first glance tied. However, the standard PS5 and Xbox Series X aren’t the only variants available. There’s also the $400 PS5 Digital Edition and the $300 Xbox Series S.
The PS5 and the PS5 Digital Edition are identical, except for a physical 4K Blu-ray disc drive on the former. The latter does not have a disk drive, as its name suggests. On the other hand, Xbox Series S has noticeably different hardware than Xbox Series X: a less powerful GPU, a smaller SSD, less RAM, etc.
(You can see a more complete breakdown in our Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S Article.)
As such, both consoles have cheaper variants, with the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S having legitimate apps: the former for digital fans, the latter for casual gamers or secondary setups. Still, given that the Xbox Series S is a somewhat different system, and not just a console variant, it’s hard to pick a definitive winner. Both complete systems cost the same amount of money; that’s the most important thing right now.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Games
PS5 and Xbox Series X have fundamentally different approaches to game libraries. Xbox Series X assumes you’ll pick up the same games you left on Xbox One, and you want optimized performance across the board for all your favorites. The PS5, on the other hand, features a plethora of exclusive titles launching alongside your new console, though most of them are also available on the PS4, to be fair.
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Performance
Over the last 12 months and a few months since the release of PS5 and Xbox Series X, there have been a number of instances where one is better than the other in certain games.
The Xbox Series X has more gaming power overall, but that doesn’t always mean it performs better. Similarly, the PS5 has the fastest SSD, but that doesn’t mean there’s a huge difference in load times between consoles.
What we can say is that the exclusive PS5 games are pretty impressive, with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Returnal among the most visually arresting games. Horizon Forbidden West also looks amazing on PS5, although it’s also a PS4 title.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Design
For the most part, whether you like the design of a console comes down to personal preference. But my personal preference is that I can’t stand the look of the PS5. The system isn’t just comically large; It’s also a pain to switch from portrait to landscape, and the standard version has an ugly, asymmetrical design.
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Controller
Another area in which Xbox Series X play it safe, to your credit, is in your controller. The Xbox Series X controller is almost identical to the Xbox One model, except for textured grips and shoulder buttons, an improved D-pad, and a new “share” button in the center.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: backwards compatibility
Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have great backwards compatibility features, but there’s no denying that Xbox goes further back in Microsoft’s library. The Xbox Series X is not only compatible with almost all Xbox One games; It is also compatible with many Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. While it doesn’t include all the successes Microsoft has had with backwards compatible gaming (the Xbox 360 still plays plenty of original Xbox games that the Series X can’t), it’s an impressive and frictionless effort.
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Cloud Gaming
Cloud gaming is not a big deal for PS5 or Xbox Series X as you can download games and play them natively on any platform. But as cloud gaming expands in the years to come, it’s good to know where each company stands at the start of this console generation.
The PS5 has PlayStation Now, which allows you to stream a variety of PS3 and PS4 games to your PS5 or PC. You can also download some PS4 titles. It costs at least $8 per month and does not work on mobile platforms.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: buy now or wait?
Currently, it’s still hard to track down a PS5 restock, while getting an Xbox Series X restock is a bit easier. But the question is which one should you buy right now?
Both have their merits and offer slightly different gaming experiences, with the PS5 being an exclusive gaming machine and the Xbox Series X being more of an ultimate Xbox covering all four generations of Xbox games.
If it were our choice, we’d recommend getting a PS5 as it currently offers more exclusive games that are also hugely impressive; We are talking about Deathloop, Gran Turismo 7 and Returnal. The Xbox Series X is also worth considering, but if you have an Xbox One X or a powerful PC, you should still be able to access the best Xbox Series X games right now, which means the PS5 is the console we’d like. . choose if you are forced to make such a choice.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: verdict
|ps5||xbox series x|
|Backward Compatibility (10)||7||9|
|Cloud gaming (5)||3||3|
While both consoles are off to a good start and show significant room for improvement, the Xbox Series X seems like a slightly better investment at this point. With more powerful hardware, a better design, a more comprehensive game subscription service, and a lovely controller, Xbox Series X has taken the lead in the next generation of consoles.
Still, the PS5 has some virtues that the Xbox Series X doesn’t. There’s a full digital console, a slicker controller, a faster SSD, and – this shouldn’t be underestimated – a better selection of exclusive games.
Having used both consoles extensively over the past few months, I have a feeling they have more similarities than differences, and whichever one you get should be more than enough to power your game for years to come. Of course you can always just build a gaming pc – But this is an other history.
- Later: PS5 vs Xbox Series X vs Nintendo Switch: Which console is right for you?