The Next Generation of Gaming Consoles is Coming!

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Which next-gen console are you most excited for?

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The Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X have both been announced and are expected to be available soon. These represent the first entries in the ninth generation of home video game consoles and should provide a big step up in performance from the prior generation.

But what console is better?

The PS5 and Xbox Series X share a lot of the same system architecture. These two consoles will be based around a custom AMD ‘Zen’ CPU (in gaming, the CPU mostly gets used for the

The Sony PS5

overhead of the operating system and sometimes physics calculations), and ‘Navi’ GPU (The Graphics Processing Unit or GPU is what actually does most of the work in a game console), which are modified versions of components that you would expect to see in a standard gaming computer. With consoles and gaming computers having so much in common, Sony and Microsoft are going to have a hard time convincing consumers that their console is the best device for gaming. In fact, the computational capabilities of the PS5 and Xbox are the closest they have ever been. The Xbox technically has a slightly ‘larger’ GPU (it has more processing units), which given that they are on the same ‘Navi’ architecture should result in better performance, but Sony hopes

Microsoft Xbox Series X

to make up for that with a faster SSD (an SSD is similar in functionality to a hard drive, it stores your games). This will allow developers to stream ‘assets’ (the models that make up a game) off of storage in real time, without having to copy them into RAM, which is traditionally a slow and potentially computationally heavy process that results in loading screens or stutters.

AMD’s Navi is supposed to launch as a series of graphics cards for PC shortly before the next gen consoles are available

With overall system performance expected to not be clearly better on one console or another due to the decision of Microsoft to focus on raw GPU power and Sony to focus on storage speeds, the criteria for evaluating which console is better now comes down mostly to cost and game library.

Price is not yet known, but both consoles are expected to be significantly more expensive than the prior generation. The PS4 launched with an MSRP of $450 and retailer leaks such as this one  suggest that the PS5 might cost as much as 600 pounds (although Sony did hint that the ‘all digital’ version that lacks a disc drive will be cheaper.) This increase in price may stop some people from adopting the ninth generation of consoles at all. Max Scalise, a junior, when asked if he was planning to get the new Xbox or the Playstation stated, “My friends and I are planning to stick with our current systems, because it’s not worth all the extra money to upgrade.”

A decent selection of games have been announced for both consoles, but the general consensus seems to be that Sony has done a better job of highlighting exciting new games. Rikita Nandanwar, a senior said, “There are some pretty imaginative games for the PS5 that I

Spider Man Miles Morales is expected to be one of the biggest exclusive launch titles of this console generation

like. I like Stray which is about a cat in this futuristic setting. Then there’s Kena : Bridge of Spirits, which has Pixar like visuals and reminds me of Ori and the Blind Forest. Then there are the most anticipated games, like Ratchet and Clank and Spider Man: Miles Morales. All the games look amazing visually.”

Are you planning to pick up one of the next-gen consoles? If so, which one are you picking and what made you choose that one?