CNN —  

It’s just about time to embark on a journey with the latest consoles this generation. Many will be wondering whether they should put down their hard-earned cash on an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5, while others are thinking they just might want to pick up both.

We haven’t had the chance to check out either console just yet, but we’re already well aware of what’s to be expected from both Microsoft and Sony. It seems like players are in for some satisfying moments no matter which console they choose.

But which console is right for you? As an outsider looking in, both may seem relatively similar. And that sentiment is largely correct in many ways, but in others it’s much further from the truth.

We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about both systems. Whether you’re purchasing for yourself or a loved one this holiday season, here’s all the information you need to keep track of.


PlayStation 5
PlayStation 5

Luckily for prospective buyers, both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are quite evenly matched. Both consoles are the same price. If you opt to purchase a version with an included disc drive, you’ll need to part with about $499 for either system. Opting for one system over another based on price at this venture is a bit like splitting hairs, so neither has any real leg up on the competition in this department.

However, the secondary consoles, like the PlayStation 5 All-Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S, are priced differently. The all-digital version of the PlayStation 5 is $399.99, while the Xbox Series S is $299.99. However, it’s important to note that the Xbox Series S console isn’t simply an Xbox Series X without a disc drive; it’s a bit less powerful than the Series X and only supports up to 1440p resolution.

When choosing based on price, it’s important not to forget the merits of a disc drive as well as that extra power you’re granted with the Xbox Series X. It’s prudent to go ahead and spend that extra $100 even if it means saving up a bit more.


Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X

In terms of specs, the Xbox Series X will include the same Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architecture as the PlayStation 5. It will include a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores and 16 threads, with 52 compute units locked at 1,825 GHz. It will include 12 TFLOPs, which should ensure it’s more than capable of handling anything thrown at it. That’s saying nothing of it being able to handle games at 8K resolution with 120 Hz refresh rates at 4K, complete with ray tracing capabilities. It will be packing a massive 16GB of GDDR6 RAM too, which will ensure it’s powerful enough to handle even the most graphics-intensive games.

The PlayStation 5 will include a custom version of the third-generation AMD Ryzen chipset, which comes running the new Zen 2 architecture, with a GPU running at 36 compute units at 2.23 GHz, all boasting 10.28 TFLOPs. Like the Xbox Series X, the PS5 will come rocking an impressive 8K resolution with 120 Hz refresh rates in 4K as well. All of this includes the capability to include ray tracing as well, which should make for a similar beast of a console. Based on what we’ve seen from both systems in the past, they’re more than capable of bringing the pain when it comes to showing off some of the best graphics we’ve seen on a console in ages.


Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Halo Infinite
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Halo Infinite

Of course, the most important thing when it comes to buying a console is making sense of what games will be available on the systems.

Those who decide to pick up a PlayStation 5 at launch can check out Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition, Astro’s Playroom, Destruction AllStars, Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Fortnite. While there’s a litany of additional titles planned for the system, this is a great start in terms of next-gen titles; plus, PS5 owners can look forward to the PlayStation Plus Collection, which gathers a series of PS4 titles and allows PS Plus users to enjoy them on PS5.

On the other hand, Xbox Series X users will find titles like Gears Tactics, Dirt 5, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Tetris Effect: Connected, Watch Dogs: Legion and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. There’s also the prospect that there will be plenty of Xbox Game Pass titles on the way, so you’ll get to try out plenty of games for one monthly price in addition to what’s coming out on the system. All first-party exclusives will also come to the system on day one for those with an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Which system is right for you?

Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5
Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5

In the end, which console should you pick up? That’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself. If you prefer games like Halo or Gears 5, or you plan on utilizing Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service to try out a variety of games, you’ll want to pick up the Xbox Series X. It’s a sleek console that’s built on the notion that you’ll be able to play your games at home or on the go with Project xCloud’s mobile streaming system, pick out games to play each month on Xbox Game Pass and enjoy integration with Windows 10 in terms of PC gaming.

If you’re more interested in a wider variety of console exclusives, a rotating “collection” of PlayStation 4 titles you can play on PlayStation 5 and a new controller in the form of the DualShock evolution, the DualSense, you might find Sony’s newest system a better fit. Plus, PlayStation 5 is the only console that will get Final Fantasy XVI, which will be a major game for PS5 owners once it’s released. Series like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Demon’s Souls will only be available on PS5 as well, so if that concerns you in addition to having an overall home console experience, you might gravitate more toward the PS5.

Preorders are currently live for both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. You can pick them up at one of these retailers, but most stock has been claimed for the moment. It seems that Microsoft has indicated additional systems will become available closer to when the system releases on November 10, so if you feel like you’re out of luck now, wait a bit longer and you may very well be able to grab one.

Xbox Series S ($299.99)

Xbox Series X ($499.99)

You can also preorder the PlayStation 5 right now at a variety of retailers. Some of them are still accepting orders, but they may be just as difficult to procure as an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S at this time. If you’re looking to pick one up, you may see some coming out at various times between now and release. There have been a few reappearances here and there, but it’s going to be hard to lock one down now that the initial preorder wave has ceased.

PlayStation 5 All-Digital Edition ($399.99)

PlayStation 5 ($499.99)