The stage is set for the next-gen console battle as Sony and Microsoft battle it out this November with the release of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox X and S series.
The green corner: Xbox, Game Pass and Halo Infinite
Two new Xbox consoles will be launched worldwide on November 10, 2020: the Series X and the Series S. The Series X ($ 499.99) is an Ultra HD powerhouse with native 4K resolution. The S series ($ 299.99) aims for a lower resolution of 1440p (half of 4K) and also forego a drive.
Both devices aim for a baseline of 60 frames per second. Microsoft claims that both will hit 120 frames per second at frames like that Halo Infinite and Gears 5. Without seeing the hardware in action, we just have to take the word for it from Microsoft (especially when it comes to the S Series).
Buying a console at startup can often feel like a raw deal. Few titles are available, and those that are typically iterative sports titles or mind-blowing tech demos. Microsoft plans to fix this problem with Game Pass and provide a library of over 100 titles that can be played from the start. Most of these are titles that are already available on last generation systems.
Game Pass doesn’t skimp on quality either. First party title like Forza Horizon 4, Minecraft, and Sea of thieves (plus all gloriole Game) will be available at startup. There is also a rotating selection of decent third-party titles. With this letter Resident Evil 7, Monster Hunter: world, and Wasteland 3 are all available.
Microsoft also announced that it is partnering with Electronic Arts to bring EA Play to Game Pass for the holidays. This means that with your subscription you get all of Microsoft’s exclusive titles, EA’s first-party titles, and an alternating range of third-party games.
The biggest disappointment for many who waited for the next generation Xbox consoles to come out, was the news that Halo Infinite has been postponed until 2021. This was Microsoft’s killer title for bringing consoles into living rooms for the 2020 holidays. The new consoles are now being rolled out with no exclusives on a big budget and instead rely heavily on Game Pass and future promises.
Fortunately, the future looks bright. Here are some of Microsoft’s exclusive first-party Xbox brands:
- A new fable Game.
- The next generation Forza Motorsport Title.
- A new game from Rare is called Everwild.
- Obsidian Entertainment’s first foray into the open world fantasy RPG genre, Confession.
There are more “Timed Exclusive” and “Xbox Console Debuts” coming out next year. This includes a sequel to the legendary PC shooter in the mid-2000s. STALKER, Violinist-inspired horror show contempt, and Hellblade II—the next chapter in Senja Saga by Ninja Theory.
How much is it?
The Xbox Series X is priced at $ 499.99 while the Series S is priced at $ 299.99. Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox Live Gold (required for online play) and access to Game Pass for PC, is $ 14.99 per month, but you can get your first month for $ 1.
If you’d rather just pay for a regular Game Pass console, it costs $ 9.99 per month. However, you will also need Xbox Live Gold to play online. This costs an additional $ 9.99 per month ($ 24.99 per quarter). Game Pass Ultimate is by far the best value for money with over 100 games (even more on PC) and online games.
Microsoft also offers the Xbox Series X and Series S as part of the All Access plan. For $ 34.99 (Series X) or $ 24.99 (Series S) per month, you can purchase an Xbox console with Game Pass Ultimate. After two years, the console is yours and you can renew the Game Pass if you want. This option is slightly cheaper than buying any console and a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
In addition to hardware, a game for this generation can cost up to $ 70. Some publishers have already committed to a $ 10 price hike from the previous generation’s $ 60.
For the best possible savings, we recommend that you avoid the fully digital S series. Then you can buy physical releases anywhere, including the used market.
What about the backward compatibility?
Microsoft has confirmed that both Series X and S Series are fully backward compatible with Xbox One, Xbox 360, and the original Xbox. The X series plays titles that have been enhanced for 4K while the S series gets its own extended versions.
For maximum backward compatibility, make sure you are using a Series X with a single drive so you can play all of your older discs. Digital titles work too whether you already have them in your library or buy them in a store.
The blue corner: PlayStation, PS Plus Collection and Spider-Man
Sony will also launch two consoles in November: the PlayStation 5 ($ 499.99) and the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition ($ 399.99). Both will start on the same day, but the release is staggered in two waves. The consoles will be released on November 12 in the US, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea and on November 19 in Europe and the rest of the world.
Outside of price, the only difference between the two devices is the presence of a physical drive. If you want the best deals possible or want to use your PS5 as a Blu-ray player as well, the more expensive console is probably a better option.
Sony’s earliest first-party PS5 exclusive will be Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a sequel to the critically acclaimed 2018 Spider Man. The game is exclusive to Sony consoles and will launch simultaneously on PS4.
You can expect a game that is shorter in scope, and Sony also promises a more compact experience that is reminiscent of Uncharted: The Lost Heritage. The game’s launch window reads “Vacation 2020” which means it may not be quite ready to launch on November 12th.
The PlayStation 5 includes a pack-in game called Astros playroom. A follow up to the PSVR Astro Bot rescue missionThe game introduces new players through the PlayStation 5’s dual sense controller. It should be a fun distraction for new owners.
Sony’s answer to Game Pass is the PlayStation Plus collection. It is required to play online and offers members additional benefits such as free monthly games and discounts. The PS5 also allows members to download 18 of the PS4 games that Sony calls “Generation Defining”.
This list includes first-party titles such as God of War, Uncharted 4, and Days gone. There are also a handful of third-party titles such as: Battlefield 1, Fallout 4, Person 5, and Final Fantasy XV. It’s a far cry from the 100+ games available on Game Pass – especially since titles like Spider Man and Horizon Zero Dawn strangely enough.
When it comes to first-party exclusive products, Sony’s future range includes the following Horizon forbidden west, Ratchet and clink: ripped apartand the eagerly awaited Demon souls Remake. Final Fantasy XVI will be a PlayStation exclusive and a sequel to the 2018s God of War was also teased for 2021.
What does it cost me?
The PlayStation 5 costs $ 499.99, or $ 399.99 for the fully digital edition. PlayStation Plus is required to play online and now offers access to a collection of games for $ 9.99 per month or $ 59.99 per year. Sony hasn’t announced any monthly payment plans rivaling Xbox All Access yet.
As with Xbox titles, some PlayStation 5 games in this generation also cost $ 70. However, if you buy the console with a physical drive, you can always save money by shopping or purchasing used copies.
What about the backward compatibility?
Sony announced that the PlayStation 5 will be 99 percent compatible with PlayStation 4 titles. The company also confirmed that the “Top 100” PS4 games had been tested and worked on the new console. However, the company no longer made blanket claims.
Unfortunately, none of the PS5 consoles are compatible with titles made for Sony consoles prior to PS4 – at least not at launch.
Are you having difficulty choosing?
If you have difficulty choosing the console you want, you can always wait. If you are cashless, you can buy both. For most people, the decision will be guided by the exclusive offers available on both platforms. Unfortunately, these games are very few and far between at launch.
It’s no secret that Sony’s exclusive products have been consistently superb throughout the life of the PS4, with Microsoft missing something in that department. All of this could change this generation, however, as well-known studios such as Obsidian Entertainment and Double Fine join Microsoft as first developers.
If neither console piques your interest, then it’s probably best to wait. If you don’t have an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, these consoles are going to see a significant drop in prices.
Of course, you can’t buy one and build your own gaming PC instead.