PS5 or Xbox Series S/X? Everything you need to know about the new consoles
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PS5 or Xbox Series S/X? Everything you need to know about the new consoles

Philipp Rüegg
Zurich, on 28.09.2020
Are the controllers compatible? Which games are available at launch? What happens to saved games? Get the answers to these and other important questions about the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X here.

It’s taken seven years for the successors of the PS4 and Xbox One to be released. Like last time, the launch is in November. The prices are similar yet different enough to take a closer look at the costs. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the PS5 and the Xbox Series S/X!

PS5PS5 DigitalXbox Series XXbox Series S
Price499 CHF / euros399 CHF / euros499 CHF / euros299 CHF / euros
Release19 November19 November10 November10. November
Games at launch15, of which 4 are exclusive to PS515, of which 4 are exclusive to PS51515
Resolution4K, 120 Hz/fps, supports 8K4K, 120 Hz/fps, supports 8K4K, 120 Hz/fps, supports 8K1440p ,4K with upscaling,
120 Hz/fps
CPU3.5 GHz AMD 8-core Zen 2 3.5 GHz AMD 8-core Zen 2 3.8 GHz AMD 8-core Zen 2 3.6 GHz AMD 8-core Zen 2
GPUAMD Radeon RDNA Navi,
10.28 teraflops,
36 CUs bei 2.23 GHz
AMD Radeon RDNA Navi,
10.28 teraflops,
36 CUs bei 2.23 GHz
AMD Radeon RDNA Navi,
12 teraflops,
52 CUs bei 1.825 GHz
AMD Radeon RDNA Navi,
4 teraflops,
20 CUs bei 1.55 GHz
RAM16 GB GDDR6, 448GB/s16 GB GDDR6, 448GB/s16 GB GDDR6,
10 GB mit 560 GB/s,
6GB mit 335 GB/s
10 GB GDDR6,
8GB mit 224 GB/s,
2GB mit 56 GB/s
Memory825 GB Custom SSD825 GB Custom SSD1 TB NVMe512 GB NVMe
Data transfer5.5 GB/s (Raw),
8-9 GB/s (compressed)
5.5 GB/s (Raw),
8-9 GB/s (compressed)
2.4 GB/s (Raw),
4.8 GB/s (compressed)
2.4 GB/s (Raw),
4.8 GB/s (compressed)
ExpandabilityNVMe SSD slotNVMe SSD slotProprietary SSD slotProprietary SSD slot
Drive4K UHD Bluray-4K UHD Bluray-
Backward compatiblePS4 games, controllers, PSVRPS4 games, controllers, PSVRXbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, controllersXbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, controllers
ConnectionsHDMI 2.1
2x USB-A
2x USB-C
HDMI 2.1
2x USB-A
2x USB-C
HDMI 2.1
3x USB-A
HDMI 2.1
3x USB-A
NetworkGigabit Ethernet
Wi-Fi 6
Gigabit Ethernet
Wi-Fi 6
Gigabit Ethernet
Wifi 802.11ac Dual Band
Gigabit Ethernet
Wifi 802.11ac Dual Band
DimensionsW/H/D: 39 cm, 104 cm, 26 cm
weight: 4,5 kg
W/H/D: 39 cm, 9,2 cm, 26 cm
weight: 3,9 kg
W/H/D: 15,1 cm, 30,1 cm, 15,1 cm
weight: 4,46 kg
W/H/D: 15,1 cm, 27,5 cm, 6,5 cm
weight: 1,93 kg

Look and feel

Image: Twitter/keisawada
Image: Twitter/keisawada

Design is a matter of taste. The Playstation 5 is definitely the more striking of the two new consoles. It’s also quite a bit larger, as the illustrations by Twitter user Keisawada nicely show. The PS5 Digital Edition is only slightly slimmer. Xbox Series S has the smallest and simplest design. So depending on the console and TV stand you have, it might be a bit of a squeeze.

What are the new features?

All four consoles do 4K UHD resolution (3840 × 2160 pixels) at 120 frames per second (fps). Although the Xbox Series S only manages to do so with upscaling rather than natively. The Series S is designed for a maximum native resolution of 1440p for Full HD TVs. The PS5 and Xbox Series X also support 8K. Raytracing, die Technik zum Rendern von realistischen Lichteffekten, beherrschen alle Konsolen.

There’s a UHD Bluray player in the standard PS5 as well as in the Xbox Series X. The two cheaper models don’t have a disc drive. Games are exclusively stored on the SSD. While both Playstation models have 825 GB memory, the Series X has 1 TB and Series S has 512 GB. Especially for the latter, they could’ve been a bit more generous about the memory. After all, games often need between 60 and 100 GB – «Call of Duty: Modern Warfare» even requires over 200 GB.

Variable refresh rates (VRR), the technology that prevents screen tearing even at 120 fps, is present in all consoles.

How do I expand the memory?

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You can add up to 1 TB to the Xbox consoles via a proprietary SSD slot at the back of the device. For the launch, only Seagate will be offering a corresponding SSD. Deren Preis beträgt 230 Dollar.

PS5 uses standardised NVMe SSDs. However, Sony has not yet announced compatible SSDs. This is probably because none of them provide the necessary bandwidth of 5.5 GB/s – apart from the new 980 Pro by Samsung, that is.

All four consoles allow you to connect an external USB hard disk. These are slower than the internal SSDs. Although the games can be stored on them, they need to be transferred to the SSD first when you’re gaming. The only exceptions are Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox games.

How much power’s in the consoles?

It’s still too early to tell which console is the fastest. The manufacturers used hardware that is very similar. Both Microsoft and Sony went for AMD. The processor is an 8-core zen 2. In the PS5 it clocks at 3.5 GHz, in the Xbox Series X at 3.8 GHz and in the Series S at 3.6 GHz.

The graphics chip is called AMD Radeon RDNA Navi and delivers 10.28 teraflops and 36 CUs at 2.23 GHz in the PS5. In the Series X it delivers 12 teraflops and 52 CUs at a 1.85 GHz clock frequency. Finally, the Series S makes do with 4 teraflops and 20 Cus at 1.55 GHz. To put things into perspective: an Nvidia RTX 3080 manages 30 teraflops.

What’s almost equally important is the speed of the hard disk. Both manufacturers rely on SSDs. The uncompressed data transfer rate is 5.5 GB/s for the PS5 and 2.4 GB/s for the two Xbox consoles.

In terms of memory, both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X can access 16 GB of the GDDR6. The Series S still has 10 GB RAM.

What games will be available at the launch?

no information available about this image

The game line-up for the launch has not yet been decided 100 per cent. The following titles have been confirmed so far. Others – like «Watch Dogs: Legion» – will follow a few weeks later.

For Xbox Series X/S

  • Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (13 November)
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • Dirt 5
  • FIFA 21
  • Fortnite
  • Gears 5 (Series X Upgraded)
  • Gears Tactics
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Tetris Effect: Connected
  • The Falconeer
  • Watch Dogs Legion
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon

View all Xbox Series S/X games

For PS5

  • Astro's Playroom (exclusively for PS5)
  • Demon's Souls (exclusively for PS5)
  • Destruction All Stars (exclusively for PS5)
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure (exclusively for PS5)
  • Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • Dirt 5
  • FIFA 21
  • Fortnite
  • Godfall
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux

Übersicht zu allen PS5-Spielen

The number of new games for both consoles is relatively small. Unlike the Xbox Series X/S, there are at least some games exclusive to the Playstation. «Demon's Souls» or «Astro’s Playroom», for example. Contrary to earlier statements, «Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales» will not only be released for PS5 but simultaneously also for PS4. «Horizon Forbidden West» will also be available for both consoles.

Looking ahead, you can expect some exclusive smashers for both consoles. For PS5 it’s a new «God of War Ragnarok», «Spider-Man 2» or the next game by Naughty Dog.

Xbox players can look forward to «Halo Infinite», «Fable», «Forza Motorsport» or a title from the Bethesda portfolio. Their parent company Zenimax was recently acquired by Microsoft. Brace yourself for the «Elder Scrolls» series, «Doom» or «Dishonored».

Will the games be more expensive?

60 dollars has been the standard price for blockbuster games for decades. However, it looks like the new generation of consoles is about to change this. «Demon’s Souls», «Destruction All Stars» or «Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War» are officially on sale for 70 dollars. In Switzerland, you’re looking at 80 francs or euros. Although many games are still available for 60 dollars, the trend is unlikely to be reversed.

Do the old controllers work?

Earlier Xbox One controllers work without restrictions with the new console.

For the PS5, you can also use your old Dualshock 4 controllers; however, they only work with PS4 games. PS5 games require the new Dual Sense controller. This is not the case for the PS VR including Move Controller or the Playstation camera – they’ll continue to work in the future. However, you’ll need an adapter for the camera. Sony will supply the adapters free of charge at a later stage.

DualSense Wireless-Controller
79.–
Sony DualSense Wireless-Controller

Can you run PS4 and Xbox One games on the new consoles?

According to Sony, 99 per cent of all PS4 games should work on the PS5. Unfortunately, it can’t handle older Playstation games.

The Xbox Series X/S is backward compatible with Xbox One and, with certain limitations, also with Xbox 360 and the original Xbox. Microsoft has already upgraded over 600 games of the first two generations. Here’s the full list of all compatible games.

Thanks to a faster processor, the SSD etc., PS4 and Xbox One games that did not receive any special adaptations for the new generation will also benefit from the extra power. It includes faster load times, higher resolution and more FPS.

What’s more, while the Xbox Series X runs optimised ports made for the Xbox One, the Series S has to make do with ports from the Xbox One S.

Is an upgrade for a PS4 game to a PS5 version free?

no information available about this image

Yes and no. Many game manufacturers have already announced PS5 or Xbox Series S/X versions of their games. These include «Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War» or «Cyberpunk 2077». The games have been optimised for the new consoles and use features such as ray tracing and 4K/120 fps.

If you’ve already purchased the game for the previous generation, you’ll receive an upgrade to the better version for free in most cases. Microsoft refers to this process as «Smart Delivery». Unfortunately, it’s up to the manufacturers to decide if they’ll make you pay twice. The upgrade is often only included in the «Cross-Gen Edition», as is the case for «Call of Duty» or the «Ultimate Version» of «Spider-Man Miles Morales», which also contains the remastered version of «Spider-Man». For others, such as «NBA 2K21», the upgrade will set you back 10 dollars.

For an overview of the PS5, click here.

All Xbox One games with Smart Delivery are here.

Can I keep my saved games?

Saved games can be transferred from the previous versions to the new consoles – at least in theory. The first exception has already been announced. You won’t be able to pick up where you left off on your PS4 when playing the remastered version of «Marvel’s Spider-Man» on the new console. It’s likely that more exceptions will be added to the list.

What additional services are available?

In order to play multiplayer games such as «Call of Duty Modern Warfare» online, you need a paid subscription for both consoles. In return, both Sony and Microsoft will give you at least two free games a month. Microsoft takes it one step further with the Xbox Game Pass and offers an all-you-can-play service for games.

Playstation Plus
Price: 69.90 CHF/year, 27.90 CHF/3 months, 9.90 CHF/months – 59.99 euros/year, 24.99 euros/3 months, 8.99 euros/month

  • Access to online multiplayer mode
  • Two free games per month
  • PS Plus Collection with 14 PS4 games
  • Other discounts
  • 100 GB Cloud storage to save your progress

PS Now
Price: 63 CHF/year, 26 CHF/3 months, 10.90 CHF/1 month – 59.99 euros/year, 24.99 euros/3 months, 8.99 euros/1 month

  • Over 800 games to download or stream
  • Available on PC, PS4 and PS5

Xbox Gold
Price: 25 CHF/3 months, CHF/1 month – 19.99 euros/3 months, 6.99 euros/1 month

  • Access to online multiplayer mode
  • 2–4 free games per month
  • Other discounts

Xbox Game Pass
Available for Xbox, PC or both as Game Pass Ultimate Price: 14.99 CHF/month for Ultimate, 11.99 CHF/PC, 12 CHF/Xbox – 12.99 euros/month for Ultimate, 9.99 euros/month for PC or Xbox

  • Over 150 games
  • Games by Microsoft Studios at launch
  • Other discounts
  • Xbox Gold (Ultimate)
  • Xbox Cloud Gaming for Android (Ultimate)

Price and availability

The Xbox Series S/X will be released on 10 November with a price tag of 299 or 499 francs/euros respectively. Additional controllers are available for 69 francs or euros.

The PS5 is set to hit the market in the US and other countries on 12 November. Switzerland will follow on 19 November. The standard version costs 499 francs/euros and the digital version without a drive will set you back 399 francs/euros. The Dual Sense Controller is priced at 79 francs or euros.

Xbox Series X (DE, FR, IT, EN)
Microsoft Xbox Series X (DE, FR, IT, EN)
Playstation 5-Digital Edition (DE, FR, IT, EN)
New
399.–
Sony Playstation 5-Digital Edition (DE, FR, IT, EN)

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Philipp Rüegg
Philipp Rüegg
Senior Editor, Zurich
Being the game and gadget geek that I am, working at digitec and Galaxus makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – but it does take its toll on my wallet. I enjoy tinkering with my PC in Tim Taylor fashion and talking about games on my podcast . To satisfy my need for speed, I get on my full suspension mountain bike and set out to find some nice trails. My thirst for culture is quenched by deep conversations over a couple of cold ones at the mostly frustrating games of FC Winterthur.

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