Xbox Series X vs Playstation 5 – Which is Better in 2024?

Xbox Series X vs Playstation 5 – Which is Better in 2024?

I’ve owned every major console since the original Nintendo Entertainment System. As a lifelong gamer, I’m always excited when a new generation of consoles is released. The latest battle is between Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s Playstation 5. Now that both consoles have been out for over two years, it’s a good time to take a detailed look at how they compare in 2024.

Hardware Specs and Performance

The Xbox Series X and PS5 are powered by similar internal components, but there are some key differences.

Processing Power

The Xbox Series X has a slight edge when it comes to raw processing power. It uses a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores clocked at 3.8GHz. The PS5 also uses a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU, but it is clocked slightly lower at 3.5GHz.

For graphics, the Xbox Series X utilizes a custom RDNA 2 GPU with 52 compute units running at 1.825 GHz and delivering 12.15 teraflops. The PS5 has a custom RDNA 2 GPU with 36 compute units at 2.23GHz and 10.28 teraflops.

So while both deliver incredible performance, the Xbox Series X has more overall processing power.

Memory and Storage

Both consoles are evenly matched when it comes to memory. They each have 16GB of GDDR6 RAM.

For internal storage, the PS5 uses a custom 825GB SSD while the Xbox Series X has a 1TB custom NVME SSD. Both deliver extremely fast load times, but the Xbox gives you a bit more built-in storage.

Expansion storage works differently. The PS5 uses off-the-shelf PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs to expand storage. The Xbox Series X requires proprietary expansion cards.

Display Capabilities

The Xbox Series X is capable of up to 8K resolution and 120 fps. The PS5 maxes out at 4K resolution and 120 fps. For most people’s TV setups, 4K/120fps is sufficient, but the Xbox gives more future-proofing.

Both consoles support variable refresh rate (VRR), auto low latency mode (ALLM), and HDMI 2.1. Overall the consoles are well-matched in display capabilities for most gamers.

Summary

When it comes to raw performance, the Xbox Series X has a slight edge over the PS5 in terms of processing power and memory bandwidth. But both consoles deliver huge generational leaps over the previous Xbox One and PS4.

Games Library

The games available on a console are critical for determining which system is better for you. Here’s how the Xbox and PlayStation libraries compare.

Exclusives

Sony and PlayStation have the clear advantage when it comes to exclusive games. Iconic PlayStation franchises like God of War, Spider-Man, The Last of Us, and Uncharted are exclusive to PS5.

The Xbox has fewer iconic exclusives, with franchises like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza. Acquiring studios like Bethesda has expanded their exclusives, but PlayStation still has a larger number of compelling exclusives.

Multiplatform Games

The vast majority of new releases are available on both consoles. Popular franchises like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and FIFA all come to both Xbox and PlayStation.

Multiplatform games look and play great on both systems. The Xbox Series X sometimes has a slight performance advantage due to the stronger hardware, but both consoles handle cross-platform games very well.

Backwards Compatibility

The Xbox Series X has much better backwards compatibility, allowing you to easily play games from the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox.

The PS5 has limited backwards compatibility and only supports selected PS4 games. For playing older games, Xbox is the clear winner.

Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that gives access to over 100 downloadable games. New Microsoft exclusive games are included on release day. PlayStation Now is the equivalent service for PlayStation, but has a smaller library and rarely includes big new releases.

Game Pass is a huge perk for Xbox owners. You gain access to a Netflix-style library of great games for a monthly fee.

Summary

PlayStation has more compelling exclusives, but Xbox excels at backwards compatibility and offers Game Pass. Multiplatform games are great on both. Your preferred exclusives and genres may help decide which console has the better library for you.

Controllers

The controllers are your primary interaction with the console. Both Xbox and PlayStation offer excellent, but different controllers.

Design

The Xbox Series X controller keeps a similar design to Xbox One, with ergonomic grips and familiar button placement. The D-pad and triggers have been improved.

The PS5 DualSense controller has an ergonomic design too, but represents a larger departure from previous PlayStation controllers. The adaptive triggers with haptic feedback create innovative experiences.

Overall, both controllers are comfortable and responsive for gaming sessions. It comes down to personal preference.

Features

The DualSense controller introduces new features like:

  • Adaptive triggers with tension and haptic feedback
  • Built-in microphone and headphone jack
  • Create button for gameplay capturing and sharing

The Xbox controller focuses on refining existing features:

  • Low-latency Bluetooth connection
  • Share button for capturing screenshots and clips
  • Hybrid D-pad improves precision

The DualSense offers more innovation, but the Xbox controller is excellent for traditional gaming.

Battery Life

The Xbox Series X controller gets around 30 hours per charge. The DualSense controller has a lower battery life at around 10-12 hours per charge.

You’ll need to charge the DualSense around 3x more often. Xbox wins when it comes to battery life.

Summary

The PS5 DualSense controller has more next-gen features like adaptive triggers, while the Xbox controller perfects the familiar Xbox design. Battery life is significantly better on Xbox. It comes down to if you prefer innovation or refinement.

User Experience

Navigating the console’s interface and accessing settings are a major part of the overall gaming experience.

Home Screen and UI

The Xbox Series X home screen will feel familiar to Xbox One users. Recently played games and apps are presented horizontally and easy to access. The overall UI is streamlined, but hasn’t changed dramatically.

The PS5 home screen is a new visual style, with horizontally scrolling game tiles. The minimalist UI is easy to navigate. Sony revamped their home screen and UI for next-gen.

Both achieve the goal of quickly getting you into games, but PlayStation feels like a bigger evolution.

Settings and Features

PlayStation 5 settings use cards and icons that you slide between to access options and preferences. The settings menu feels fresh and modern. Customizing and managing your PS5 is intuitive.

The Xbox Series X settings use a more traditional list-based menu. All the key options are there, but the UI doesn’t feel brand new. The Xbox settings get the job done, but feel dated compared to PlayStation.

Unique features like Quick Resume on Xbox and Cards on PlayStation set them apart. But PlayStation settings feel more next-gen overall.

Social Experience

PS5 menus and overlays make messaging friends or sharing screenshots seamless during gameplay. The new social experience is great.

Xbox Live is reliable and robust for communications. But some social features feel buried in menus. The social experience on Xbox is good, but Sony’s implementation is more seamless.

Summary

The PS5 delivers a fresh-feeling next-gen user experience. Xbox makes incremental changes to a familiar UI. PlayStation 5 feels more advanced and modern overall.

Value

For most gamers, deciding between PS5 and Xbox will come down to value – both the upfront cost and long term expenses.

Purchase Price

The PS5 costs $499 for the disc edition or $399 for the Digital Edition without a disc drive.

The Xbox Series X costs $499, with no cheaper discless option offered.

Overall the consoles are similarly priced, with PS5 offering flexibility if you prefer discless.

Games Prices

New games cost $59.99 – $69.99 on both PlayStation and Xbox. Multiplatform game pricing is identical.

Xbox exclusives like Forza Horizon 5 are on Game Pass on release at no extra cost. Sony’s big exclusives rarely offer a subscription option.

Online Service Cost

PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold both cost around $60 annually for online multiplayer access.

Xbox Game Pass at $120/year adds a ton of value, including day-one access to Microsoft exclusives. PlayStation doesn’t have an equivalent offering.

Resell Value

Both PS5 and Xbox Series X retain decent resell value after 1-2 years if kept in good condition.

The disc drive editions tend to retain value better as they can play used discs. Digital only consoles may depreciate faster.

Overall, Xbox provides better value thanks to Game Pass subscriptions. But both consoles are reasonably priced.

Conclusion

It’s a close battle, but in my opinion the Xbox Series X is the better console in 2024 – primarily due to superior hardware performance and the value of Xbox Game Pass.

However, PlayStation 5 excels with its innovative DualSense controller and exclusive franchises. There’s no universally “best” choice – go with whichever console has the games, features and value that appeal most to you personally. Both are fantastic next-gen systems that will deliver amazing gaming experiences for years to come.

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