A new video game console generation on the horizon

PlayStation 5, on the left, and the Xbox Series X releasing this November. Sony, Microsoft

This year marks the beginning of a new generation for console gaming, both Sony and Microsoft will be releasing their brand new consoles this November with their own individual game exclusives, features and specifications. Sony will be releasing the PlayStation 5 alongside with an All-Digital Edition and Microsoft will be releasing the Xbox Series X and Series S. With every generational leap there will be some confusion on how games from the last generation will be able to transfer over, differences in hardware and even which console might be best for each consumer. 

Sony’s Playstation 5 offers both a standard version at $499 and an All-Digital Edition at $399 which won’t take discs. This means that all games and media will have to be purchased digitally via the PlayStation Store. Both will be released on Nov. 12 in the US and on Nov. 19 worldwide. The only difference between both versions is whether players prefer their media physically or digitally, both versions have the same specifications and are able to play the same games. 

Features and specs include a 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive (excluding the All-Digital Edition), Custom AMD Radeon GPU that supports graphical Ray-Tracing, 3D Audio, 4K video output with 120hz refresh rate which will require a 4K TV for the full resolution, 8K support, backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR games and 825GB SSD Storage Drive. While it might be confusing to some, to put it simply, PlayStation is focusing on providing players with not only graphical fidelity but faster load times in games and more immersion with their games. 

Faster load times are achieved due to their implementation of a new SSD in the consoles, memory storage and the immersion that PlayStation grants to the players are from their brand new controller: the PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller. The controller features Haptic Feedback from the controller’s vibration, allowing players to feel the rumble from a racing game or recoil from a first-person shooter.

The controller also features adaptive triggers that will react differently from game to game. For example, when shooting a bow you will be able to feel the tension when pulling the bow back or have the triggers be blocked when a weapon is jammed. 

While features and specs do stand out, the games also have a significant role in attention-grabbing, the games. Some games exclusive to the PlayStation 5 include “Astro’s Playroom,” a free preinstalled short platformer that showcases all of the new features of the DualSense controller, “Destruction All-Stars,” a vehicular combat multiplayer game, “Sackboy: A Big Adventure,” a cooperative 3D platformer and “Just Dance 2021,” a family rhythm dance party game. 

More titles include “Godfall,” an online hack and slash game, “Demon’s Souls,” a complete remake of the 2009 original action role-playing game and “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales,” the action-adventure follow-up to 2018’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” on PlayStation 4. 

In addition to these, players will also have access to “Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart,” “Final Fantasy 16,” “God of War: Ragnarok,” “Gran Turismo 7” and “Horizon Forbidden West.” 

Moving on to the Xbox Series X and Series S, unlike PlayStation, these two versions have some more substantial differences.

Launching on Nov. 10th, the Series X is priced at $499 while the Series S at $299, the big difference between the two is that the Series S is an all-digital streaming-based console. All games are digital and streamed straight to your console. The Series S is the cheaper alternative for those that don’t want to make the full leap to the next generation of gaming and just want a console that will allow them to play next-gen games. 

Starting off with the specs of the Series X, it includes a 4K UHD Blu-Ray drive, 16GB of RAM, Custom AMD Radeon GPU, Native 4K video output with 120hz refresh rate, 8K support, 1TB NVMe SSD Storage and backwards compatibility with Original Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and all Xbox One accessories and controllers. The Series S has similar specs just slightly downgraded in order to achieve a mainly focused streaming box with 10GB of Ram, 1440p video output with 4K upscaling through playback and 512GB SSD storage. 

In conclusion, for those that are interested in taking that full leap and playing games the best way possible, the Series X is definitely the way to go. However, for more casual consumers that still want to experience the next-gen offerings but don’t want to spend too much money, the Series S is a much more affordable option. 

While Xbox won’t be launching with any big exclusives they will still have some big games on offer that will also be available on PlayStation 5 and PC like “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla,” “Watch Dogs: Legion,” “Tetris Effect: Connected” and “Gears Tactics.” 

Pre-orders for both Xbox and PlayStation consoles are now live at select retailers, most will be sold out, so it’s best to check regularly for availability since both are trying their best to keep up with high demand. Some games that will be releasing this fall for the new consoles will still be playable on current hardware and do offer either a free upgrade to the next-gen consoles or a $10 upgrade fee so that’s something to consider as well. There are a lot of options for this generation beyond games or hardware, but financially that allows for a much wider audience to actually jump in and experience the next generation of gaming.