So over the last couple of weeks I’ve been uploading footage of both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. And a lot of you keep asking the same questions, “which is better” and “which one do I prefer”.
So, that’s what I’m going to do today. I’m going to compare them both in about 6 or 7 categories, and then tell you which I prefer. This doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, this isn’t a console war, just which I prefer overall or which I’d keep if I needed to sell the other. Hopefully if you’re not sure which to get, this might be of interest to you.
So, first up the look and design of these two consoles. After all it’s probably going to be sat under your TV or on your desk, so you kind of want it to look nice.
The Xbox is a small black box, pretty minimal looking really, it’s not offensive and to be honest it’ll fit almost anywhere. I mean you could lay it down or stand it up, either way it just looks like a speaker or a small sub. So here I’ve got it on my shelf, and I’d guess that if anyone walked in my room now, if they were allowed, they probably wouldn’t even notice it as it kind of blends in. It means that I can have a console on show, without it looking like a console. Even in standby mode there are no lights on it, but I like it.
Then there’s the PS5, so this isn’t small or minimal looking at all. It looks next gen though, it looks futuristic but there’s no hiding this away on a shelf. As the memes would suggest it looks like a router or an old Sky box, and it doesn’t matter where you put it, it’s pretty obvious what it is. You can stand it up or lay it flat, whichever option requires the stand that’s included. But, I love the lights on it, so whether in standby or in use, the lights on the front change from orange, to blue to white. Which matches the controller, I do like the look of this console, it’s just a lot more in your face than the Xbox.
If you want a console that looks next gen, it’s got to be the PS5. But if you’re concerned about the looks, style and size, it’s got to be the Xbox, I mean that will fit in anywhere.
Ok, so next up the controllers.
The Xbox controller has had a tweak to the previous gen, it’s probably 90% the same as the Xbox One controller but that’s not a bad thing. They’ve added some extra grip to it on the buttons and triggers. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not next gen.
But as I say, it feels familiar, and I like that. So if you’re coming from the Xbox One, there’s no worries here. And the Xbox controller is awesome, I’ve always enjoyed the asymmetrical feel on the Xbox, especially during the 360 days. But it’s not for everyone I guess.
Then there’s the PlayStation controller, which is totally new, they’ve even renamed it from the DualShock which we’ve known for 4 generations, to the DualSense. And this controller is next gen, both the look and the feel.
As you look around it, you notice the small detail like the PlayStation icons printed into it. It feels great to hold too.
The haptic feedback where the controller rumbles and vibrates as you move over different terrain is brilliant. It’s not the typical vibration we’re used to in other controllers, it feels more real.
Then there’s the adaptive triggers. And these are so good, so as you’re pulling the triggers for say Call of Duty, the triggers actually adapt as the name suggests, giving resistance.
Oh, and if you’ve not got a headset, you can still chat with your mates as the controller has a built in microphone and speaker.
Honestly, if a console could win a generation on a controller alone, this would be it. The DualSense hands down is the better controller, no competition here in my opinion.
Dashboard / home
So you know what the consoles look like and how the controllers feel, next is what they look like once you’ve turned them on. The UI, the home screen, the menus and so on.
I guess the same as your mobile, you’ve probably chosen the phone you’re using based on the operating system too, not just the physical look of the phone.
So looking at the PS5, they’ve changed the way it looks. As soon as you load it up you’re greeted with a totally new login screen, it looks a lot fresher than it did on the PS4. This has been a long overdue refresh.
I think it looks clean, it looks simple and it loads quick. I like it.
One thing they’ve removed which I used to use on the PS4 is the folders option, where I’d group games into folders. Instead we’re back to just a list of games on the home screen.
But overall it looks good. Menus are nice too, although one issue I’ve found is everything you do now compared to the PS4 takes about 3 extra clicks. Like putting it in rest mode or leaving a party chat. So hopefully they simply some of these menus via updates.
And onto the Xbox, which looks like the last gen UI, the Xbox One. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing though. I mean the old dashboard and menus worked, it’s familiar and you know what you’re doing. So if you’re wanting a new a fresh look, something totally different, you won’t get that with the Xbox Series.
What does anyone else think? Should they have re-developed or designed the interface? Or is it the classic “if it aint broke”?
One thing I really like about the dashboard though, is the colour modes, so you change the overall look and personalise it.
Moving onto the games, which let’s face it is the number one reason you’re going to get a new console.
So this is a personal preference really, because most games are cross platform, take Call of Duty, Need for Speed, Fortnite, GTA 5 and so on. Most of the big multiplayer games are on both consoles, and other than the odd time locked exclusive add ons, you can play on either console.
However, there are some brilliant exclusive games on each console.
On the Xbox we’ve got games like Forza, Halo, Gears 5, Sea of Thieves and Ori and the Will of the Whisps.
Then on the PlayStation we’ve got Spider-Man, The Last of us, Uncharted, Ghost of Tsushima and God of War.
So if you’re only interested in playing Forza or only want to play God of War, you’re choice is already made. They are all awesome games, I guess it’s just what you’d rather have.
I like both, which is why I have both, but I’ll let you know which I’d keep later.
Game Pass / PS Now
Then there’s game pass and PlayStation Now. Both are a monthly sub that let you play games in their library for free. Game pass have recently added the EA library too, and to be honest, Game Pass is a clear winner in my opinion.
The fact that Xbox exclusives are automatically added to Game pass on the day they are released is incredible. So when Halo comes out, if you’re paying for Game pass already, you’ll get the new game for free. It’s only about $150 a year too, so what’s that like 2-3 games and it’s paid for it.
PlayStation Now just isn’t as good, I mean sure there are more games available, but it’s more quantity over quality. I’ve never bought it after the free trials I’ve done.
Now they both have mobile apps, and they both look great.
You can use these apps to view the game store where you can buy and download available games straight to your console.
You can also chat with your friends, view notifications and so on. They are both as good as each other.
One thing the PlayStation app removed recently which I liked, was the ‘What’s New’ feed, so you could see recent trophies and games played by your mates, I liked seeing that, so it’s a shame it’s gone now. Feels like they’ve removed a key social part of the app.
I was going to cover the power and performance of both consoles, but to be honest it’s been done a thousand times already. They both look incredible, if you played the same game on both consoles you’d be happy with the results. Don’t get hung up on the figures, pick it based on the other factors.
They are both really quick, they are both silent, but there’s one feature that Xbox has over the PlayStation and that’s the quick resume. This is a huge next gen feature that I love, in fact I covered this in a separate video as I’m so impressed. hat lets you jump between games without really needing to quit or save where you’re up to. Then you can jump straight back into any game, this is an awesome feature.
Memory wise, the Xbox comes with 1 TB drive while the PlayStation comes with an 825 GB drive. Pretty disappointing, especially going into next gen with less storage I had on the last PS4 Pro I was using.
We will be able to expand these, which won’t be cheap. Xbox you’re looking at around $250 for 1 TB, while PlayStation at the moment, there’s no official options available. But I’d guess a similar price.
You can store your PS4 games on an external SSD, but not PS5 games right now.
Another factor so many asked me last week was, which is quieter, and to be honest they are both very quiet consoles. If I had to say one was quieter, I’d give it to the Xbox, it’s quieter, it’s only comparing side by side you notice the pitch difference in the fans though.
And this last point I wanted to make, is about your mates. It doesn’t matter what games are available, how many teraflops your console has or what the boot up beep sounds like, if you play online with your mates, you’ll likely go to the console that you all play.
Ok, so which do I think is best? Which is my choice for next gen? If I could only pick one console, based on all the points I’ve just raised?
I’d pick the PlayStation. The PS5.
For me it’s an easy winner, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the Xbox. Let me make it clear, I like and I play both consoles, I’ve always played on both Xbox and PlayStation throughout every gen.
I think the PlayStation is the better of the two, in my opinion, because:
It’s got the better controller, it’s next gen, it’s new, it’s just better. The controller alone could be a good enough reason.
It’s got better exclusives that I prefer playing, like Spider Man, Sackboy, God of War and The Last of Us. These aren’t just the best games on PlayStation, I think these are THE best games overall.
The UI is nicer, and like using your phone, the UI is what keeps you wanting to use it.
And finally, I just prefer it.
So, if I was to only keep one of the two, or you asked me which I’d recommend getting, I’d say go for the PS5. You won’t be disappointed with either console, but I think the PS5 is the better choice.
But, I will be keeping both, and playing on both.
But what do you think? Which have you gone for, or which do you think is the clear winner in your eyes, and why?