In the game world, it‘s the two most important weeks of the year. Last week, Xbox Series X was released, today it’s up to PlayStation 5, and seven years have been waiting for the new generation of consoles. They‘re flying over the counter now. Anyone who wants to buy one today even has a problem: they are virtually nowhere available. Chances are minimal that you have one in your house for Christmas.
No wonder, because worldwide the demand for new consoles is huge. PlayStation 4 has been sold more than 114 million times in recent years. The Xbox One, the predecessor of the Series X, was purchased 48 million times. Meanwhile, the coronapandemic is pushing up demand for the new consoles – because we are at home a lot, and therefore play more.
Both Microsoft (producer of the Xbox) and Sony (from the PlayStation) have been dripping a lot of information in recent years to build up the hype around the new consoles. That the successors of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One would be a lot faster than their predecessors. What therefore dominated the news in the run-up to the release of the two game consoles was the appearance of the consoles.
The Xbox Series X turned out to be a black tower, and PlayStation 5 was notable for its size and shape; was it a console, router or humidifier you brought in? Many people compared the console to household appliances, something designer Yujin Morisawa liked. “When you design something, you want it to feel comfortable. Sometimes it looks like a plant, animal or object. That’s better when it‘s really weird, or something people have never seen before,” he said to the Washington Post.
And now the inside
But, enough about the outside: what is inside the device counts. The consoles have become more powerful and have a fast SSD drive for storage. This makes games load much faster.
“ That’s the most important leap. You‘re hardly looking at a loading screen now, while in previous generations it could take minutes,” says game journalist Bastiaan Vroegop. He tested both consoles. “Games are already beautiful, there is no need to make such a big leap. Therefore, limiting the load time makes a lot of difference to the user.”
“ When you play, it’s a lot of little things that run smoother,” explains Jurian Ubachs of Tweakers. He, too, tried both devices. “That‘s what you see most with Xbox. You have the same interface, but so much smoother and faster. That doesn’t sound so important, but you‘ll notice that every time you play.” In that plane, both devices are close to each other.
Controller makes world of difference
Where the real difference is made, it sounds unanimous among reviewers, is the controller. Microsoft has changed virtually nothing in that area. Sony chose to take care of it.
“ PlayStation 5′s DualSense makes a world of difference,” says Ubachs. “Especially because of the triggers and the so-called haptic feedback.” Small vibrations now allow you to feel what the character is experiencing in the game. When you walk, you feel the footsteps, and when you get high grass or change of ground, you feel that too. “That creates a completely different feeling in your hands.”
The triggers, the two rear shoulder buttons, can dose resistance. For example, when tightening a bow, you can feel the tension that is on the rope.
Not many games yet
Early on: “That gives the illusion that you used the weapon that your character probably has. That makes games more compelling than I imagined before. You‘re getting more involved. For example, you’ll notice this well with the new Spider-man.” Even if he makes a comment. “We still have to see to what extent this is being used by game developers.”
That brings us to another pain in these two new consoles: where are the big exclusive games? “At Microsoft, there are not really release games,” says Vroegop. “There are games that are optimized, but they also appear on Xbox One. They‘re doing a gentle transition. That’s kind to the people who own Xbox One, but that doesn‘t really make the new console feel like a party. On PlayStation, they are now making more work with Spider-Man, Sackboy, Godfall and Demon’s Souls.”
Therefore, the potential of these devices is clear, critics say, but there are no games yet that use the full power of the consoles. Therefore, is it necessary to purchase Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 immediately? No, it sounds to Early and Ubachs. You can wait a while until the game you want to play is on the market.