What’s in the Box? – The Exciting Technology behind PS5 and Xbox Series X

It’s been an incredible generation of video games, with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles providing (and continuing to provide) some of the best gameplay experiences of all time, their game development services offering up prime content year after year. However, with the technology evolving and allowing us to get more out of our consoles, the time has come for us to move onto greener pastures – this time in the forms of both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles. But which one should you choose?

Interested in picking up one of the new consoles this fall, and want to find out more regarding some of the specific details surrounding the hardware? Well, we haven’t heard everything yet, and there’s still a ton to learn about the two different next-gen boxes (particularly with the PlayStation 4), but here’s a bit of info on what we know so far regarding the hardware for these upcoming units!

PlayStation 5

Little is known about the PlayStation 5 console, but what we do know is that it will be faster and better than ever before. One thing that keeps coming to the forefront of discussions about the unit is its built-in SSD technology, which will allow games to load in files at a much faster rate. This means that things will be smoother and more enjoyable to play than ever before. If you’ve ever gone from a computer with a traditional hard drive to then one with a solid-state upgrade then you’ll know the sort of thing we’re talking about here, but this refers to how games themselves can run at a faster pace.

Talking about the technology specifically during an event in March, lead system architect Mark Cerny detailed some of the hardware under the hood – a hood that has yet to be revealed. Referring to the souped-up PlayStation’s technology as easy for studios to create and offer game development services for if they had worked with the PS4 architecture in the past, Cerny went into details on the PS5’s ‘boost clock’, again the SSD advantages, and even the console’s new 3d audio system.

On the subject of the console design itself, no one really knows what it will resemble, but some have speculated from the DualSense controller’s white colour scheme that the box itself will also feature a white and black accented theme. There have been many different variations of the PlayStation 4’s colour since its original launch back in 2013, so we might very well see a bunch of different themed and limited-edition versions of the console in the coming years. But, at least for the initial run of systems, the difference between Xbox and PlayStation might just be black and white.

Xbox Series X

Speaking to IGN in an interview during the podcast unfiltered, Xbox Vice President Phil Spencer stated that despite the stutters and issues in the industry that have been caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, Xbox is still on target to launch their new console in the fall.

Here are some of the key features within the Xbox Series X console that you should get excited about:

  • Visually, and from a performance standpoint, players can expect the new Xbox to be leagues ahead of the One. Not only will the series X support 8K gaming for the future – even if it’s not available on every game right away and not even worth it for many gamers that are still playing on 1080p screens – but the console will also reach framerates of up to 120fps. Again, this depends on the game experience, and what the developer can manage with the hardware, but by the end of the generation it’ll be safe to say that what we’re playing will be night and day from current-gen standards.
  • Ray tracing technology is something that you’ve probably heard of before as a bit of a marketing buzzword, and don’t really understand what it means. To be honest, there is some truth to that, but rest assured that on the series X it will really help to bring new levels of realism and fidelity to lighting, reflections and shadows within console gaming experiences.

Aside from the normal killer tech specs, the series X will also feature a new service named ‘Smart Delivery’. A pro-consumer move that might really protect your wallet in the long term, this feature allows for games that have been purchased on one supported Xbox platform to be available on many. For example, if you purchase the upcoming CyberPunk 2077 on Xbox One, developer CD Projekt Red has already stated that you will get the game free of charge when it launches on the One’s successor. It’s not certain whether this will be available on most games or only a select handful; it seems at the mercy of the developers.

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