It’s hard to avoid comparisons so early in a console generation. The PS5 vs Xbox Series X debate is on display daily, measuring everything from availability to early hardware failures. Attempts at stacking up one machine against the other can sometimes turn into rumor, conjecture, and even devolve into toxic fanboy scuffles on social media.
Fortunately, Digital Foundry is here as the hero we need, performing top shelf analysis of all new hardware and software without allegiance to either brand. Comprised of some top shelf gaming tech brains, they are smart enough to get what’s going on with these machines while making it digestible for those of us without software coding on our resumes.
Their early analysis on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X shows a relative draw.
While the Series X enjoys an objective hardware advantage in both GPU and CPU, the majority of 3rd party games released for both systems show no consistent, distinct performance advantage for either system. In fact, the PlayStation 5 is outperforming its beefier competitor in games where 120hz frame rates are supported.
Across multiple examples, the performance advantage in frame rate, resolution, shading, and textures leans to PlayStation 5 as often as the Xbox Series X, with the results varying widely from game to game. This concretes the status of both as comparable next generation consoles, but is still puzzling many considering Series X’s much-touted spec superiority.
Dirt 5 provides higher visual contrast and increased texture quality on PlayStation 5, along with a more consistent frame rate in the game’s resolution mode. Call of Duty: Cold War gives Series X a frame rate advantage when ray traced shadows are activated, while the PlayStation 5 enjoys an advantage in the high frame rate mode where ray tracing is disabled.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla initially sported some poor frame rate handling in performance mode on Series X. A subsequent patch has accounted for that poor performance and achieved a more stable 60fps. It required a steeper dynamic resolution drop than the PS5 needs in the same mode, so a slight win for PS5 there.
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition yielded a slight benefit for Series X in the game’s Ray Trace enabled quality mode, while the PS5 won the battle in high frame rate mode.
The most recent comparison was Borderlands 3, where Gearbox’s next generation enhancement patch provided a Resolution mode and Performance mode. The two consoles trade punches, varying in performance in the two modes with neither faring decisively better across them.
This battle will undoubtedly continue as more multi-platform games are released. But early on, this hasn’t been the Xbox beat down that the specs have had many expecting. The reasons vary, with some speculating this parity is due to these games being built with last generation hardware in mind. It’s possible that developers’ preferential treatment of the PS4 over Xbox One – because of PS4’s install base advantage – may still be working in PlayStation’s favor in the new generation.
In any case, there seems to be no merit to the idea that Xbox Series X plays games better than PS5. At least, not yet.
[Source: Digital Foundry]