Here’s a big and important question for console gamers: PS5 or Xbox Series X? Let’s skip the entire “PC!” answer.
Microsoft has confirmed that most of its upcoming titles will be “cross-generation.” Meaning once the newest Halo Infinite ships out, you should be able to play it on your Xbox One. This way, no one is forced to upgrade their consoles to play the newest games. At least, for a while. There’s going to be a time, maybe in two years, where this service might be discontinued. But at least Microsoft is giving people more time to prepare.
What Microsoft is trying to champion is actually their xCloud project. It’s a cloud gaming service, designed for you to stream games on mobile phones, rather than actually download it for the console. This way, no matter the phone you’re using, as long as you have an excellent WiFi connection and speed, you will be able to play some of the newest games out there.
That’s something big to think about. Doesn’t it sound appealing to possibly play games like Grand Theft Auto V or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in a smartphone? But again, you will need excellent WiFi. According to the Xbox website, you will need at least 10MB.
As of now the project is still in its beta phase and the number of countries that will be receiving xCloud is limited. But it’s likely in due time, the service will roll out in Philippines as well. There’s no price for it yet, and we can assume that it’s going to be a monthly subscription.
Also, Microsoft has the Xbox Game Pass. For a monthly rate of 10USD, you can download and play over 100 titles. One more thing that’s important to consider, over the past couple of years, Microsoft has acquired a number of game developers with strong portfolios (Fallout: New Vegas, etc) and absorbed them into the Xbox Game Studios. What this means, we can expect in the coming years some big and indie-like games to roll out for both Xbox and PC. It’s possible some of them will be exclusive for Xbox or only playable under the Xbox Game Pass. That’s a big guess. Otherwise, why would Microsoft acquire all those developers?
Sony, on the other hand, hasn’t announced anything much. Yes, we’re getting a new and powerful console and it will ship out in two versions: One with an optical disc drive and one with none, prompting an all-digital purchase. Also on the specs front, the Xbox Series X is slightly more powerful.
It seems, despite everything, Sony will simply continue developing first-party exclusives as its main strategy in selling the consoles. Unlike Microsoft, Sony has unveiled a small number of exclusive games, including Horizon Forbidden West and the remake of PS3’s Demon’s Souls (The OG Souls game). Sony, after all, is known very well to have some of the most popular exclusives and some of the most talked about games in any platform, namely: Uncharted, The Last of Us, Bloodborne, Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima, and God of War, just to name a few.
They’re also banking on their new DualSense controller, which is built to further immense players in the game. For instance, the adaptive triggers, if you pull an arrow from its bow, would depend on how hard you push the button, and you actually sense the tension through the controller’s haptic feedback. Or, in Sony’s own example, if you’re driving a car, acceleration depends on how hard to hold the button and if you run into mud, the haptic feedback will provide a physical sense (in your hands) that you’re running through mud. This would give PlayStation exclusives a small edge in gameplay immersion.
And, that seems to about it for PS5.
What’s happening in next-generation console gaming is less about hardware and more about services. In that aspect, Microsoft has promised a lot and it’s possible it might take off a little shaky, but the service will improve over time. And PS5 is just keen to keep on making first-party games.
Personally, because of Sony exclusives, I am inclined to get a PS5 (after two or three years, when the inevitable PS5 Pro becomes available). And because of my location, my internet connection is less than stellar, so services like Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud will be wasted on me.
If you’re trapped deciding which of the two you might want, if you’re willing to forgo some exclusives and you’re into other popular titles like the next Grand Theft Auto, Far Cry, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and so on, then Xbox Series X might be your next console.
Remember though, Final Fantasy VII Remake is a timed exclusive for the PS4 and won’t be available anywhere just yet, so it’s safe to assume Part 2 will follow suit as a timed exclusive for PS5.