The gaming industry is in a weird place right now. With the release of PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X on the horizon, we are getting new consoles that exist in the same generation as their brethren. The power of the Xbox One X could easily be touted as “next-gen,” and yet, Microsoft prefers to keep it in this generation.
We already know that Sony is planning to release a PS5 in the future, despite the existence of the PS4 Pro calling the future into question, but how will the PS5 compete with the Xbox One X? Is it all about power, or are there some key features that should be included in Sony’s next generation console? Join us as we look at how Sony is going to put Microsoft in their place with the PS5.
Microsoft Talks Big About Xbox One X
Microsoft has been extremely proud of themselves since E3 2017. They’ve been touting Xbox One X as the “most powerful console ever built” and, while they’re not wrong, it seems to be going to their heads. Even the Microsoft E3 2017 press briefing saw the entire staff wearing t-shirts that stated “I witnessed the most powerful console ever.”
They should be proud, though, because the specs on Xbox One X are certainly impressive. Where they should be careful, however, is how they stoke the flames of competition. They’ve poked the bear that is Sony before, and it didn’t go well for them. We all remember the unveiling of the Xbox One and Sony’s excellent rebuttal.
Despite this, Phil Spencer still sent some warning shots across Sony’s bow in an interview with Eurogamer. During this interview, he was asked if the $100 price difference between PS4 Pro and Xbox One X concerned him.
"I look at Pro as more of a competitor to the Xbox One S, than I do to the Xbox One X. This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it’s in a different league than any other console that’s out there."
He doesn’t even acknowledge the PS4 Pro as a competitor! It’s true that Xbox One X does have more power than the Pro, but if it’s not going to compete with Sony’s current lineup, then the only other option is to compete with the PS5.
How Can Xbox One X Possibly Compete With PS5?
Phil Spencer has set the stage for the coming battle, and it’s going to be a bloody one. Xbox One X does indeed have the power, but it’s missing one key factor: the ability to truly use it. If Xbox One X is going to compete with PS5, it needs to have the separation that only a generation can provide.
Right now, everything that releases on Xbox One X has to work on the other Xbox One consoles. Backwards and forwards compatibility is a major feature of the system, after all. While it’s impressive from a consumer standpoint, I believe Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot with this decision.
Without the ability to truly focus and direct the hardware into next generation titles, Xbox One X will always be held back by the weaker consoles in the Xbox Family. It can never have a title exclusive to it, because that title won’t work on Xbox One or the S model.
Meanwhile, Sony’s PS5 will be a generational leap. It will bid adieu to the PS4 and the PS4 Pro as it steps into a bold new horizon of gaming. Sony never holds back, so we can only imagine what kind of specs the PS5 will bring to the table. Suffice to say, it will be much more powerful than Xbox One X.
The important thing to remember, is that specs aren’t everything. Sony can and will release a console that puts Xbox One X to shame, but that won’t be enough to crush the competition. We’re going to need specific features and options in place if the PS5 hopes to truly showcase a next generation experience worthy of our hard-earned dollars.
3 Features PS5 Needs to Crush Xbox One X
Knowing Sony, the PS5 will be sleek, it will be powerful, and it will have amazing exclusive titles. This is true of any PlayStation console, but to really put the hurt on Microsoft, the PS5 needs to include some key features:
1. Full 4K/8K Support
The PS4 Pro doesn’t quite hit 4K consistently. It gets really close with a lot of games, but not true 4K. Xbox One X has the upper hand here, but with the right horsepower, Sony can match or exceed that promise. True 4K won’t be a problem, so why not shoot for something even higher?
How about 8K? Don’t laugh, there are already working televisions that hit this resolution. They’re about as expensive as a car, but they’re real and the price will inevitably drop to more reasonable levels. Depending on the timeline for the PS5, we could see Sony shooting for 8K support to really wow gamers.
It could be a PS4 Pro situation where they utilized checkerboard rendering or something similar to go past 4K and into 6K or higher resolutions. Either way, 4K needs to be locked in for PS5.
2. Backwards Compatibility
This is the most requested feature for the PS5. It’s for a good reason: people like to play older titles on the new system. Microsoft has managed to make it work with 360 and now original Xbox games, so Sony needs to match this by offering a similar solution.
Currently you can play PS3 titles on PlayStation Now, and you can buy PS2 classics, but nothing that allows you to play your old games completely. Microsoft, on the other hand, let’s you put in your old discs and get a digital download of the game that you can play whenever you want.
Something similar for PlayStation owners would be perfect. Sony has probably heard about backwards compatibility non-stop, but something has prevented them from putting in the PS4. It seems like the PS5 will need to be the turning point where we get this feature in some shape or form.
Even just PS4 compatibility would go a long way, but the further back we can go, the better. That being said, this will be a next generation console, so everything that comes out on PS5 will not work on the PS4. This will ensure that your games on the PS5 look and feel next-gen.
3. New Ways to Play
Sony has always been on the forefront of new and exciting gaming innovations. Their latest success was PlayStation VR, which has been growing and expanding with incredible new games. Just recently, I played Superhot VR and it was a transcendent gaming experience.
While VR may not be for everyone, it does represent a new and exciting way to play video games. The PS5 should absolutely continue with VR support, and throw in anything else Sony can come up with. With all of the technology available to us, why stop at a control and a screen?
Traditional games can and should exist into the future, but there’s nothing wrong with having options. VR support, or even augmented reality experiences could really give the PS5 an edge over Microsoft’s traditional approach to console gaming.
Will Sony Dominate? What do you think?
Will Xbox One X stand a chance against the PS5? How can PS5 win big in the next generation? Let us know in the comments!