By Henry Perazza – Arts and Entertainment Editor
Every few years, the “next evolution” of gaming is revealed for the public to sink their teeth into. In this case, it’s the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, sequels to the massively successful Playstation 4 and Xbox One and their different variations. With the new consoles come new technology, UIs, features, and, of course, games. However, what comes along with all of these upgrades and the start of a new console life is a hefty price tag. There are plenty of factors to consider when purchasing a new console—let’s take a walkthrough of all those key points.
The first one that everyone looks for is, of course, the games. What’s the use of getting a console if there’s nothing to play? Well, for one of those consoles, the launch titles are impressive. The other, not so much. The Playstation 5, or PS5 for short, kicked off to a phenomenal start. While both systems host popular titles such as Fortnite, only the PS5 has strong exclusives right from the get-go. A Demon’s Souls remaster on top of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, both excited players from across the realm of genres. Further down the line are games like a new entry in the Ratchet and Clank series, the next in the God of War series, and Final Fantasy 16. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series X lacks those incredible, exclusive threats. While Halo Infinite is absolutely something to look forward to, that’s about it. The Xbox marketing team has really pushed how cross-platform play is a mainstay for their games, which means any title that is on the console is often on another one or PC. Both consoles also made certain that games of previous generations were also playable, whether through download or being about to read Xbox One/PS4 discs.
Specs are another important variable—how strong is each console? In this case, both consoles have taken similar approaches – high bit rates, plenty of RAM, backward compatibility, and more. On top of that, both systems are much more committed to SSD technology, making load, and boot times are faster than ever before. Where the Xbox gains an edge, however, is in allowing previous add-ons (such as older controllers) to still work with the new Xbox. The PS5 makes PS5 controllers mandatory, though the controller design of the PS5 is far and away better than the Xbox (not that you’re purchasing a console purely off the controller).
At the end of the day, both consoles are amazing pieces of hardware, and you end up facing the issue of price once more. Both systems are priced exactly the same: $499. Xbox Series X has a leg up with digital only being $299 as opposed to the PS5’s $399 for digital only, however it is slightly weaker. Not by much, but splitting hairs can matter when the two next-gen systems are so close.
Instead of analyzing price under a magnifying glass, I would like to suggest NOT purchasing one of these consoles—or at least not yet. While I, like many others, want to experience all the games and experiences that can be had through these consoles, those experiences are limited at this point in time. Not only that, but sellouts and shortages have made acquiring either console its own level of hassle. With a history of console meltdowns with the PS4 and Xbox in the past, delaying would be smart for both economic and functionality reasons. There have already been reports from sources such as Bloomberg.com where the consoles have had major overheating issues, or trouble reading their own custom parts. So much so that delays in shipping and production have been rampant in this past month.
The easiest reason is that the systems haven’t had a chance to really come into their own. Guessing and speculation can only go so far, and you should get the console you want because it has the experience that you want. That experience shouldn’t be waiting in the cold for a slight chance at purchasing the new console craze, or woefully refreshing a pre-order page. With neither console having a strong hook and technical problems limiting stock, biding your time (and preparing your wallet) is going to make the difference this holiday season.