Playstation vs XBox – Who rules the roost in the age of next-generation console wars?

Forget the rivalries of Liverpool vs Man United or McGregor vs Khabib – once Playstation and XBOX fans sit in the same circle, things are bound to get interesting.

The gaming consoles of Sony and Microsoft, respectively, have competed with each other since the ’90s, giving enthusiasts a plethora of titles to choose from and enjoy. The PS5 and Series X currently serve as each company’s latest next-generation consoles, with incredibly fast loading times and 4K graphics, the standout features over its predecessors.

Styling is very much subjective. One resembles a block, while another looks like a PS2 covered with two sheets of paper on each side. That said, how it looks is not important, it’s what’s under the bonnet that counts. Both machines are evenly matched in that department with technology that contributes to the fast loading times. Each console uses AMD Zen 2-based CPUs and raytracing-compatible RDNA 2 GPUs – with the Series X edging out the PS5 with 12.15 compared to 10.28 teraflops of the PS5.

Also, the Series X comes with a 1TB SSD, while the PS5 has a smaller 825GB SSD.

Getting to grips

Now that the weird letters and numbers are out of the way, how can one classify the other as better? The XBOX is the obvious choice based on hardware, though a decision should not just be made based on performance statistics alone. Yes, a Ferrari is fantastic to own, but if it’s just going to be used to do grocery shopping or fetch the kids from school, it defeats the actual purpose of the car.

Gaming preferences play a big part for those who don’t have any allegiance to either console and want one to enjoy. Playstation is known for its exclusives on Playstation Plus that XBOX doesn’t have, like The Last of Us or Spider-man: Miles Morales. On the other hand, XBOX has its trump card with the Netflix-like Game Pass subscription that gives gamers access to more than 100 titles that change every month.

Another great feature of both consoles is backwards compatibility. This allows gamers to play older games from previous consoles on next-generation ones. In this regard, the Series X is the winner as it allows gamers to play Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. The PS5 though, only has backwards compatibility for the PS4 but the PlayStation Now subscription lets you stream older PS3, and PS2 games but a fast internet connection speed is needed for that.

Because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic regarding logistics, both units have been making their way to South Africa in bits and drabs, though the majority of PS5’s are already pre-purchased. Out of the two, it is the most popular system for gamers. Despite how the console looks or the controller feels, it depends on the type of games the person wants to play.

From a pricing point of view, it can often depend on where the console is bought simply because certain retailers up the price due to demand (particularly for the PS5). The going price on the Gumtree classifieds for a PS5 is just over R15 000, while the Series X is somewhat cheaper at R13 000. For those not willing to part ways with so much cash, there are cheaper versions to consider for around R7000. Keep in mind that they are digital versions and have no hardware for physical discs.

At the end of the day, each console is beneficial in its own way. Some will base their decisions on performance, others on the games available, but in this case, the XBOX comes out on top – though not by much.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local service information close to home.

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