The stage is ready for the next generation console battle, when Sony and Microsoft go head-to-head in November with the launch of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S.
If you want to get on board from the launch, it̵7;s time to choose a page, as pre-orders go live in anticipation of increased demand.
The Green Corner: Xbox, Game Pass and Halo Infinite
November 10, 2020 Two new Xbox consoles are launched worldwide: Series X and Series S. Series X ($ 499.99) is an ultra-HD powerhouse aimed at a built-in 4K resolution. Series S ($ 299.99) aims for a lower 1440p (half of 4K) resolution and also refrains from a disc drive.
Both devices aim at a baseline of 60 frames per second. Microsoft claims that both will hit 120 frames per second on titles like Halo Infinite and Gears 5. Without seeing the hardware in action, however, we just have to take Microsoft’s word for it (especially when it comes to Series S).
Buying a console at launch can often feel like a bargain. Few titles are available, and those that tend to be iterative sports titles or overwhelming technical demos. Microsoft plans to address the issue of Game Pass and provide a library of over 100 titles that people can play from scratch. Most of these are titles that already exist on the latest generation systems.
Game Pass does not draw on quality either. First party titles, as Forza Horizon 4, Minecraftand Sea of Thieves (plus each Halo games), will be available at launch. There is also a rotating selection of decent third-party titles. At this writing, Resident Evil 7, Monster Hunter: Worldand Wilderness 3 are all available.
Microsoft also announced that they are partnering with Electronic Arts to bring EA Play to Game Pass for the holidays. This means you get all of Microsoft’s exclusive, EA’s first game titles and a rotating set of third-party games with your subscription.
The biggest disappointment for many who were waiting for the launch of the next generation of Xbox consoles was the news Halo Infinite was delayed until 2021. This was Microsoft’s killer title to get consoles in the living room for the holidays of 2020. The new consoles will now be launched without any exclusive budget budgets and rely heavily on Game Pass and future promises instead.
Fortunately, that future looks bright. Below are some of Microsoft’s exclusive Xbox games:
- A new Fable game.
- Next generation Forza Motorsport title.
- A new game from Rare is called Everwild.
- Obsidian Entertainment’s first move to the open world fantasy RPG genre, Avowed.
There are other “timed exclusives” and “Xbox console debuts” next year. These include a follow-up to the legendary PC shooter from the mid-2000s, STALKER, Geiger-inspired horror program Contemptand Hellblade II –next chapter in Ninja Theory’s Senua Saga.
How much does it cost?
The Xbox Series X costs you $ 499.99, while the Series S costs $ 299.99. Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox Live Gold (required for online gaming) and access to Game Pass for PC costs $ 14.99 per month, but you get your first month for $ 1.
If you’d rather just pay for a standard Game Pass console, it’s $ 9.99 per month. However, you also need Xbox Live Gold to play online, which costs an additional $ 9.99 per month ($ 24.99 per quarter). Game Pass Ultimate is the absolute best value, with over 100 games (even more on PC) and online games.
Microsoft also offers Xbox Series X and Series S under their All Access plan. For $ 34.99 (Series X) or $ 24.99 (Series S) per month, you can get an Xbox console with Game Pass Ultimate. After two years, the console is yours and you can extend the Game Pass if you want. This option is marginally cheaper than buying each console and a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
In addition to the hardware, a game can cost you up to $ 70 for this generation. Some publishers have already committed to the $ 10 price increase compared to the previous generation’s $ 60.
For the best possible savings, we recommend that you avoid the completely digital series S. Then you can always buy physical editions anywhere, including the second-hand market.
How about backward compatibility?
Microsoft confirmed that both the Series X and Series S will be fully backward compatible with the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox. Series X will play titles that have been enhanced for 4K, while Series S will have its own enhanced versions.
For maximum backward compatibility, make sure you record a Series X with a disc drive so you can play any of your older discs. Digital titles also work, whether you already have them in your library or buy them from the store.
The Blue Corner: PlayStation, PS Plus Collection and Spider-Man
Sony will also launch two consoles in November: PlayStation 5 ($ 499.99) and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition ($ 399.99). Both will start on the same day, but the release has been postponed by two waves. The consoles will be released on November 12 in the US, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea and on November 19 in Europe and the rest of the world.
Outside the price, the only difference between the two devices is the presence of a physical disk drive. If you want the best possible deals or also want to use your PS5 as a Blu-ray player, the more expensive console is probably the better option.
Sony’s earliest PS5 first party “exclusive” will be Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a follow-up to the 2018 critically acclaimed Spider-Man. Although exclusive to Sony consoles, the game will also be launched simultaneously on the PS4.
You can expect a shorter gameplay, and Sony also promises a more compact experience reminiscent of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. The game’s launch window is “holiday 2020”, which means that it may not be completely ready for launch on November 12.
PlayStation 5 includes a pack-in game called Astros lekrum. A follow-up of PSVR Astro Bot Rescue Mission, the game guides new players around PlayStation 5’s dual-sense controls. It should provide a fun distraction for new owners.
Sony’s answer to the Game Pass is the PlayStation Plus collection. It is required for online gaming and gives members additional benefits, such as free monthly games and discounts. On the PS5, members will also be able to download 18 of what Sony calls “generation-defining” PS4 games.
This list contains first titles, such as God of war, Map 4and Days away. There are also a handful of third-party titles, such as Battlefield 1, Fallout 4, Person 5and Final Fantasy XV. It’s far from the more than 100 games available on Game Pass – especially since titles like Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn strangely missing.
When it comes to first-class exclusives, Sony’s future range includes Horizon Forbidden West, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apartand the much anticipated Demons’ souls remake. Final Fantasy XVI will be an exclusive PlayStation console and a follow-up to the 2018s God of war has also been teased for 2021.
What will it cost me?
PlayStation 5 costs $ 499.99 or $ 399.99 for the all-digital edition. PlayStation Plus is required for online gaming and now provides access to a collection of games for $ 9.99 per month or $ 59.99 per year. Sony has not yet announced any monthly payment plans that compete with Xbox All Access.
Like Xbox titles, some PlayStation 5 games also cost $ 70 this generation. However, you can always save money by shopping or buying used copies if you buy the console with a physical disk drive.
How about backward compatibility?
Sony has announced that the PlayStation 5 will be 99 percent compatible with PlayStation 4 titles. The company also confirmed that the “top 100” PS4 games had been tested and that they were working on the new console. However, the company quit without claiming felt compatibility.
Unfortunately, neither the PS5 console will be compatible with titles created for Sony consoles before the PS4 – at least not at launch.
Are you struggling to choose?
If you have difficulty choosing which console you want, you can always wait. Alternatively, if you flush with cash, you can buy both. For most, the decision will be guided by the exclusives available on both platforms. Unfortunately, at launch, these games are very thin on the ground.
It’s no secret that Sony’s exclusive products have always been excellent during the life of the PS4, and Microsoft is missing something in this department. However, it could change this generation, with big name studios, such as Obsidian Entertainment and Double Fine, joining Microsoft as first-party developers.
If none of the consoles pique your interest, it’s probably best to wait. If you do not have an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, these consoles are facing a significant price drop.
Of course, you can also buy neither and build your own gaming PC instead.