Every now and then I poke the bear with pro-Xbox or pro-PlayStation items. I admit it right off the bat. You can call it clickbait if it helps you sleep at night. I think it’s interesting how the fans are reacting to stand up for the multi-billion dollar companies and the gadgets, games and other products of those companies. I don’t recommend tying your identity too much to a game, console, or comic book character, but I understand we live in such an era. Fandom is what it is, for better or for worse.
But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. I also love examining the changing strengths of the Xbox and PlayStation (and sometimes Nintendo, Stadia, or PC) systems. What made the PS4 such a compelling and obvious choice over the previous console generation was, at least in part, the Xbox One’s myriad of weaknesses.
What makes the PS5 less it’s clear that the console winner right now is how far Microsoft has come since then. Gone are the days of just online nonsense or blatant attacks on second-hand games. Microsoft and Sony both realized that a softer touch could achieve similar results without all the bad PR. The Xbox Series X is a great console that puts gaming at the forefront in the same way the PS4 did in 2013, as Microsoft stumbled and stumbled in its posts, displaying a strange lack of understanding of the market. video games and consumers. The Xbox Series X, like the PS4, is a low-key, no-frills machine. It does the job.
Then there’s the Xbox Game Pass, which I recently argued makes it a very attractive option for gamers on the PS5. But, I would say that despite all the great strides the Xbox team has made, despite the quality of the Xbox Game Pass and Xbox All Access and all the smart acquisitions from game studios big and small, and despite the fact that you not be able to play major versions like Starfield on PS5, despite all of this, the PlayStation 5 is still the console to beat. I have two reasons for this. They go hand in hand.
Firstly, at least for now, there are a number of games that you just can’t play elsewhere. Of course, we’ve recently seen some really big PS4 games coming to PC. Horizon Zero Dawn, Death Stranding, and Days Gone all came on PC. But they arrived long after their original PS4 releases and they still represent only a small part of Sony’s exclusive offerings.
For the PS5 generation, so far we have Demon souls, return and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and each of these titles is an absolute gem. Other major releases are in progress, such as Horizon prohibited to the west. Remake of Demon’s Souls is simply breathtaking, taking one of the best PS3 games and giving it new life without sacrificing a single bit of what made the original so great. Return is an exciting new roguelike with shiny level and enemy design, difficult and smooth fights and fascinating story. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart perhaps the most beautiful video game to ever come out on a console, and it’s a pleasure to play.
Despite all of Microsoft’s acquisitions, for now at least Sony still has the best games (again, leaving Nintendo aside for now). It will take a lot of time and effort for Microsoft to close the gap, and even then, well, my second reason presents itself.
The point is, you just don’t need an Xbox. The Xbox itself is almost an afterthought at this point, as Microsoft slowly moves away from a hardware-centric ecosystem. Between Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming, as well as the dual PC / Xbox output for many exclusives, you can play a large number of Xbox titles on your PC, tablet, phone or even refrigerator. Of course, you’ll still want an Xbox if you don’t have a gaming PC or really don’t care about playing on a tablet or don’t have the internet speeds to make cloud gaming viable, but the overall trend is far from being attached to the Xbox itself.
This makes the PS5 inherently more valuable in the same way that a Nintendo Switch is more valuable, as you usually can’t play PS5 games everywhere on everything (PS Now is an option, of course, but it’s a lot less. robust; Sony is not trying to match Microsoft’s strategy at this point). If you have Xbox Game Pass but not an Xbox, you can still play a wide variety of Xbox games. So why not buy a PS5? In an age where cross-platform cross play is more and more common, it makes even more sense as the barriers to playing popular games like Call of Duty or Fortnite with friends are less of a problem.
In some ways, my article on why you should buy an Xbox Series X was really just a little sneaky way to make the point that you should subscribe to Xbox Game Pass. This is the real product that Microsoft sells, far more than the console itself. It’s a tricky dichotomy – PS5 vs Xbox Game Pass – but perhaps more precise.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with either one. I have both. Both are great systems. There are some irritating things about the PS5 that I don’t come across on my Xbox Series X, but nothing so horrible that it would influence me in one way or another. Ultimately, it’s a matter of taste. Which gamepad do you prefer? Which user interface is more pleasing to the eye? These are subjective qualities. I like the user interface of the PS5 more, the Xbox gamepad plus (despite the impressive haptic feedback from the DualSense).
The real trick, of course, is finding one to buy. On this front, go with God.