PS5 v Xbox Series X: Who will win the next-gen console race?
By Steffan Powell
Newsbeat gaming reporter
It’s like the excitement just before Christmas, only without the tinsel and fairy lights that don’t work anymore.
For gamers, anticipation has been building and this week it is finally time to get at those presents under the tree.
From Tuesday, people will be unboxing the latest Xboxes (if they managed to get a pre-order in on time) – with new PlayStations following just days later.
It’s a big moment, not only because there are new experiences to look forward to, but because it’s a taste of what the future holds.
Microsoft and Sony executives always say in interviews that it’s not a competition between the two – and get frustrated sometimes if you ask them about it.
But in reality, gamers compare them all the time, and so does everyone in the industry.
With most people not having enough cash to buy two new consoles this month, they’re facing a choice – which one to buy?
Who won last time around?
PlayStation heads into this new era of gaming having come out top in the previous generation.
Sony’s PS4 significantly outsold rival Microsoft’s Xbox One.
When it was first released, the PS4 focused solely on becoming a hub for gaming. Slogans such as “4 The Players” made it pretty obvious the machine was all about gaming.
Meanwhile, the Xbox One team was spending a lot of energy on advertising its broader offering including the Kinect camera and live television capabilities.
At the start , the Xbox One limited which older titles you could access on the console as well – this turned many gamers off.
Nintendo’s console at the time, the Wii U, also failed to capture the public’s imagination.
With a competitive price tag and a conveyor belt of exclusive games, PlayStation took an early lead and sales kept rising.
What can we expect this time?
This time, Microsoft and Sony are offering different visions for the future of gaming.
Xbox has certainly learned lessons from its 2013 Xbox One launch.
It is making its new machines very gamer-friendly and focusing less on all the other things a console can offer.
Microsoft is also going big on its Netflix-like subscription service Game Pass – offering gamers access to more titles than you can shake a stick at for a monthly fee.
However, don’t expect a big blockbuster exclusive to convince you to part with your cash on day one. Game Pass is made up mainly of experiences that are available already.
The latest Halo game, which was supposed to be a launch title, has been delayed.
Meanwhile, Sony is following a similar strategy that worked for it in 2013, selling discs and downloads for premium prices.
But at launch, it will not have a brand-new exclusive blockbuster game ready either – although an updated Spider-Man adventure featuring Miles Morales will appeal to some.
What about the hardware?
Sony argues that “generations matter”, and so the PS5 is very different to the previous devices in its look and feel.
A step up in graphical capability compared to the current generation and almost instant loading times are the first thing that jump out when you turn on the console for the first time.
Bosses are also promising their new DualSense controller will make players experience games in ways they have never before, by adding more realistic and dynamic vibration to complement what is happening on screen.
Microsoft wants its latest machines to be part of its “family” of consoles.
It has a vision similar to how Apple approaches the iPhone – each device has slightly different capabilities but they’re all still compatible with each other and run the same apps.
The Series X is being promoted as the most powerful console on the market – for those interested in the best graphics and performance.
And its digital-only little brother, the Series S, is offering next-generation gaming for less than the cost of a Nintendo Switch (albeit with lower performance capabilities than the Series X).
The flagship PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles will make a significant dent in your wallet – and your living room too.
The devices are huge compared to the previous generation – and each one will set you back around ВЈ450.
Despite the expensive price-tags, these are more subtle upgrades compared to previous generational changes.
However, both companies are confident there’s still a compelling case for gamers to get their wallets out.
Both Jim Ryan, the boss of PlayStation, and Phil Spencer of Xbox spoke to the BBC for a new gaming podcast, Press X To Continue.
Mr Ryan said the PS5 was “a quantum leap forward compared to the previous generation”.
Mr Spencer said gamers would see “a real difference in the speed and feel of your games, and I’m looking forward for people to experience it”.
- Press X To Continue launches on 10 November
- You can listen to a preview and subscribe now on BBC Sounds
Strong presales of both systems suggest their confidence is well-placed, although analysts suggest the PS5 may continue its lead from the previous generation.
The consultancy Ampere Analysis expects sales of 13.5 million Xbox Series X and S consoles by the end of 2021, and 17.9 million PS5s.
Of course, hardware is only half the story.
“Xbox Game Pass has become increasingly important to Microsoft’s competitive positioning,” said Piers Harding-Rolls from Ampere Analysis.
“Sony does not currently have an adequate competitive response to Xbox Game Pass.”
The Xbox Series X is released on Tuesday 10 November. The PS5 is released in the some countries including the US and Japan on 12 November, with a global release the following week.Newsbeat's gaming reporter Steffan Powell previews the upcoming new gaming consoles.
Syndicate ends 20-year wait for division one Lotto win
A group of Perth workmates were close to packing in their Lotto syndicate after 20 years of failing to land a big prize.
But that all changed over the weekend, when the group took out a Saturday Lotto division one prize.
Their ticket, bought from The Lucky Charm in Baldivis, is now worth more than $592,000.
A West Australian has won $7.5 million in the Oz Lotto draw.
A West Australian has won $7.5 million in the Oz Lotto draw.
“I retired yesterday, effective immediately,” one of the winners said.
“We actually said this was going to be the last round.
“We said if we weren’t going to win after 20 years, we were never going to win.”
Meanwhile, Saturday’s other division one winner from WA has been revealed as a couple in their 50s, who bought their ticket from newsXpress Mandurah.
Lotterywest spokesperson Pina Compagnone said this weekend’s Million-Yeah Saturday event could see WA’s division one winners tally – currently at 71 for the year – grow even higher.
“This weekend is a special event for Saturday Lotto and will give players the chance to be one of up to 10 millionaires,” Ms Compagnone said.
“If there are up to ten division one winners, we’ll boost their prize, so they take home at least $1 million each and if there are more than ten winners, the $10 million prize pool will be shared between them.”
Tickets for Million-Yeah Saturday are available from Lotterywest in-store, online or via the app until 6pm draw day.A syndicate of Perth workmates stuck at it for 20 years before finally landing Lotto riches. ]]>