The time has come once again for the two largest competing video game console creators, Microsoft and Sony, to release their newest flagship models: the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. Now that both consoles have been released and subsequently sold out in many stores, the inevitable rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation users spurred discussion within Cal Poly Pomona’s gaming community.
The two tech giants have not always been the largest developers of commercial game consoles, but with the last two generations of hardware, they took the stage as the leading rivals in console development.
With students staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them have turned to video games as an escape route from the newfound stress and worry and a way to virtually stay connected with friends.
The PS5, is the fifth iteration of Sony’s commercial game console and was released on Nov. 12 for $499 along with a digital-only version that has the same specifications without the ability to play games from physical discs costing $399.
The technical specifications are nearly equal to the new Xbox with improved graphics than the previous generations. The most significant upgrade is the time it takes to boot and load games.
Sony is prioritizing its console exclusives, which are games players won’t be able to get on the Xbox or any other console.
Derick Sackos, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student said, “I’m getting a PS5 and one big reason I’m doing so is because the PlayStation exclusive games appeal to me more, like God of War and some FromSoftware games like Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls.”
On the other hand, Xbox is prioritizing backward compatibility and subscription-based gaming.
One of the biggest selling points of the new Xbox systems is the Xbox Game Pass that works like a subscription service with a monthly fee of $10 to $15 depending on the collection of games players prefer.
Alec Perkins, a first-year graduate urban and regional planning student, expressed his admiration for the variety and volume of games available through the service. He said, “Game Pass is the best deal in gaming.”
The Xbox Series X and Series S are the newest iterations in Microsoft’s Xbox line. This time around, Microsoft is offering two different options for customers to consider. Released on Nov. 10, the Xbox Series X is the flagship model that rivals the PS5 in power and is marked at the same price point at $499.
Microsoft is taking a slightly different approach than Sony with its alternate console. Whereas Sony is hoping to sell the same system without a disk drive for $399, Microsoft aims to sell the Series S that has reduced specs compared to PS5 at a much lower price of $299.
With the new consoles offering updated technology, even students who prefer PC games are satisfied with the new releases.
Christopher Lim, a first-year computer engineering student and Esports club treasurer said, “I am a PC person at heart but seeing the improvement in the consoles’ performance makes me glad knowing that the technology that all devices use is moving in a way that I haven’t seen before.”
Nonetheless, the effect that the new consoles will have on the Esports club will be minimal considering that many of the games they play are specifically on PC versions and not on consoles, he added.
At the end of the day, competition breeds excellence and the new generation of gaming consoles is no exception.
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