‘Tis the season for new game consoles

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By Alec Stone, Staff Writer

The next generation of gaming is finally here. The newest era of Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation consoles are finally available for gamers. The last generation of consoles from each company arrived back in November of 2013. Microsoft released the Xbox One console, followed by the Xbox One S and Xbox One S consoles years later. Sony released the PlayStation 4 console, followed by the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation 4 Slim console years later as well. Time does fly fast. Seven years later from their respective launch dates, let’s take a look at what each new console offers gamers as the holiday season approaches.

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s “most powerful console” to date. At a price tag of $499, the console offers gamers “12.1-teraflop GPU and 16 GB of RAM,” allowing gamers to get quick access to their games and allowing gamers to expect the fastest loading times for games to play. The Series X offers gamers the ability to play games at 120 frames-per-second with the help of its internal hardware. The Series X is designed for the ultimate gaming experience, allowing gamers to dust off the physical disc copies of their physical games from previous Xbox generations via backwards compatibility feature in addition to gamers continuing the tradition of buying physical disc copies of games, using the built-in UHD Blu-ray drive. The Series X console is promising gamers a huge visual upgrade with the console’s potential to play games at an 8K resolution quality. Note: the primary focus of the visual quality this console is using as the baseline is 4K resolution quality at a stable 60 frames-per-second experience. The traditional resolutions of 720p and 1080p is a no-brainer, as it is the quality most televisions are equipped with. The Series X console is equipped with a 1TB storage drive. Storage on the Series X can be expanded by one of two ways. One: the console’s slot card “CFexpress connection standard. The only officially licensed model (from Seagate) retails for $220” or two: the common expansion of storage, using an USB external drive. According to the New York Times’ Arthur Gies, “The Xbox Series X is a sort of tall block, measuring approximately 6 by 6 inches at the base and about 12 inches tall.” For the hefty $499 price tag, the performance of the console is undeniably beyond phenomenal and looks to offer much more than Microsoft has announced.

Microsoft’s Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s budget-friendly version of the next generation console that promises to offer gamers the majority of what the Series X has to offer, but sacrifices some certain features. The $299 console offers gamers “4-teraflop GPU and 10 GB of RAM,” also allowing fast loading times for games, although the Series X is the superior console in this feature. Like the Series X, the Series S also allows gamers to play their games at 120 frames-per-second. The Series S console is designed for an all-digital gaming experience, completely removing the UHD Blu-ray drive. Like the Series X, the Series S also is built for gamers to game at the max of 4K resolution. The Series S console is equipped with a slimmer 512 GB storage drive. Storage on the Series S can also be expanded by the console’s slot card “CFexpress connection standard” or a USB external drive. According to the New York Times’ Gies, “The Series S… is 11 by 5.9 by 2.6 inches—it’s the smallest Xbox ever, and it’s designed to be set vertically or horizontally.” For a great price point, this offer is definitely worth the steal.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 is the company’s most impressive console yet. According to The Verge’s Jay Peters, the PlayStation 5 is “powered by a custom eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU and a custom AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based GPU that will provide 10.28 teraflops of raw graphical power” promising high performance for the overall gaming experience. In addition, “The console also uses variable frequencies on both the PS5’s CPU and GPU, which could theoretically push the graphics to run slightly faster than normal when the CPU isn’t running at peak.” The PlayStation 5 is also offering gamers the feature to play their games at a 4K or 8K resolution quality. The PlayStation 5 is finally Sony’s legitimate first-step into the backwards compatibility department, but with a major downside that clouds over this entire feature. The PlayStation 5 is only backwards compatible with PlayStation 4 games, but is not compatible with playing earlier PlayStation generation games from the PlayStation 1, 2, or 3 era. The PlayStation 5 is equipped with 825 GB storage drive. As of this writing, the storage space of the PlayStation 5 can be expanded with Sony-certified M.2 SSD, but the launch date of that feature is unknown at the moment and will ultimately be available at a later time. The PlayStation 5 also has a 3D audio feature that is supposed to immerse gamers in a different experience, but it is unclear exactly how this feature will ultimately work out in the end. The Verge reports that the console dimensions are measured at “about 15.4 inches tall, 4.1 inches deep, and 10.2 inches wide” in size. The $499 price tag of Sony’s newest console looks promising, but in the meantime, many questions remain to be answered.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 digital edition is the same product with the same hardware as the original PlayStation 5, but without a UHD Blu-ray drive, making the cost $399. This version of the console is solely designed for an all-digital gaming experience.

William MacArthur, an avid gamer and video game enthusiast shared his thoughts on the newest next generation consoles. “I am excited the new consoles are finally here and based on what I have been reading and watching videos on, the Xbox Series X console looks like the best fit for me. Sure, it is a little more expensive, but I think in the long run, the benefits of the hardware inside the console will outweigh the cost.”

He continued, “I have been saving money for months now and the time to buy a new console.”

It is irrefutable that the era of next generation gaming consoles is finally here and is ready to mark their mark for the years to come without question. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles and its features have come out in full force to deliver the ultimate gaming experience gamers have been looking for years. Sony’s PlayStation 5, on the other hand, has done more than enough to impress their base of gamers to deliver the best gaming experience in PlayStation’s newest era of gaming. Overall, video game consoles for the next generation are ready to redefine what it means to be a gamer.