Sony’s PS5 Digital Edition and Microsoft’s Xbox Series S are impressive examples of next-gen gaming, offering high-resolution gameplay at a fraction of the cost of a comparable gaming PC. Both consoles have great specs and competitive pricing, but which one is superior when it comes to online gaming?
Whether it’s poker games in the best online casino or the latest F2P battle royale, is there a clear winner from a performance perspective? Or does the choice largely boil down to brand preference? Let’s break down all the relevant factors and find out, beginning with price differences and hardware specs.
The PS5 Digital Edition (DE) launched with a retail price of $399, while the Xbox Series S is only $299. Luckily, a recent PS5 price hike didn’t affect the US, but that’s still a $100 difference, which can often be the deciding factor for many gamers.
If price is your most important consideration, then the Series S is clearly the best option. However, it’s worth noting that Sony managed to knock $100 off the regular PS5 price by removing the 4K Blu-Ray drive. Nothing else is different, so you’re getting the same performance level as Sony’s flagship console.
The same can’t be said for the Series S, which is Microsoft’s attempt at cornering the budget gaming market. It’s the cheapest home console for this generation, and the main reason behind the affordable price point is a few compromises in the hardware department, resulting in a lower native resolution and frame rate.
The Series S can deliver up to 120 fps at a resolution of 1440p (with 4K upscaling). A 512GB SSD serves as storage, and the 3.6GHz processor has 10GB of DDR6 RAM as headroom. It’s not the most powerful console by any margin, but it ticks nearly all of the boxes of modern gaming, such as ray-tracing, smooth frame rates, and faster load times.
The PS5 DE also pushes out 120 fps, but you’re getting that high frame rate at up to 8K resolution. That’s an undeniable leap in visual quality compared to the Series S. With 16GB of RAM and a GPU that’s nearly twice as powerful, it’s easy to see why you’re paying a higher price for Sony’s offering.
There’s more storage on offer as well, thanks to an 825GB SSD. A 512GB drive seems a bit small in comparison, but you can always add an extension card to the Series S further down the line. If you’re after a console you can fit practically anywhere, the budget-friendly Series S is a lot smaller than the PS5. In fact, it’s the smallest console Microsoft has ever produced.
If high performance matters most, and you prefer Xbox over Playstation, you’re better off with Microsoft’s Series X, which is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with any version of the PS5. The PS5 DE is for gamers who want the latest tech with the highest performance, provided you don’t mind the lack of support for physical copies.
Both consoles are disc-less systems, only supporting digital media purchased from their respective online storefronts. This removes the need for physical games but comes with its own caveats, the most significant being a higher retail price per game.
Digital games come with a premium price tag, and discounts are few and far between. You can’t trade or resell digital copies, and you’re paying for a license to play rather than ownership. On the bright side, you can always sign up for a subscription-based game pass instead of purchasing individual games.
Game passes help to offset the high cost of AAA titles. You pay a monthly fee that grants you access to dozens of different games, with the selection of games changing from month to month. It’s a great investment if you’re a frequent gamer, no matter which brand you prefer.
Exclusivity is the final factor to consider. Some games are only available on certain consoles, despite the growth of cross-platform compatibility. Playstation exclusives, such as God of War and The Last of Us, for example, can’t be played on the Series S, and the same logic applies to Microsoft exclusives.
Ultimately, one console isn’t better than the other. Each has its own strengths; the PS5 DE with its powerful hardware and the Series S with its budget-friendly strategy. Both consoles are cheaper than their flagship counterparts, giving gamers a wider range of console options and ensuring the market continues to remain as competitive as possible.