Xbox PS E3

PS5 and Xbox 2 Release Date, Specs and Launch Games

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The PS4 and Xbox One came out way back in 2013. Usually, a generation does not last for longer than 5 years (with the last generation being an anomaly). We’re already into the 6th year for these consoles and things are starting to heat up in terms of what’s coming next. We did have a mid-generation refresh with the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X that somewhat elongated the generation. However, it was more of a half step forward and did not really double the generation time as some people had anticipated.

Both the Xbox One and PS4 are getting older now. More and more games are now needing downgrades for consoles to run properly. Developers have already started to prepare for the newer consoles and have games ready for the next generation. People are anticipating some news for the next generation soon as well, with sales for both consoles falling to an all-time low. These are exciting times and information gets leaked as these massive corporations cannot keep such huge secrets for very long. Let’s look at what we know so far!

Release Date

In terms of release date, we have a fair estimate of when both of these consoles are coming out. Microsoft has officially stated that they are working on multiple next generation consoles codenamed Project Scarlett. These are going to be mainly targeted at 2 tiers of gamers; casual and hardcore. The casual version is going to be a less powerful console with a lower price tag with the other one having a bit more oomph. It has been pretty much confirmed now that the next Xbox is going to be revealed at E3 this year in June. The Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer teased the consoles last year and according to reports, Microsoft is gearing up for a massive show this year. The consoles will come out next year, in fall 2020 and will probably be called Xbox Infinite.

Xbox 2
The Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer teasing Xbox Scarlett consoles at E3 2018.

On the contrary, Sony has been a lot more secretive when it comes to revealing details about PlayStation 5. Currently, PlayStation 4 is still outselling the Xbox One. This is because of the screw-up by Microsoft at the start of the generation and after that, the gap just kept growing. This has led to Sony being in a commanding position in the industry and making decisions on things like cross-platform play with a lot more leverage. Consequently, Sony has also pulled away from E3 this year, which a lot of people are apprehensive about. However, they do have their own separate press conference planned for that timeframe where they could potentially reveal PlayStation 5. If Sony does not release PlayStation 5 in 2020, it could potentially risk losing the next generation fight as it did way back in 2005.

Specs

As far as specs are concerned, it is no secret that both of the next generation consoles will pack some serious power inside them. Sony and Microsoft are aiming at somewhere around 15 teraflops of processing power for next generation. This is notably higher than the Google Stadia’s touted 10.7 teraflops. As far as the Xbox is concerned, it is going to come in two variants. Allegedly, the more powerful one is codenamed Anaconda and the weaker and cheaper one is Lockhart. The specs for these consoles are as follows:

Xbox Lockhart specs:
CPU –  AMD Zen 2 Custom 8 Cores (16 zen threads 2)
GPU – Custom AMD NAVI GPU capable of 8+ Teraflops
RAM – 12GB of GDDR6 memory
Storage – SSD 1TB NVMe 1 + GB / s

Xbox Anaconda specs:
CPU – AMD Zen 2 Custom 8 Cores (16 zen threads 2)
GPU – Custom AMD NAVI GPU capable of 12+ Teraflops
RAM – 16GB of GDDR6 memory
Storage – SSD 1TB NVMe 1 + GB / s

As evident from the specs, the next-gen Xbox will be an absolute beast and will feature the latest AMD processors based on the Zen 2 architecture. The console will also have plenty of RAM and Graphical power to make them last for many years. Microsoft is also looking to release a less powerful all-digital Xbox that will be geared towards game streaming.

PS5
PlayStation 5 Dev Kit

As far as the PS5 is concerned, we’ve seen leaks of a potential PlayStation 5 controller and the developer kit. This is not a final version though, and the released product will probably end up looking slightly different.

PS5 controller
DualShock 5 Controller

On the specs side, however, things are looking pretty similar to what the Xbox has to offer. The potential specs for the PS5 are:

PlayStation 5 specs:
CPU – AMD Zen 2 Custom 8 Core CPU clocked at 3.2 Ghz (16 threads)
GPU – NAVI based custom AMD GPU capable of 12+ teraflops
RAM – 16GB of GDDR6 memory
Storage – 1 TB SSD

Interestingly however, we have had PCs with much more capable specs than these for years. How do these consoles still run the latest games at high resolutions? Well, it’s all about optimization. Games on consoles are built from the ground up for that particular console. The consoles also do not have to run a heavy operating system and a million processes in the background that frees up a lot of processing capabilities. We also know that these consoles are much closer to PCs now than they have been in the past as far as the architecture is concerned. This means that game portability and development is much easier between platforms.

Games

The most important part of any console is the games it has to offer. One of the biggest reasons of PlayStation dominating the last generation was that it just had way more exclusive games to offer as compared to Xbox One. However, this trend might be about to change soon. Microsoft has made some major strides in the past few years in terms of game development. They’ve been on a spending spree and have bought almost 10 famous game studios to develop exclusive games for the next generation Xbox.

Alongside that, Xbox Game Pass has been a massive hit with it offering hundreds of games. It also offers all Xbox exclusives to subscribers on launch day. There is no denying that Game Pass gives an extremely good value for money to subscribers. Other than that, Microsoft is also going to launch an ultimate subscription bundle with both Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold bundled together for $15/month (overall savings of $5/month). However, as far as confirmed games are concerned, we know that Halo Infinite and Gears 5 are going to be launch titles for the next Xbox. Over 6 other exclusive games are also deep into development by other Microsoft-owned studios.

On the contrary, Sony has been very quiet about their offerings for the next generation. The only confirmed next generation game from Sony we know of is The Last of Us 2. Other than that, we just know about third-party games that are coming to both Xbox and PlayStation like The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield from Bethesda. There have also been rumours of a new Assassins Creed game in development for the next generation, coming out in 2020.

The Race to the Clouds

The future is game streaming and you’d be delusional if you denied that. Most big companies are racing towards achieving that perfect balance of quality and latency. Microsoft has been developing their game streaming service, Project xCloud for over 6 years now. On the other hand, Sony has been gradually sneaking improvements into their streaming service, PlayStation Now. It still is way behind other competing streaming services like xCloud or Google Stadia though. The Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer has hinted at Microsoft going big with Project xCloud at E3 too. With both Microsoft and Google (with Google Stadia) making strides into the game streaming landscape, Sony has to step up its game to keep up with the competition.

The future looks bright for consoles going into the next generation. We are just on the horizon of a generation change and exciting times lie ahead. Both Sony and Microsoft have invested heavily into their offerings for the next generation. We cannot wait to see how this fight between the titans of the gaming industry eventually pans out.

 

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