Clash of the Consoles: The New Play Station 5 and the XBOX Series X

Two unique gaming consoles were released recently, and many students people hold strong opinions about which console they prefer.


Louis-Philippe Poitras / Unsplash

The newly released XBOX features a slick white design.

Despite the sheer number of new products released left, right, and center by companies in an effort to maximize their profits this holiday season, none of them have drawn as much attention or dominated wish-lists as the new Play Station 5 and the XBOX Series X. The two companies recently released consoles — the XBOX series X and PS5. These consoles only drew further scrutiny when they were released at the same time and retailed for a very similar price. Anyone who is in the market for a new console has a lot of research to do.

As the top two mainstream console companies, the lead up to the release of both Microsoft’s XBOX and Sony’s PlayStation, caused old debates to flare over the relative quality of previous consoles, specifically, the XBOX One or the PlayStation 4. Now, post-release, the discourse begins again.  

At face value, the two consoles are fairly similar. Both cost a standard price of $500, which is controversial in the eyes of many. Neither consoles has never been this expensive in the past, with the previously released XBOX series S retailing for just under $200 and the Play Station 4 going for a similar price point. The XBOX series X allows for games to be played at 4K resolution at 60 FPS, while the PS5 allows for a slightly lower 1440p. Another notable difference is evidenced by the games that each console supports, as the launch of the new Spider-Man game with the PS5 has attracted many prospective buyers.

A bigger, more notable difference between the two controllers is the difference in outward appearance. As suggested by its name, the XBOX is a solid, box-shaped, black device in the shape of a rectangle, very simplistic and neutral. In contrast, the PS5 is flatter and thinner, with a sleek black inside but a curved, white plastic exterior. 

To some, even the slightest difference in design can be the deciding factor when considering which console to buy. “The white plastic design of the PS5 looks trashy. The XBOX looks much nicer,” said Isklander Khan ’22. While Khan favors XBOX, he is staying away from buying a new console altogether. “I think both of them are overpriced,” said Khan. For $500, he is unsure if the XBOX series S is a worthwhile purchase. 

In contrast, other students have purchased one of the  consoles already and have strong feelings. Gabriel Pryzyblo ’22, is very happy with his new XBOX series S and believes it is a big upgrade over previous models. “I’ve really enjoyed playing on the new XBOX. The games compatible with the console are really fun, especially Madden 21. I think the price is fair considering how much better it is than the XBOX one.”

Some students simply have no preference. Issay Niki ’22 does not own the XBOX series X or the PS5 but believes they are equally good. Niki owns an older model of the XBOX, the XBOX One, and is currently very satisfied with it. “From what I can tell about the two consoles they are both about the same. I don’t see why one is better than the other,” said Niki. 

Both new consoles are in high demand, which can be attributed to the holiday shopping craze as well as the definite cabin fever that many have felt after the COVID-19 pandemic took the better part of 2020 away from us. Many are fully willing to pay the high price but have found it difficult just to find a PS5 available for purchase due to the limited stock currently on offer. The clamor over these consoles will likely die down once we get further into 2021, and they will become much more readily available. Some, such as Khan, are hoping that this will also come with a drop in price.

“I’ll probably check back in February or March 2021 to see if the price has dropped,” said Khan. For now, it is clear that opinions are still divided. Only time will tell which console reigns superior.

“From what I can tell about the two consoles they are both about the same. I don’t see why one is better than the other,” said Issay Niki ’22.