Sony finally confirmed the price of PS5 yesterday, and in the end there were no surprises. As we saw at the time in this El Corte Inglés leak, the version with an optical drive will be priced at 499.99 euros, and the version without optical drive will be 100 euros cheaper, that is, it will cost 399.99 euros.
We have, therefore, a tie in the price of PS5 and Xbox Series X, which means that the user will not have to base their decision criteria on this element, and can focus in other so important keys how:
The power of each console. The games available. The ecosystem of services. Backward compatibility.
The PS5 price equals Xbox Series X, but which one is more powerful?
It’s a good question, and the truth is that we already gave it an answer when we analyzed which graphics card the GPU of both consoles is equivalent to, approximately. Xbox Series X is more powerful than PS5, both at the CPU and GPU level, although it is true that PS5 has a much faster SSD.
There is no doubt that SSD will make a major differenceIn fact, it is one of the components that will overcome one of the biggest bottlenecks of the current generation, the slow access times and the low speeds of the 5,400 RPM HDDs that mount PS4 and Xbox One.
However, the performance of a game is highly dependent on the CPU and GPU. In this sense, both PS5 and Xbox Series X will have a Zen 2 processor equipped with cores and 16 threads, based on a monolithic design identical to that of the Ryzen 4000 APUs. It is important to contextualize all this well, and understand well what it means. The processor of both consoles will have 8MB L3 cache, a very low amount (a Ryzen 7 3700X adds 32MB of L3), and it will also operate at frequencies of 3.6 GHz on Xbox Series X and 3.5 GHz (dynamic) on PS5, somewhat low values by current standards.
The conclusion that we must draw is very simple, the performance of the CPU of Xbox Series X and PS5 not going to be at the level of a Ryzen 7 3700X processorAlthough it will obviously mark a huge leap from AMD’s famished Jaguar that rides the current generation of consoles.
As for the graphics core, we have two Radeon RDNA 2 GPUs, although the version that uses PS5 lacks some important functions, according to an engineer from Sony itself. This console adds 2,304 shaders, 144 texturing units, 64 raster units and reaches maximum frequencies of 2.23 GHz. In contrast, the Xbox Series X GPU uses the RDNA 2 architecture with all its advanced features, and has 3,328 shaders, 208 texturing units, 80 raster units and it has a fixed frequency of 1,825 MHz.
Given the hardware dedicated to speed up ray tracing depends on texturing units we see that one of the things that I already told you at the time is fulfilled, and that is Xbox Series X will have greater power working with this technology, since it adds more computing units and has, therefore, more texturing units.
In short, the price of PS5 is the same as Xbox Series X, but the second is more powerful. Here is a complete breakdown with the specifications of each one of them so that you are totally clear about what they offer.
Eight-core 16-thread Zen 2 processor at 3.5 GHz (variable frequency). Radeon RDNA 2 GPU (without some advanced features) with 2,304 shaders, 144 texturing units and 64 raster units at 2.23 GHz (dynamic frequency). Up to 10.28 TFLOPs of power, as long as the 2.23 GHz frequency is maintained. 16 GB of unified GDDR6 memory with 448 GB / s bandwidth (256-bit bus). Tempest sound chip. High-performance SSD drive at 5.5 GB / s (uncompressed) and with a capacity of 825 GB. Optional 4K Blu-Ray reader. Support for high-performance NVMe SSD expansion units in card format. PS5 price: 499.99 euros with optical drive, 399.99 euros without optical drive.
Xbox Series X Specifications
3.8 GHz eight-core 16-thread Zen 2 processor (3.6 GHz with 16 active threads). Radeon RDNA 2 GPU with 3,328 shaders, 208 texturing units, 80 raster units and a frequency of 1,825 MHz. 12.1 TFLOPs of sustained power. 16GB of unified GDDR6 memory with 10GB at 560GB / s and 6GB at 336GB / s (320-bit bus). 3D sound chip. High-performance 2.4 GB / s (uncompressed) SSD with a capacity of 1 TB. 4K Blu-Ray reader. Support for high-performance NVMe SSD expansion units in card format. Xbox Series X price: 499.99 euros.
Xbox Series X wins on hardware, but what about games, services, and backward compatibility?
The price of PS5 it is very risky. I understand that this comment will not please Sony fans who are clear that they are going to buy a PS5 no matter what, but before someone comes to brand me as something that I am not, let me remember that I have had a PS4 for quite some time, and that I have really enjoyed it, although I play mainly on PC.
That said, let me explain. The price of PS5 seems somewhat risky to me because Sony is going to launch a console much less powerful than Xbox Series X, but it plans to charge the same for it. It’s the same mistake Microsoft made with Xbox One at the time, although with the particularity that with that one at least you took a Kinect. Yes, you can now use it as a paperweight, but it was promising at the time.
Sony has launched into the new generation with a risky bet, since the value of its console is not only weighed down by lower power at the hardware level, but also Features backward compatibility that is well below Xbox Series X. As those of you who read us regularly know, PS5 will only be compatible, at its launch, with some PS4 games, and its backward compatibility will gradually expand. By contrast, Xbox Series X will be backward compatible with all games of Xbox One, with almost all of Xbox 360 and with some of Xbox. So that we understand each other, it would be as if PS5 were backwards compatible with PS4, PS3 and PS2. Yes, it represents enormous value.
We are left with services and games. In the first case I still think Microsoft has played its cards better with Game Pass, but in the second I lean in favor of PS5. The exclusive games that Sony has presented for its new console are, in general, more interesting and more attractive than those presented by the Redmond giant. With this I do not mean that Xbox Series X is not going to have interesting exclusives, but it is clear that Sony has known how to play that card better, at least for now.
If you’ve come this far and wondering which console you should buy, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s not my job to decide for you. Think about what matters most to you, what games are your favorites and what current and future franchises you want to play yes or yes, and decide accordingly (and for yourself).
Before finishing I take the opportunity to share with you a summary with the most interesting games which Sony has shown at the event yesterday. Keep in mind that not all of them will be exclusive to that console, in fact some of the most important, such as Resident Evil Village, will also arrive on Xbox Series X. As we said, the price of PS5 will be 499.99 euros (399.99 euros without optical drive), and will be available for purchase from 19 November.