by on Jan 3, 2020

Xbox Series X and PS5 will work together to invigorate the industry, says Phil Spencer

Xbox boss Phil Spencer thinks that there are opportunities for competition and collaboration between the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, due to their shared technical specifications (via Game Rant). 

The Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 are claiming to be the cream of the crop when it comes to next-generation gaming experiences. The Xbox Series X (previously known as “Project Scarlett”) looks like a big ol’ computer, and it is a big ol’ computer, kind of. Microsoft has said it will possess a custom-made processor from AMD with Zen 2 and Navi architecture, making it twice as zoomy as the Xbox One X. It will be backwards compatible with previous consoles’ hardware and software because it’s got “the best compatibility team in the world” grafting the humongous Xbox portfolio. On the other side of the fence, the PlayStation 5 will implement a new “gold standard” for gaming with immersive audio and adaptive triggers. This gizmo also boasts backwards compatibility, and a customised AMD Ryzen chipset which will allow incredible 8K resolutions and buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rates.

When we cut to the core of it, the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 are almost like for like based on what we know at the moment. That means the competition could get intense, but Xbox’s Phil Spencer tempered expectations in an interview with PC Games Hardware. Spencer spoke about the specifications of Microsoft’s next-generation enterprise, and how the solid state drive cuts out a lot of development hiccups for designers. “The ability to directly supply data to the CPU and GPU via the SSD will enable game worlds to be created that will not only be richer, but also more seamless. Not only in terms of pure loading times, but also in terrain mapping,” he elaborated. 

Comparatively, the PlayStation 5’s solid state drive has been mentioned time and time again to show off how powerful Sony’s product will be and what customers will look forward to. “I like that Mark Cerny and his team at Sony are also investing in an SSD for the PlayStation 5, the engines and tools can implement corresponding functions,” said Spencer. “Together we will ensure a larger installed base—and developers will do everything possible to master and support the programming of these hardware capabilities.” It’s true: the ability to install games in separate segments and the ability to play older but optimised games will offer a plethora of gaming experiences for everybody. The Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 are both said to deliver exactly that.

Spencer didn’t delve into detail though, because he doesn’t have a PlayStation 5 dev kit. “I don't even think our Minecraft team did,” he added. “But it will be exciting to see how the industry will benefit from the comprehensive use of such solutions.” Minecraft is a multiplatform game produced by Microsoft, and this comment seems to suggest that the game will come to the PlayStation 5 in the future. I’m not sure what a very literally “seamless” Minecraft would look like though. Maybe like smooth Yoda. 

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