Next Generation of Consoles - 11 things you should know
This month marks a very important one in the world of consolegaming. We will get a brand new Xbox console and a brand new PlayStation. The technical details of both consoles have been public for a while, but what are the things you really must know about these new gaming beasts?
Ray tracing. It sounds like some new buzzword like ‘the cloud’, but secretly it is just a really cool thing that will probably make you fall in love with games even quicker. Ray tracing is a way of rendering light in a game. The console calculates how the light and the shadows will fall considering where the sun or a different light source would be located, and then makes the soft light fall perfectly on any objects you can see on screen. Breathtakingly beautiful and awe inspiring graphics…may be time to get a new screen.
Both consoles have amazing processors with 8 cores. Where PlayStation 5 runs at 3.5GHz, Xbox Series X runs at 3.8GHz. The computing cores within both consoles are excellent and offer very high processing speeds. That is exactly what you need whenever you start a game. If the console can process large amounts of information swiftly, it means you do not have to look at the loading screen for too long. We all know what that means: you get to start playing a lot sooner.
This has been a hot topic, especially when it comes to PlayStation 5, there has been a lot of talk about backwards compatibility, meaning: can you play ‘old’ PlayStation 4 games on your new console or would you have to buy them again? Thankfully you can play PlayStation 4 games on your new console. Microsoft takes things a bit further, as Xbox Series X and S allow you to play both games from the most recent console (Xbox One) as well as Xbox 360 and Xbox games. Good news for people that like to have a nostalgic evening of retro gaming.
There is a reason for both gaming companies offering consoles without disc drives. Both are very aware of the future of gaming, which might lie in the world of game streaming. No longer owning games, but simply having some sort of subscription to stream them directly to your console. As our internet connections get faster and more stable, this is a great way of experiencing games as you do not need to download them and you can start playing immediately.
Maybe you are not too comfortable with streaming games. You might want to own a game, to have the download right there on your console. On the standard Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, thats easy, as they offer a massive amount of storage. The internal storage of Xbox Series X is bigger with a 1TB custom NVME SSD, versus a custom 825GB SSD within PlayStation 5. Both consoles offer the option to expand the storage thanks to the NVMe SSD Slot (Sony) and a 1TB expansion card (Microsoft). Even though game files get bigger as graphics and open worlds expand too, you will definitely have room to download a lot more games than you are used to.
The big differences between the two consoles are in the design and the games. Sony will, as always, be very focused on exclusives, while Microsoft really wants to make Xbox Game Pass an even greater success. Especially at the beginning it seems Sony offers more exclusive launch games for PlayStation 5, but we are sure that Microsoft will catch up. Especially now that they have bought Bethesda.
The ‘normal’ Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 might not be too cheap, as they are still around the £500 mark, but both game companies have made a more slimmed down version of their new game consoles. Xbox Series S is only $299, versus the discless PlayStation 5 for $399. It’s a lot of money but we have been enjoying the last generation of consoles for 7 years and so will enjoy these for many more years to come.
Even though there are minor changes, the new controllers that come with both consoles are exciting. We have held those controllers for so long, it is nice to have a new feel. Especially the Dualshock 5 controllers for PlayStation 5 are excited, as they offer new options for the haptic feedback in the triggers and other parts of the controller. That will be a more lifelike gaming experience.
There is nothing better than creative might with headspace. The new consoles excite developers and offer new technology to integrate in games. That means the whole view of some developers will be shifted into new, uncharted territory. The past few years have been filled with remasters and sequels and we expect the new generation of consoles to be a breath of fresh air for both developers and gamers.
These are difficult times for many companies and it has been hard to develop and launch these new consoles in a year filled with lockdowns and lay offs. It is very important for Microsoft and Sony to make these consoles count. They have the power to entertain people and to develop new gaming talent in the process. Sony and Microsoft need these consoles to be successful and they will do their best to make them as fun and entertaining as possible. We can’t wait!
Let’s face it, 2020 has not been the most exciting year. Staying at home does not make for the best conversations. The days look and feel alike and there have not been too many great game releases in the past few months. However! The new consoles are a great new topic to talk about and get excited about. Especially the many new games that will follow. Staying home just got a whole lot better. At 1st11 we are thrilled that these consoles are here. They will offer many fun new ways of competing in our challenges!