The last two days have been really exciting for those who enjoy playing on console, whether you’re a Sony or a Microsoft fan: Mark Cerny (lead system architect for the PlayStation 4) revealed some info about the next-gen console from Sony, and Microsoft revealed its Xbox One S All-Digital during its Inside Xbox. Let’s talk about the two new beasts!
Dude, where’s my disc? – Xbox One S All-Digital Edition
We will begin with the current generation and the new “kinda mid-gen” Xbox and what Microsoft revealed.
At first sight, it seems a bit weird: no crack to put a disc into this white box. Well, that’s the only difference between it and the classic Xbox One S: no disc drive. The rest of the parts are the same. Same power, same system.
This console has been designed to offer choice to players. Nowadays, more and more people download their games and don’t bother with physical copies anymore. Microsoft also stated that two-thirds of the Top 10 games they sold were purchased and downloaded. So Microsoft is clearly jumping on the trend by offering gamers an all-digital way to play games, at a lower price.
And the price is lower, yes, but there’s something else to take into account. Microsoft has set the price for the All-Digital at $249, so $50 under the suggested price of the classic console with a disc drive. But, when you look at prices online, on Amazon, for example, there is almost always a discount on the classic console (currently at $207). Maybe not that interesting, right? Well, when the classic can be sold at $207 without any game, the All-Digital comes with three games: Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3. Then it starts to be interesting. It’s yours to decide if those games worth the price. But, again, let’s say you want to watch a movie on Blu-Ray, well, you’ll need another device for that. Less interesting in that case…
Pre-orders are now opened, the console launches on May 7. Along with this, Microsoft also announced a new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for $15.
Show me your muscles! – PlayStation next generation
Well, the least we can say, it’s there is a lot of news concerning the upcoming PS5 (name not confirmed). Let’s jump right into it!
During an interview with Wired, Mark Cerny shared some info, first about the backward compatibility. Indeed, the console will be partially based on the architecture of the PS4, and you will be able to enjoy your PS4 games on it. Also, the console will be equipped with a disc drive (collectors relief :P).
The console will have an AMD CPU chip (Ryzen Gen 3) with 8 cores (7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture). The GPU will also be an AMD chip, a custom version of the Navi family, that will support ray tracing, so we can expect truly amazing visuals! Especially as the console will support 8K! And the chip will include a new unit for 3D audio, that will redefine sounds in video games. That’s really promising, particularly when we think about VR.
And VR will certainly be a huge strength of the console. When we look at the recent patents of Sony, we can understand that they work pretty hard to make VR more powerful, more immersive, and also more comfortable. A new PSVR? Maybe, but at least, the current PSVR will work on it.
One of the most impressive and promising revelations is the SSD that the console will include. Cerny made a little demo. He launched Spider-man on a PS4 Pro and on a PS5 devkit and showed a load sequence. The result? 15s of loading time on the PS4 Pro, 0.8 on the PS5!! 19 times faster! But how the magic works? Well, Sony worked hard on the way the console will handle the SSD. It is different from a classical SSD, as Cerny said that putting an SSD in a PS4 Pro might only make the loading time one-third faster, and the SSD would cost the price of the console. So, no details here, but the magic is working, because the system will work differently. With that speed, we can expect smooth, beautiful, and crisp visuals for open worlds, with no loading time, hyper-detailed textures for ultra-immersive experiences.
Finally, Cerny said the transition between the current and the next generation will be smooth so we can expect huge titles to be released on both PS4 and PS5 (Death Stranding ?). And about the launch price, he said that it will please players for the techs and power the console will include. Nothing more. As we can clearly expect Sony will not make the same mistake than with the PS3 and its $599, we can maybe hope for $499, and due to the backward compatibility, reselling our old PS4 will psychologically help to spend the extra money (compared with the $399.99 launch price of the PS4).
Well, the video game world is never resting, and new info tirelessly drops every day. And we see that it’s evolving really fast, with dematerialized content taking more and more space, with power limits being always and always stretched. Players seem to finally be placed at the center of designs and choices, for our pleasure, and we are thrilled to see how everything will evolve in the coming years!
What about you? Are you excited about all of this? Let us know in the comment section below!