Why is the Sony console outperforming the Xbox Series X?

The Xbox Series X is on paper the “most powerful console on the market”. However, the first comparative tests affirm the opposite. Why is the PS5 performing better than the Xbox Series X so far? We take stock.

xbox vs ps5
Credit: Phonandroid

If you’ve been following the news of next-gen consoles for the past few months, you know that Microsoft has primarily focused communications on the Xbox Series X around its performance. Consecrated ” most powerful console in the world“The Xbox Series X has been destined since its announcement in June 2020 to overtake its competitor, the PS5.

And it is true that on paper, the Xbox Series X has everything to supplant its rival: 12 GPU power TFLOPS vs. 10.28 TFLOPS on PS5, higher memory bandwidth (320 mb versus 256 mb), more compute units (52 CUs versus 36). In summary, the Xbox Series X displays 17% gross power more than the latest machine from Sony.

xbox series x
Credit: Microsoft

As of November 10 and 12, 2020, the respective release dates of the Xbox Series X and the PS5, the specialized media can now verify whether Microsoft’s promises are indeed reality. Well, imagine that for now, the PS5 is more efficient than the monolith of the Redmond firm.

You are probably familiar with the Digital Foundry site, whose reputation is well established. These specialists are used to analyzing in detail the rendering of a game on different platforms. Number of images per second, level of graphic detail, resolution, everything goes. Journalists at Digital Foundry have run dozens of tests over the last few weeks on games optimized for the next-gen, such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition or Dirt 5.

The PS5 offers better performance than the Xbox Series X

It emerges from this battery of tests that the PS5 is doing much better than the Xbox Series X, especially in Performance mode, which as a reminder favors fluidity and the number of images per second. Sure Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, it is possible to opt for ” High FrameRate Mode » which allows you to enjoy the title in 120 FPS.

Thus, Digital Foundry recorded a gap of 40 FPS between the two consoles, at certain points in the game. ” This discrepancy seems rather odd to me, it suggests that there is some kind of API limitation, like the Xbox GPU is being held up by something “, says Richard Leadbetter of Digital Foundry.

We then actually note small advantages for the PS5 framerate side on cross-gen titles : 52 FPS against 60 FPS on AC Valhalla, 115 FPS against 101 on Black Ops: Cold War, 57 FPS against 60 on Dirt 5. Also, it’s pretty funny how Assassin’s Creed Valhalla performs better on PS5.

Indeed, Ubisoft and Microsoft have signed a commercial agreement. For each advertising spot on TV, the latest installment of the saga is playing alongside the Xbox Series X. In fact, gamers could logically deduce that the Microsoft console offered the best conditions for living the adventures of Eivor. This is ultimately not the case. On PS5, 60 FPS are more easily maintained, while image tearing is less common on the Sony console. In summary, the game is smoother on PS5.

To read also: PS5 -Sony promises to activate Variable Refresh Rate via update

The finding is similar on Dirt 5, with finer textures and slightly higher resolution on PS5, especially in Performance mode. In this regard, the developers at Codemasters have indicated thata patch will soon be deployed on Xbox Series X to correct the situation and provide an identical experience on both platforms.

However, it should be noted that on all the titles mentioned above, Xbox Series X fares better than PS5 in graphics quality mode, that is, in native 4K with Ray-Tracing enabled. In most cases, the Microsoft machine holds 60 frames / second, against 40 FPS on average for the Sony console. To sum up, these reviews do show that the PS5 offers better performance than the Xbox Series X in several situations.

Also read: Xbox Series X / S and Ray Tracing – check out the list of compatible games

Blame it on the late sending of development kits

But how to explain this superiority of the PS5, when the Xbox Series X is technically speaking more powerful? According to our colleagues at The Verge, we would have to look for development kits. According to several developers who preferred to remain anonymous, Microsoft was late in sending the Xbox Series X / S development kits. Result, Xbox Series X certifications for the first games could not be issued until June 2020, just six months before the official launch of the two consoles.

In fact, the developers had to get used to this new hardware and these new tools very quickly. And you will understand that these six months are not enough to grasp all the challenges of developing a game on a new machine. Conversely, Sony development kits were sent to developers over a year before launch. Remember, for example, those stolen photos from the PS5 development kit, released in December 2019.

In other words, the developers had a lot more time to familiarize themselves with the Sony machine. So that could explain why games are better optimized on PS5.

ps5 dev kit
Credit: The Drunk Cat (Twitter)

Following the various tests produced by Digital Foundry, Microsoft wanted to speak to reassure players : ” We are aware of the performance issues for a handful of titles optimized for Xbox Series X / S and are actively working with our partners to identify and resolve issues to ensure the best experience, ” assures the builder.

He pursues : ” As we begin a new generation of consoles, our partners are only scratching the surface of what next-gen consoles can do and minor bug fixes are expected as they learn how to take full advantage of our new platform. We look forward to continuing to work with developers to further leverage the capabilities of Xbox Series X / S in the future.

You will understand, the Xbox Series X may not be “the most powerful console on the market”, but it has all the potential to become so. The release of the first console exclusives will be decisive. We hope that these titles, like Halo Infinite or Forza Motorsport, will finally show what the Xbox Series X has in the belly.

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