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Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming: an in-depth look

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There is no doubt that Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming are closely related. The last two generations of consoles have marked an important turning point that, after innovating for years, has reached its peak with PS4 and Xbox One.

There are many examples, but I think The Witcher 3 is one of the best. When CD Projekt RED announced this title and showed the first videos with real game scenes it left us speechless. That was in 2013, before the definitive hardware of the current generation consoles, PS4 and Xbox One was known. In 2014, a year after the launch of these consoles, we were able to confirm that there had been a very marked downgrade in said game, and CD Projekt RED itself acknowledged that it was due to the lower power of PS4 and Xbox One.  Ubisoft is another company infamous for its downgrades in games.

Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming: an in-depth look
Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming: an in-depth look

Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming will be so close that they will practically form “a trinity.” Again, developers will have to start with next-gen consoles as the lowest common denominator, but what will this mean for the PC gamer? Well, basically the same thing that has happened with the current generation, although this time the situation could change thanks to two main keys:

  • The new generation consoles do not bring any innovation that is not available on PC, and for years. PS4, for example, came to the market with a GPU that had advanced features that were not available on graphics cards at the time (GTX 700 and RX 200 series).
  • Microsoft has strengthened its support for the world of PC gaming, thanks to DirectX 12 Ultimate and a deeper bond between that platform and Xbox Series X. Developers will have the same tools to optimize games on Xbox Series X and PC.

Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming: what can we expect?

There is going to be a generational leap, and with this we will see how the requirements of the games are increasing significantly . There will not be a huge and immediate increase, in fact during the generational transition, which will last between one or two years, most games will not see their requirements increased because they will continue to be developed on the basis of Xbox One and PS4.

This means that if you have a Core i7 4770 or aRyzen 5 1500X processor, a GTX 1060 or a GTX 970 or a Radeon R9 290 or a Radeon RX 470 and you if you have at least 8GB RAM, you will be able to continue playing on acceptable conditions during this intergenerational transition (let’s say: 1080p, medium-high qualities and good fluency).

With Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming we will therefore have a disparate scenario that we can separate into two phases, the first will be that transition stage, and the second will be the consolidation of the new generation. When we reach that second stage, it will be necessary to consider an update for our PC. Having a processor with six cores and twelve threads will be essential, and we must also have at least 16GB RAM in order to play games without lagging or stuttering. And by this I mean that, if we face a hardware upgrade in this phase, we will have to look for a graphics card with ray tracing feature.

The abandonment of the current generation consoles will allow to develop more complex games, with new approaches and with a higher technical level. However, we must keep in mind that the new generation consoles will become the new lowest common denominator, and therefore they will continue to mark the way forward.

In short, we will see a clear technical leap. Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming will remain deeply united, and this new generation will favor the standardization and use of new technologies that have been available on PC since 2018. They will allow us to take a step forward, but at the same time they will end up holding back innovation and they will repeat that “anchor effect” that we have seen with PS4 and Xbox One.

I am convinced that when PS5 and Xbox Series X begin to show symptoms of exhaustion, which should happen in three or four years, both Sony and Microsoft will bet on launching an intergenerational review of both consoles, a PS5 Pro and improved and more powerful version of Xbox X Series.

Play on PC or play on console?

Playing on PC has its advantages and disadvantages , and the same goes for consoles. There is no perfect platform, and this reality will not change with the arrival of the next generation consoles. The one who buys a console usually prefers to play without complications, wants to forget about the hardware and forget about the requirements of the games for years.

However, that does not mean that you will always have a perfect experience. Control, for example, it came to PS4 so poorly optimized that it had rates between 10 and 20 FPS. It was a slide show in many scenes, and the same happened to Xbox One. A console guarantees that you can play the game, but does not guarantee that it will work in great conditions, a reality that will be repeated with PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming: an in-depth look
Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gaming: an in-depth look

Exclusives are usually developed taking full advantage of the potential of the console they will reach. If you want to run an exclusive console game on pc it is necessary to carry out an optimization process that represents an additional workload, since in the world of PC gaming there are many different configurations, but not all developers do their homework.

We could show many examples, but we are going to focus on two, Gears 5 and Horizon Zero Dawn, available for Xbox One and PC, and for PS4 and PC, respectively. The first is much worse optimized than Gears of War 4, it is more demanding at the hardware level and yet it does not offer any graphic improvement to justify it. For its part, the second is one of the worst-optimized games that have reached PC, since it hardly improves the graphic aspect compared to the PS4 version and gives performance problems in configurations that are much more powerful than PS4.

At the end of the day all platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. You should consider pros. and cons. before buying any of these products. It’s a matter of joy.

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