Xbox Series X/S vs. PlayStation 5: Our launch-month verdict

Enlarge / L-R: Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

Though this year’s newest consoles have only been on store shelves for less than two weeks, we’ve already published tens of thousands of words about the Xbox Series X/S and the PlayStation 5. Between months of tech previewspicture-filled unboxings, comprehensive reviews, coverage of some of the biggest launch games, and more, you could spend all day doing nothing but reading our detailed thoughts about Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles.

If you don’t have the time for all that, we understand. That’s why we’ve put together this handy, head-to-head summary comparing the most important features of both systems directly. By the end, we hope you’ll know if it’s time for you to upgrade your console, and which path you should take if it is.

Hardware design

Both the PS5 ($499 with disc drive, $399 without) and the Xbox Series X ($499) are really big. The Series X astounds as a chunky, minimalist cuboid, with a minimum 6″ clearance on any of its sides—making it a nightmare for an average entertainment center’s shelves. The PS5 gets its minimum clearance down to 4.25″, but that comes at the cost of being 50 percent bigger than Series X in total volume. Once you find a place to put either, the other differences boil down to your aesthetic preferences: black monolith with mild green accents, or a curvy popped-collar tower?

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