How Do the Series X and PS5 Launches Compare?

The PlayStation 5 launch price has finally been revealed, and this could mean bad news for the Series X, at least initially. After leaks over the last week claiming the PS5 would match the Xbox price point, Sony have confirmed the rumors. Aggressively priced at $499, Sony are looking to recapture some momentum they lost nearing the end of the eighth generation. Let’s take a look at how the Series X and PS5 launches compare.

The PS5 price has raised eyebrows, with many industry commentators believing that Sony would come in above this. Early predictions placed the PS5 in the $549 to $599 range. As such, the PS5’s price comes as a surprise, with Sony bullishly looking to capitalize on a perceived stronger launch line-up. Despite a disastrous pre-order system, excitement remains high for the console. However, there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Battle of the Exclusives

Looking directly at launch exclusives, it is difficult to argue against Sony arriving stronger into the ninth console-generation. The oft-requested and eagerly awaited Demon’s Souls Remake serves as a strong hook to more hardcore gamers. For more casual and younger gamers, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and LittleBig Planet sequel Sackboy: A Big Adventure present a strong lure. The Series X meanwhile doesn’t have a major exclusive at launch, with Halo Infinite falling into 2021 as yet another COVID-19 casualty.

That’s not to say the Series X has no games at launch however. The excellent pairing of Gears 5 and Gears Tactics, as well as heavily hyped Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are available at day-one. Accompanying them are the more niche pairing of horror/shooter Scorn, and co-op RPG The Ascent. Not to mention Smart Delivery means select games already purchased on Xbox One are available free on the Series X.

Backwards Compatability is Cool Again

A key win for the Series X over the PS5 is backwards compatibility. Since the PS2, Sony have had a difficult relationship with backwards compatibility. This has left an opportunity for Xbox, and they have seized it with both hands. All games currently backwards compatible with the Xbox One will be fully compatible with the Series X. With this being a key point of contention with gamers against Sony, it’s hard to see this as anything but a win for Xbox.

Compounding this is the Xbox Game Pass. Seen as extremely generous versus Sony’s more frugal PS Plus, there will be no shortage of games at launch. Even if we will need to wait just a touch longer for the next Halo installment.

Digital Darlings

While the core console offerings will both launch at $499, the Xbox holds a strong edge in the digital-only battleground. With both consoles launching a digital-only version, the Series S will retail at $249.99, a whole 50% cheaper than the Series X. The PS5 Digital Edition, however, launches at $359.99, $110 more expensive than the Series S. With consoles as expensive as ever, this is a big saving for the Xbox Series S. This could well be the deciding factor this Christmas, with many gamers feeling the financial pinch after a difficult year, thanks to COVID-19.

How do you think the Series X and PS5 launches compare? Are you planning on pre-ordering an Xbox Series X? If so make sure to check out our pre-ordering guide, and come let us know over in the forums or on our social media! For all the latest gaming news, stay tuned to Generation Xbox!

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