New leaks have suggested something interesting about the incoming console generation. According to data recently compiled by Digital Foundry, the next-gen Xbox Series X will be 1.3 times as powerful as the PlayStation 5. This would obviously destroy rumors that the PS5 would be “the world’s most powerful console.”
While still unconfirmed, this information paints an interesting picture of what we can expect from our future consoles. But it doesn’t indicate how successful any of the consoles are actually going to be. Not at all.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but power doesn’t equal a better gaming experience.
Video game consoles have a long history of succeeding – and failing – due to factors other than raw power. In almost every single previous console generation, the strongest console has not been the most powerful.
The PlayStation totally beat the pants off of the Nintendo 64, despite Nintendo’s machine being almost three times as powerful.
The original Xbox and GameCube were both more powerful than the PlayStation 2, but they both got left in the dust when comparing sales.
Even the tricked-out PlayStation 3 couldn’t rival the might of the Xbox 360, despite being more powerful in almost every single way.
The mountain of evidence is staggering. It suggests that a high-power machine is the least important factor in predicting a console’s success. Instead, things such as price and software library diversity have been the deciding factor in console sales.
So the battle between the Xbox Series X and the PS5 is very much undecided.
Once the consoles have been released and have a steady library of games backing them up, we’ll be able to get a more accurate picture of how the next generation will play out.
It could be that Sony’s strong first-party titles will hand them the win. But Microsoft has been acquiring studios left, right, and center. They’re almost certain to come out with some insanely strong exclusives for their next generation.
The truth is that it’s not at all easy to predict a “winner” of the next console generation right now. We may not even know the true victor until years after the Series X and PS5 launch.
While it seems easy to look at hardware specs and make assumptions, you should always bear in mind that raw processing power doesn’t make a console great. If it did, the Sega Dreamcast would have got the love it deserved.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC