Hey Xbox, I Don’t Care If Your Series X Is 30% More Powerful Than the PS5

Posted in: Gaming NewsOp-ed
January 5, 2020 1:00 PM UTC

It looks like the Xbox Series X is going to be more powerful than the PlayStation 5 (PS5). Here's why you shouldn't care.

  • The Xbox Series X will likely be more powerful than the PS5.
  • Historically, more power has been no guarantee of success.
  • The “console war” between Sony and Microsoft is still very much undecided.

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.

Sorry Xbox, But Power Doesn’t Equal Success

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.

If power made for a successful console, then the Dreamcast would have enjoyed a much brighter fate. | Source: Pixabay

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.

Don’t Hand the Xbox Series X the Victory Over the PS5 Before the War Even Starts

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.

If the Xbox Series X slays the PS5, it will owe the victory to exclusives like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 – not raw processing power. | Source: Xbox/YouTube

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.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at: william.worrall@ccn.com

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