A former Sony PlayStation developer has heaped praise on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, claiming that the console’s extra power may send Sony’s PS5 packing.
The developer in question is Chris Grannell, who’s worked for Horizon: Zero Dawn studio Guerrilla Games and worked on the WipEout games, so he knows a thing or two about game console power. And he suspects that the higher compute power the Xbox Series X can bring to bear over the PS5 will give Microsoft’s console a distinct advantage.
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“PS5 is not a bad console, it’s an absolute beast of a piece of hardware,” Grannell said on the RDX podcast. “But it’s just a piece of hardware which is slower on numerous kinds of paths than what Microsoft has put together.”
Given the Xbox Series X has 12 teraflops of compute power while the PS5 has 10.3 teraflops, it’s the more powerful console on paper. But the PS5 has faster solid-state storage, with its SSD running a 5.5 GB/s, while the Xbox Series X manages less than half of that with a throughput of 2.5GB/s. That means that the PS5 may load in games and game assets far faster than its Redmond rival.
As such, we’ve seen other game developers champion the PS5, and how it's easier to tap into the power of Sony's console.
Halo’s co-creator Marcus Lehto praised the PS5’s SSD, despite developing a game series that has long been an Xbox exclusive.
“It will open up the door for more expansive content that can stream a lot faster. Players won’t be waiting on load screens and we won’t have to hide loading behind cinematics and that kind of thing,” he told VGC. “It will just help make things a lot more seamless and fluid for the player when it comes to their experience on those consoles.”
However, Grannell believes that Sony may have been caught off guard by the Xbox Series X’s power, and that was due to the company “resting on their laurels” after the PS4 was the runaway success of this console generation.
“They’ve got this massive market share and lead, and they’ve done a kind of PS3 is what I’ve been hearing,” he said. “It’s not that bad in terms of hardware and complications, and things like that, but... they didn’t really kind of appreciate what Xbox were going to try and do in terms of this power narrative.”
With both consoles not out until the end of the year — we’ve still yet to see the final design of the PS5 beyond its DualSense controller — there’s likely to be a lot more speculation as to which one will come out top.