Xbox Series X is making all the right moves — and PS5 isn't

Xbox Series X Halo Infinite
(Image credit: Xbox)

As someone who plays most of their games on PC these days, I’m not necessarily chomping at the bit to buy a PS5 or an Xbox Series X at launch this fall. But despite my love for Sony franchises like Spider-Man and God of War, I’m way more excited about the next Xbox — and it all comes down to Microsoft making exactly the right moves before a new console generation. 

For starters, Microsoft’s messaging around the Xbox Series X has been consistent and clear, and has successfully drummed up excitement for the company’s new console. Since unveiling the system itself back in December, Microsoft has given us a full specs breakdown, tech demos that give us reason to get excited about SSD loading and ray tracing, and live gameplay (even if its May 7 reveal event was a bit underwhelming).

That’s on top of news about new features such as Smart Delivery, which allows you to buy an Xbox One game and automatically get its upgraded Xbox Series X version for free. 

Just this week, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox Series X will support thousands of backwards-compatible games at launch, some of which will enjoy huge performance boosts such as 4K resolution and 120 fps frame rates. Thanks to that steady drip of communication about some truly great, gamer-friendly features, I feel like I already know a lot about the Xbox Series X, and why I’d want to buy one.

Sadly, the same can’t be said about the PS5. Sony has yet to even reveal the design of the console it’s set to launch in a few months. So far, we've seen only the logo, the promising DualSense controller and the specs, which we learned about during an exhaustingly long deep dive. While the PS5’s fast-loading SSD and innovative 3D audio technology will almost certainly perform well, we’ve yet to get a good glimpse of how that will translate to great gaming experiences. Even fans on the popular PS5 subreddit are considering switching sides due to the lack of communication.

Of course, that could all change on June 3, when Sony is expected to finally have a big reveal event for it’s upcoming next-gen system. And if the company unveils the console’s design while showcasing a new Spider-Man or Horizon: Zero Dawn game, I may feel very differently about the PS5 in just a few days. But by being consistently transparent about what to expect from the Xbox Series X for nearly half a year, Microsoft has given itself a massive head start in terms of winning over gamers everywhere.

I don’t necessarily need an Xbox Series X. I’ll be able to run Halo: Infinite just fine on my powerful gaming PC, and I’ll be able to play plenty of upcoming Xbox Game Pass titles on my trusty old Xbox One S. But the fact that I want to pick up Microsoft's next console anyway speaks volumes about Microsoft’s superb messaging — and puts serious pressure on Sony to catch up.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.