Tag Archives: gaming

XBOX SERIES X

What is Xbox?

Xbox is a video gaming brand created and owned by Microsoft. It represents a series of video game consoles developed by Microsoft, with three consoles released in the sixth, seventh, and eighth generations, respectively. The brand also represents applications (games), streaming services, and an online service by the name of Xbox Live and the development arm by the name of Xbox Game Studios. The brand was first introduced in the United States in November 2001, with the launch of the original Xbox console.

History

The original device was the first video game console offered by an American company after the Atari Jaguar stopped sales in 1996. It reached over 24 million units sold as of May 2006. Microsoft’s second console, the Xbox 360, was released in 2005 and has sold 84 million units as of June 2014. The Xbox One has been released in 21 markets in total, with a Chinese release in September 2014.

Xbox series X

With Microsoft unveiling its next-gen Xbox Series X console, and Sony readying its own rival in the shape of the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition, 2020 is officially year of the 8K games console.

Microsoft teased its new console at the E3 games conference in June 2019 and it’s set to go on sale ‘Holiday 2020’. Originally codenamed ‘Project Scarlett’, it now goes by its official name: Xbox Series X, complete with a new Xbox Series X logo. 

Xbox Series X promises four times the power of the Xbox One X and is being billed by Microsoft as the “fastest, most powerful games console ever”. To match that dramatic leap in performance, the Series X gets a new ‘tall tower’ design and new wireless controller.

Specifications

The Xbox series X will have a more processing power and graphics power- more than six teraflops, at least. A statement on the Microsoft blog claimed that the series X will pack more times more power than the already formidable Xbox One X. Microsoft also claims that the series X will come with an 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor, an AMD RDNA 2 GPU capable of pushing 12 teraflops of power, 16 GB memory and an expandable 1TB SSD for storage. It will match the capability of PC rigs costing thousands of pounds.

Based on what the Xbox team members have said in an interview, the next-gen Xbox will be able to run 4 Xbox One X games simultaneously. Games running in 4K at 60fps will be normal, with some even running at 120fps and 8K resolutions, of course, in this case one game at a time.

Some sources also say that the series X will be more powerful than the PS 5, and moreover Phil Spencer has promised that the next Xbox is going to “set the benchmark” for console gaming.

Price

 At present we can only speculate, letting the price of current consoles guide us, or have faith in the latest Xbox Series X price rumour which suggests we could be looking at $200 for the digital edition and $400 for the flagship console.

Given the Xbox One X launched with a price tag of £450/$500 and currently costs around £350/$363, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the new flagship creep over the £500/$550 price point. After all, it’s promising to be the most powerful Xbox we’ve seen.

However, Microsoft will also have the new Sony PS5 in the back of its mind. It wouldn’t want to launch Xbox Series X only to be undercut by its main rival. The PS5 is rumoured to be as much as £500/$550, so it’ll be interesting to see which console comes in at the lower price. Ultimately, we’d bet their prices on being fairly similar – although the digital-only, disc-less PS5 and rumoured disc-less ‘Xbox Lockhart’ will naturally be cheaper than the full-specifications versions of the consoles.

Games

The games that are to release for the Xbox series X include – Cyberpunk 2077, Halo Infinite 2020, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Madden NFL 21, Watch Dogs: Legion, Starfield, Scorn, Dirt 5 202, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine, among many others.

Backward Compatibility

Microsoft has announced that it is working on backwards compatibility for the Xbox Series X. If this feature is introduced, it will let players play the best versions of games from across four generations of Xbox on Xbox Series X. The company is also looking towards adding HDR (high dynamic range) imaging. The games will run at higher resolutions and improved framerates on Xbox Series X. Frame rates of some titles will be doubled from 30fps to 60fps or from 60fps to 120fps.

The new console will be best suitable for playing old games as the backward-compatible titles run natively on the Xbox Series X hardware, processing with the full power of the CPU, GPU, and the SSD. So, it is expected that the games will load faster on Xbox Series X. The company claims, “With more than 100,000 hours of play-testing already completed, thousands of games are already playable on Xbox Series X today, from the biggest blockbusters to cult classics and fan favorites.”

Release Date

The Xbox series X will release in time for Christmas 2020, as per Microsoft said. But a more specific date is yet to be announced. Although the E3 2020 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but during Microsoft’s third-party games reveal, it was said that many of the games would be released in October, so it stands to reason the console will launch then.

PlayStation 5

History:

The PlayStation was released in Japan in December 1994, and it made its American debut in September 1995; both releases elicited critical acclaim and impressive sales. By 2005 the PlayStation had become the first console ever to ship 100 million units. It was discontinued by Sony is 2006.

The PlayStation 2 was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, and in Europe and Australia on November 24, 2000, and is the successor to the original PlayStation, as well as the second installment in the PlayStation console line-up. It was discontinued by Sony in 2013, long after the release of the PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3 was released on 11th November, 2006. In September 2009, the Slim model of the PlayStation 3 was released. It sold a total of 89.90 million consoles, just edging out Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in terms of consoles sold. It was officially discontinued in 2017 by Sony.

The PlayStation 4 was released on November 15, 2013, in the United States and Canada, followed by further releases on November 29, 2013. By the end of 2013, the PS4 was launched in more European, Asian and South American countries. It sold a quite good 110.4 million consoles and the numbers are still increasing. It is still not officially out of market.

PlayStation 5:

The PS5 design was officially revealed on June 11, 2020. When it came to the reveal of the console itself, Sony nailed it – the icing on the PS5 games reveal event, and with a few surprises in store too. Not one, but two PlayStation 5 consoles will launch – a standard edition with a 4K Blu-Ray disc drive, and a slimmer, disc-free Digital Edition. Both make use of USB-C charging for their controllers, and can make use of a HD camera accessory, alongside a new PS5 wireless headset and media remote. The consoles themselves feature a striking design that’s sure to split opinion. 

A curvy mixture of black and white plastics with blue highlight lighting, it’s far removed from the ‘black box’ designs of previous PlayStation consoles. The digital edition sees Sony moving with what’s increasingly becoming a physical-media-free hobby, banking on players to make use of digital downloads and streaming services rather than buying games or movies on disc-based hardware. 

It’ll certainly make swapping games with friends a challenge, as well as trading them in, and gaming stores will likely be a little worried by its presence – especially if it proves significantly cheaper than the main version of the machine. But for those that enjoy building a physical library, the disc-based console remains an option at least

According to rumors, the PlayStation 5 may come out into the markets by 20th November, 2020. It’s the 5th part to the Sony PlayStation saga and keeping in mind the epic hit of the PlayStation 4, it can be pretty well assumed that the PS5 is also going to be a big hit.  Its CPU is going to feature the AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5 GHz. The GPU will be running at 10.28 TFLOP and the 36 CUs at 2.23 GHz. The memory interface will have a 16GB GDDR6 and the memory bandwidth will be 448GB/ s. Although Sony said that the internal storage will be 825GB SSD but as per the latest information, the PS5 will have a classic 1TB version and a premium 2TB version. So most probably the company was referring to the usable storage space on the 1TB version.

Previous rumors had pegged that the price of the PS5would be priced at $500 (roughly 37,900 rupees) in the US and the prices are expected to be higher in UK. But according to the latest updates, the PS5 is going to have a price of $760 (roughly 57,700 rupees) in the US and about €670 in UK.

Games on PS5

The new releases that are announced by Sony for the PS5 include Horizon Forbidden West, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Gran Turismo 7, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Demon’s Souls, Project Athia, Returnal, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Astro’s Playroom, Destruction AllStars and Godfal.

Third party games for PS5 include Resident Evil Village, Pragmata, Deathloop, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Little Devil Inside, NBA 2K21, Solar Ash, BugSnax, Kena – Bridge of Spirits, Goodbye Volcano High, Oddworld Soulstorm, Stray, Jett: The Far Shore, Hitman 3, Metal: Hellsinger, Chivalry 2, Paradise Lost, Dirt 5, Chorus, Madden 21, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Observer: System Redux, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Outriders and WRC 9.

Special features of the PlayStation 5

  • Backwards Compatibility: In a world where Microsoft is touting backwards compatibility on their new Xbox 2/Project Scorpio system, the pressure is on for Sony to match that with the PS5. Of course, when we talk about backwards compatibility, we have to consider how far back we want. PlayStation has a lot of classic titles from PS1, PS2, and PS3. In fact, the PS4 has already racked up several titles that will no doubt be remembered fondly by history. PlayStation fans want compatibility as far back as we can get. There are so many games we want to have access to on our latest console. Sony has made some progress here with PS2 Classics on PS4, and they’ve certainly done plenty of remasters to bring games like The Last of Us and God of War III to the new console. For PS3 games, we have the streaming service known as PlayStation Now, but that’s yet another thing to pay for, and its selection is good but not overwhelmingly great. Meanwhile, Xbox players are getting more and more 360 games on their system for free if they already own it. I have to give them a point for that, because it is the right way to handle backwards compatibility. Ideally, PS5 will take this approach where you can keep the games you own and play them on the new system. Digital titles will be accessible, and physical games can be inserted to validate them and add them to your library like Xbox does.
  • Graphics Power: Any time there’s a new console, graphics are a major point of discussion. After all, power is the selling point of any next generation system. How much better will make games look and play on this system? Microsoft’s upcoming console boasts 6 teraflops of graphical power, which is above even the PS4 Pro. An analyst named Damian Thong recently weighed in and said Sony would be releasing the PS5 with 10 teraflops of power! That’s the equivalent of today’s top-shelf video cards on PC, so with another few years, that tech could reasonably find its way to consoles. With that kind of power, 4K wouldn’t be a problem. Graphics would look significantly better than they do now. Textures, lighting effects, antialiasing, 10 teraflops could do it all.
  • More Games: What do we talk about after graphics? Yep, it’s games. This feature is something that Sony has been bringing since the launch of PS4. New exclusives like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Nioh, and Persona 5 are just some of the many titles that Sony secured on their platform. With powerhouse developments like Guerilla Games, Naughty Dog, and Sucker Punch, Sony has no problems with their lineup. If anything, it’s the launch titles that will require special attention. Coming out of the gate strong is important, and that’s what I believe gamers want to see from this specific feature.
  • Processing power: All too often, this gets lumped in with graphics, but they’re two very different things. Graphics processing handles the way the game looks and the resolution. The CPU and RAM are the ones who put it into motion and calculate all those mathematical equations to make the game run. Without a powerful processor to back it up, the graphics could look as good as they want, but the frame rate would be slow and sluggish. You need both to make the machine run well. Of course, PlayStation’s architect, Mark Cerny, knows all about this, so I have faith he will bring the heat with PS5.
  • Hard Drive Space/Speed: With the release of the PS4, we saw games that were 50+ gigabytes in size for the first time on consoles. Even with the 500GB drives that came out, they filled up fast! Thankfully, not every game is that big, but my PS4 Pro’s 1TB of space went pretty quickly despite being double the size. PS5 should, at the very least, have a 1TB hard drive, but I would argue that 2TB is more of a sweet spot for hardcore gamers. Now, the speed of the hard drive matters as well. If Sony were to opt for a SSD inside the PS5, it would drive up costs. The trade-off, of course, would be faster loading times, but you pay more per gigabyte on a hard drive like that. I’m not too worried about the type of drive, more so the space. That being said, SSDs are more reliable, so I think we would certainly welcome the option.
  • Virtual Reality: Virtual reality is still a toddler in the realm of technology. There’s a lot of argument as to whether VR will take off, but I’m convinced that Sony has found the sweet spot this time. Bringing the Move controller back was a smart move, and incorporating the camera created a trifecta of peripherals that all suddenly found purpose. VR is one of those things that you won’t believe until you try it. Naysayers are often the very same people who have never experienced it. We’re confident Sony will win the VR war with their PlayStation VR headset and its successor on PS5.
  • Console Design: You know, console design isn’t a make-or-break scenario, but it does help to have a sexy looking system in your entertainment center. The PS4’s design was pretty sleek and, while the PS4 Pro has been compared to a Big Mac in its triple layered design, I still dig that model as well. Honestly, I would mind a glossy finish on the PS5. Bring back some of the style that the PS3 had, which of course was also compared to a George Foreman grill when it first released. People will always have their laugh, but I think a striking design with a glossy finish would be sweet for PS5.
  • Controller design: The design of the controller would be more important for me. This is an important feature. The DualShock 4 is perhaps the pinnacle of controller design, but we all like new things. I think Sony will try to one-up themselves again with the PS5’s controller. They’ll keep the basic layout the same (or risk riots), and add something new. This time around, we got the touch pad, and the lightbar. What’s next? Time will tell.