Genesis or Super Nintendo? Nintendo 64 or PlayStation? Xbox, PlayStation 2, or GameCube? These are the questions that have ruled the industry. What flag will you wear when you step forward into the gaming arena?
For the record, my answers to the above are Genesis, N64, and PlayStation 2, as I have not really stuck with any one company throughout my life. In the eighth generation, I even eschewed the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I have my PC, and generally, I'm happy on my computer. However, looking at the ninth generation, I realized the time had come for me to pick up a flag again, and when I sat and thought about it there was only one choice.
I'm getting a PlayStation 5. Now stay awhile, and read why I think it is a no-brainer decision to go this way if your situation is anything like mine.
Looking for the opposing argument? Check out our other features about the next generation of consoles.
- The 2020 Console War: Which Next-Gen Console is Right For You?
- Why I'm Buying the Xbox Series X Over the PlayStation 5
It’s All About The Games
As a primarily PC gamer, looking at a console is all about the games, and it really comes down to one major factor: PlayStation has a number of true exclusives, while I can play basically everything on Xbox on my PC.
Sony has some of the finest craftsmen in the industry, working hard on making prestige games in a multitude of genres to sell their consoles, and for me, with the PlayStation 5, it worked. I can get a chance to play many of the games I missed last generation and play the new ones they release. Meanwhile, I can still play the Xbox titles on my PC.
I love Image and Form and their Steamworld series, but there’s no way I’m buying a $300 or $500 box to play their next game. There’s no real reason as someone who owns a half-decent PC for me to consider buying an Xbox Series X|S, because... I have a PC. I mean, hell, Microsoft isn't really focused on selling you a box, they are more than happy for you to play on your phone using Game Pass Ultimate, as the subscription ecosystem has become their focus.
Just pay for that, use your phone, and plug it into the TV display for an Xbox at no additional cost.
Can’t do that and get the new God of War.
The PlayStation Plus Collection
While my colleague across the aisle will undoubtedly be preaching the word of Xbox Game Pass (which is also available on PC and your phone), he’ll no doubt forget to mention that Sony has taken action to counteract that some—and no, I’m not talking about PlayStation Now.
The PlayStation Plus Collection for PlayStation 5 isn’t a true Game Pass competitor, but for those who missed the PlayStation 4, its collection of titles so far revealed (with more promised) show a listing of major PlayStation 4 games like The Last Guardian, Bloodborne, God of War, and The Last of Us that you can’t find on other systems. Additionally, it comes included as part of the PlayStation Plus subscription, so it doesn’t raise the price you are expected to spend monthly, unlike Game Pass.
For someone who missed the last generation of PlayStation games, this is Sony offering a welcoming hand. The offering says, “It's okay you missed last time, you can catch up now,” in regards to series that have been ongoing or just great games you missed.
PlayStation VR Advantage
One thing I’m also looking at trying out on my PlayStation 5 is making use of a friend's PlayStation VR setup they’ve said they don’t really use. I have limited experience with VR, but it seems pretty cool and has a lot of unique experiences, and it's something you can’t find on the other consoles.
There are options on PC, but they require either selling off an arm and a leg (the Valve Index with gear would run me well over $900 Canadian), selling my data to Facebook (the Oculus Quest 2), or going with something about to be deprecated. The PlayStation VR is probably heading that way in the next few years, but for now it provides unique content for a console, with a variety of games that are vastly different experiences.
Next-Gen SSD Loading
From a PC player viewpoint, the CPUs for the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X are definitely good, but they are not the enormous leap they are in comparison to PC. The Jaguar CPUs that the previous generation used were long holding back titles and had long been eclipsed on PC, while the CPUs for this generation match the new releases coming out this year as an incremental improvement. What is more interesting in many ways is the huge leap forward in storage, with the SSD and loading.
Sure, we have SSDs on PC, but they are generally significantly slower than what the PlayStation 5 has, with nothing on retail shelves guaranteed to match the PlayStation 5's performance. PC games also have to work with a variety of storage, including both HDDs and SSDs, all at varying speeds, meaning that developers can only take advantage of whatever is there, not bank on it being very fast without putting requirements that may lower sales.
WIth the closed specs of a console like the PlayStation 5, meaning there is only one storage medium on it (an ultra-fast SSD), we’ll finally get a true vision of what developers can do when they optimize for an SSD. It'll be interesting to see how far they can push the technology, going low to the metal and leveraging all the speed they can. With the effective 9.8 GB/s, it promises to be intriguing, as does the idea of using the SSD to effectively lighten RAM loads.
Oh, and as for the Xbox Series X, the PlayStation 5 is in the fast lane with its super-fast SSD. The Xbox can go in the middle there with its slower PCIE 3 and under 5GB/s speed.
Microsoft has failed to tell me why I should care about an Xbox, and putting their games on PC makes them accessible to me in an area that I find preferable for playing. Which, I am thankful for.
But it means I have no interest in buying an Xbox Series X or S, or whatever other silly letter they come up with. Instead, I’m going for the realm of new games, VR, and the fastest SSD around (... even if Sony's last event was a mess).