Every next generation of consoles brings excitement, and that's the case with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. Both systems are far more powerful than PS4 or even Xbox One X, and there's no doubt they'll be very successful. Even the developers are pleased about them, especially as they are easy to work with. However, this whole generation of gaming systems also has plenty of problems, and many of them won't ever be fixed. Since not all of them are equally important, we need to rank them carefully. To be perfectly clear, both consoles suffer from all these issues, although sometimes one or the other platform handles them better. So, here are the Top Ten Ugly Truths About PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series You Need to Know.
10. Modding Is Still Very Limited
One of the best things about PC gaming is the ability to mod your favorite titles. These changes are usually visual, but sound, performance, and even gameplay mods are also common. This makes some of the games stay relevant for years or even decades, as new content keeps coming. Also, modders are doing things that developers won't ever be able to. If you want real vehicles in Grand Theft Auto or hundreds of stadiums in your favorite soccer game, you need a PC.
Unfortunately, things are only slightly changing with PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. While there are some mods, don't expect miracles, as Microsoft and Sony don't even talk about it. Even if these corporations were far more liberal, there would still tons of limitations, especially with the graphics enhancement mods. So, if you're enthusiastic about modding your favorite games, you still need a PC and Windows.
9. Both Consoles Are Environmental Hazards
Sony and Microsoft wanted to make extremely powerful consoles at any cost, to the point they're selling them under their real value. While that's good news for the gamers, our planet isn't happy. The problem is that both systems are power-hungry, so every time you're playing a triple-A title, your PS5 or Xbox Series console uses a lot of energy – around 200 watts per hour.
If that number doesn't mean a lot to you, let's say that enjoying 60 minutes of Gears 5 or Demon Souls remake is equal to charging your phone almost 20 times! Compare that to some of the most beautiful Nintendo Switch games, as they need only 10 watts per hour. While both consoles spend less energy while you're playing some simple indy games, PS5 and Xbox Series still produce more carbon emission than any other console in history.
8. Real 8K Gaming is Impossible
Prices of 8K TV sets are going down, and some of them are pretty good value. Therefore, there's no doubt that they'll become mainstream products available to anyone. However, your PS5 or Xbox Series X can't possibly handle 8K. Since even 4K gaming at 60 fps is not a standard on the 9th console generation, higher resolutions don't make sense.
Therefore, no big-budget title will run in 8K, as that would mean they would have to make drastic compromises with the level of detail. Don't forget, 8K displays four times more pixels than 4K! If we ever get 8K games on these systems, expect them to be either indy titles or sprite-based games, such as Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. Hey, at least both systems support 8K in their system menus!
7. The 120 FPS Gaming
Sony and Microsoft are happy to tell you that their platforms are so powerful that gaming at 120 fps is reality. And yes, titles like Dirt 5, Devil May Cry V: Special Edition, WRC 9, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War all support 120 fps gaming. The advantage of a smoother frame rate is pretty obvious, but you also get a lower input lag as a bonus. While you don't need it for slower-paced single-player games, fast multiplayer action highly benefits from it.
However, numerous problems might turn you off. First, 120 fps support is a rarity, meaning that a huge majority of games don't have it, including Elden Ring and many others. Secondly, activating this mode also means a massive graphical downgrade. Get ready for fewer details, muddy textures, and lower resolutions that go down to 1080p! Finally, sometimes that's not enough, so Devil May Cry V: Special Edition is far away from stable 120 fps, despite being a port from the previous generation!
6. 4K 60 FPS Ray Tracing Will Never Become a Standard
Again, PS5 and Xbox Series X were extremely powerful platforms on their launch dates, but their limits are quite obvious. One common misconception is that every, or at least a huge majority of games, supports ray tracing. The truth is that at the moment, less than 10 percent of next-gen titles implemented it, and that's including games that use it only partially.
Finally, we still haven't seen a [email protected] fps big-budget game with ray tracing support. In the best-case scenario, we get dynamic 4K, or the resolution goes down to 1440p. The alternative means lowering fps to 30, as is the case with Cyberpunk 2077. While in theory, that might change eventually, [email protected] fps with ray tracing will be rare as 1080p games on PS3 or Xbox 360. PC is a much better alternative, at least if you can afford it.
5. You May Need a New TV
Yes, consoles are pretty affordable, but many people forget that you need a new gaming TV to take full advantage of them. While your old 1080p set will work just fine, you'll miss tons of benefits. Even if you do have 4K TV for a while, there's a good chance that it's pretty much obsolete, as it doesn't support some of the strictly gaming-related functions.
For example, to experience 120 fps games, you need a 4K TV with a 120 Hz panel. To play [email protected], you also need a TV supporting HDMI 2.1! Moreover, many games on both systems implement VRR or variable refresh rate. This function keeps the frame rate smooth, preventing massive slowdowns and choppiness. Finally, while pretty much every 4K TV supports high-dynamic-range (HDR), not every 4K TV produces solid results.
4. Game Prices Are Increasing
As games become more complex, they need more and more resources to be made. This also means that creating them is more expensive than ever, so publishers aren't happy with standard $60 pricing. Sony already confirmed that some of their games will cost up to $70, and even though, surprisingly, Electronic Arts is not sure about it, the increased price will become standard.
This isn't anything new, as regular prices for big-budget games were raised from $50 to $60 in 2005. When we consider inflation, $70 for a game is actually cheaper than $60 at the time. However, the difference is that we're now getting lots of unfinished games with tons of paid DLCs and microtransaction. Even with higher-priced games, this practice won't stop.
3. Console Availability
Buying a PS5 or Xbox Series a long time after their launch proved almost impossible because of constant shortages. The global Covid-19 crisis is mostly to blame, and all that benefits scammers and scalpers. AMD proved incompetent and unable to deliver as the main supplier, seriously hurting Microsoft's and Sony's reputation.
If the situation was so bad, why both systems launched in 2020? Gamers shouldn't care for excuses, as they were promised plenty of consoles and a real start of the next-gen gaming era. Instead, a huge majority couldn't get the system once they wanted to buy it, so they may instead switch (you see what we did there?) to other platforms.
2. You Still Need a Nintendo Switch
And as we mentioned Switch, Nintendo's platform has tons of exclusive games you'll never see on PS5 or Xbox Series consoles. It's hard to resist titles such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and many others. Yes, Switch hardware is way less powerful, but all these games still look gorgeous and are a joy to play.
As Xbox Series consoles support developer mode, you could emulate some of these titles, at least in theory. However, that won't happen anytime soon, if ever. If you want to play all of the best games in the last five years or so, the next-gen consoles won't cover you.
1. Fewer Exclusives Than Ever
Not so long ago, console exclusives were extremely important for Sony and Microsoft, but things slowly changed. That's especially the case with Microsoft, as they totally ditched the concept during the previous console generation. This means that every single Xbox Series game will also be released on PC, PS5, or both systems. While PS5 gamers won't enjoy Halo, Forza, or Gears series, you'll be able to play them on Windows PC, with even better graphics.
As for Sony, they still have some exclusives, but the list is pretty short. Plus, some of the titles are only exclusive for a while, like is the case with the Horizon series. Sony is even open about letting more and more games come to PC in the future! If you love PC gaming and have decent hardware, then PS5 and especially Xbox Series consoles seem even less exciting.
The idea of this top ten list wasn't to tell you that PS5 and Xbox Series consoles are disappointing and that you should avoid them. On the contrary, they are still impressive machines for the price, delivering a decent 4K and ray tracing experience with ultra-fast loading. What we wanted to do is help you have realistic expectations and see if these factors are affecting you.
Do you already have a PS5 or Xbox Series system, or do you plan to purchase them at some point? Discuss that with us in the comments section!
Cover photo: Illustration
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Exclusives are dying, and it looks like they will be gone in the next generation. I still think they should stay so that each platform has something unique. As a PC gamer, I don't see a reason to buy an Xbox console, since it doesn't have a single exclusive. Yet, that strategy seems to work well with Microsoft.
September 02 at 09:27:33 AM
This console generation is still pretty good, and there's time to make it much better.
August 18 at 03:02:26 PM