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Sony PlayStation 5 vs. Microsoft Project Scarlett: Next-gen console showdown

The next generation of game consoles are coming into focus. Will it be a fair fight?

The two major living room game console companies not named Nintendo are fighting over the same launch window. Holiday 2020 is when both the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's next Xbox (currently code-named Project Scarlett) will arrive, fighting for a spot on your holiday shopping list. 

We already know a bit about the upcoming hardware, but not key facts like price and release date. 

This next iteration of the ongoing console wars is especially important, as new competition is coming from cloud services like Google Stadia, premium mobile platforms like Apple Arcade and Nintendo's seemingly unstoppable Switch family. 

James Martin/CNET

The PS5 is jumping to solid-state storage, making it a better match for large game downloads. But it will still support optical discs, showing that some legacy technology is hard to ditch. 8K TVs may be few and far between, but the PlayStation 5 will be capable of 8K output. 

James Martin/CNET

The next Xbox doesn't even have a final name yet. It's still being referred to as Project Scarlett, as first introduced at E3 2019. Like the PS5, it's based on an AMD platform, and also keeps the optical drive (something long since ditched by most other devices). 

The specs listed below are not set in stone, and are based on best guesswork from leaks and the small amount of publicly available information. This article will be updated as new information becomes available. 

Sony PlayStation 5 vs. Microsoft Project Scarlett


PlayStation 5 Xbox Project Scarlett
Processor 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU 1.6GHz AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU
Graphics AMD Radeon Navi-family GPU AMD Arcturus GPU
RAM Unknown 16GB GDDR6 SDRAM
Storage SSD 1TB SSD
Optical drive Yes, 4K Blu-ray Yes
Max output resolution 8K 8K
Max frame rate 120fps 120fps
Controller features Haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, USB-C connector Unknown
VR support Yes Likely
Cloud gaming PlayStation Now Microsoft xCloud
Backwards compatibility PS4 games Xbox One and supported Xbox 360 and Xbox games
Big launch game Unknown Halo Infinite
Release date Holiday 2020 Holiday 2020
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