Opinion: Why I'd buy a PlayStation 5 over an Xbox Series X now - and why that will soon change

OPINION: This week, Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Sony's PlayStation 5 both launched in New Zealand, ushering in the new generation of gaming.

The two consoles are remarkably similar in a lot of ways, including price and capability. Unlike previous generations, neither PlayStation nor Xbox made any significant mistakes in the lead-up to their releases and handed victory to their competitor, making this the tightest race between the two in decades.

After previewing both consoles ahead of their release, the number one question I get is variations of: "which one would you get if you could only get one?"

Well, I just have to have both and love them both already. But I realise most people go one or the other and after some thinking and a lot of playing, I have an answer.

Why the PlayStation 5 is the best buy for me right now

Although the XSX is slightly more powerful than the PS5 and in New Zealand also slightly cheaper, Sony's latest console has a few key advantages.

Firstly, the controller has better tech in it. Microsoft kind of perfected the game controller size and shape a few years ago and hasn't upgraded the XSX controller much from the Xbox One's.

While the XSX controller feels chunkier and altogether nicer in my hands than the PS5's DualSense, Sony's latest controller has better haptic feedback in it which gives it an edge.

Secondly, the exclusive games PlayStation has at launch give it a slight edge - specifically, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the remake of Demon's Souls.

But the first-party studios Sony owns also give it an edge - especially Naughty Dog, developers of The Last of Us games, which are my favourite games in existence.

Another reason I'd buy a PS5 over an XSX is because of the crossover there is with the Xbox console and what you can play on PC.

My desktop at home has a 10th-gen Intel i9 CPU, an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphic card and 32GB of RAM DDR4-3200MHz - that means it can play pretty much anything the new consoles can, just as well as they can. For now at least.

Even the upcoming Halo Infinite will play on that just fine - but any potential upcoming The Last of Us sequel will only come to the PS5. Sony won't license it for PC.

By the time that is out, however, it will likely be Microsoft's latest console I'd choose over Sony's if I could get only one.

The Xbox Series X controller, photographed by Newshub.
The Xbox Series X controller. Photo credit: Newshub.

Why the Xbox Series X will be the best buy for me in the future

Xbox Game Pass. It's that simple.

This subscription service becoming overwhelmingly good value-for-money.

Microsoft has aggressively been pouring money into its gaming business over the last few years at a rate Sony doesn't appear to be able to compete with.

The best result of this so far is Xbox Game Pass, sometimes referred to as 'Netflix for gaming'.

With the addition of EA Play and Microsoft's buying of Bethesda, on top of all the numerous high-profile studio acquisitions it's made recently - it all adds up to just a ridiculously large game library in coming years, all playable for a relatively low monthly fee.

Xbox Game Pass may be less of a reason to get a console if everything on it is playable on PC as well, but only if you have a really up-to-date PC, which I might not in a few years.

The XSX is a mighty fine console with a few other advantages over the PS5 - like the awesome Quick Resume feature - but it's Xbox Game Pass that will ultimately give it an edge.

Just not quite yet, for me.

Choosing one console over the other is far less a big deal than it used to be now anyway, thanks to cross-play. These days, in most major multiplayer games, you can have a friend on an Xbox, another on PlayStation and another on PC but all chat and play in an in-game party anyway.

And whatever you're playing on, it's never been a better time to be a gamer.

Let's enjoy.

Daniel Rutledge is Newshub's Verticals Editor.