With the next generation of consoles just over the horizon, many gamers are gearing up for an experience many degrees better than they’re used to from current-gen. Everything from visual fidelity to loading times and even software libraries will improve when it comes to next-generation consoles, but amidst the marketing hype, it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re buying into with a next-gen machine. Here are 10 things next-gen consoles will do better than current-gen hardware.
It goes without saying that the new consoles will offer vastly improved graphical fidelity when compared to the PS4 and Xbox One. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be capable of hitting 60fps in 4K, and even the Xbox Series S, the less powerful cousin of the X, will reach 60fps at 1440p. This may seem like it’s more related to performance than to sheer graphical power, but you’ll notice the difference when you’re exploring the worlds of next-gen games with buttery smoothness.
Naturally, both of the next-gen options will perform at significantly better rates than current-gen consoles do. This means rendering games at much faster and more consistent frame rates, as well as reducing things like stuttering, object pop-in, and draw distance issues. As well as games crafted specifically for these consoles, both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will play current-gen games with significant improvements, too, so you won’t need to lose your old library.
An oft-overlooked aspect of console gaming, both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will have built-in web browsers. This means your web browsing experience will be smoother thanks to solid-state drives’ improved efficiency. Let’s say that you want to check out some new online slots and win yourself some serious cash. Thanks to the consoles’ improved processing power and seamless task-switching, you can do just that with their built-in web browsers.
Much has been made of both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X’s ability to load graphical elements and objects significantly quicker than their current-gen predecessors. It’s true; both consoles will feature rapid loading that allows you to get into the game quicker. In some cases, loading times have been slashed by several seconds, so you’ll really notice the difference as you load into a game of Destiny 2 or Monster Hunter World.
Next-gen consoles have been lauded and examined for their hardware innovations, but for many gamers, only one thing will actually matter when push comes to shove, and that’s the games. Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will feature backward compatibility, but the PS5 has a raft of excellent exclusives planned for it including Demon’s Souls and Ratchet and Clank. The Xbox, meanwhile, isn’t content to rest on its laurels; its Game Pass service will put over 100 games into gamers’ hands for a low monthly fee.
There have been more significant innovations made on Sony’s part than Microsoft’s when it comes to new controllers, but they’re both excellent options. The DualSense controller features haptic feedback and vibrational motors in its triggers, allowing you to feel everything that’s going on in the game you’re playing. Microsoft, meanwhile, has opted for an “if it ain’t broke” approach, but there have been some significant leaps forward made, including USB-C charging and a new Share button.
Though both Sony and Microsoft are putting most of their eggs in the hardware basket, there’s also a lot going on in the next-gen world with regards to streaming. Sony’s PlayStation Now service is reportedly undergoing some major improvements, while Microsoft has just introduced Xbox Game Pass streaming to Android devices under its xCloud banner. Expect streaming to become even more high-fidelity and to offer a genuine alternative to console gaming as the generation goes on.
Sony has really focused on the PlayStation 5’s audio capabilities for its next-gen hardware efforts. The PS5 will boast powerful three-dimensional spatial audio to help you get immersed in the experience, and you won’t even need a super-expensive Hi-Fi setup to help you achieve this. The Xbox Series X’s Spatial Sound feature works in a similar way, delivering audio that simulates a 3D space without needing specialist equipment in order to do so.
It’s not just gaming that will improve with the advent of the next generation. Video content will also significantly improve thanks to these consoles’ native 4K support and nascent 8K support. Imagine kicking back and watching your favourite Netflix or Amazon Prime content on a device that’s been created specifically to allow you to watch it in 8K. Gaming content, too, will benefit from the PS5 and Xbox Series X’s increased emphasis on sharing, meaning you won’t need to deal with YouTube’s compression algorithm to watch games in beautiful crisp 4K.
We’ve already mentioned the DualSense controller and Xbox Series X controller revamp, both of which feature faster USB-C charging. However, both Sony and Microsoft are also leaning hard into the peripheral game. Sony’s Pulse 3D wireless headset delivers unparalleled immersion, and every Xbox One peripheral is going to be fully compatible with the Xbox Series X, meaning you don’t have to say goodbye to your painstakingly-assembled collection of hardware gadgets.
These are just some of the things we think next-gen platforms will do significantly better than their current-gen brethren. There’s no doubt the next generation of console gaming is going to be one to remember. Is there anything here we’ve missed? What do you think Sony and Microsoft should focus on for the years ahead? Let us know!