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PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Launch Titles, Exclusive Games, and More

It’s the end of an era, folks. The beloved PS4 and Xbox One, while certain to linger on for years, have reached their twilight years and the day the next-gen consoles launch quickly approaches.

While the numbers suggest the PS4 pretty definitively kicked the ass of the Xbox One in terms of sales, things are quickly shaping up for a true head-to-head showdown between the consoles this holiday season, when they’re expected to be released. While the two devices sport very similar hardware and technical capabilities, it seems both sides are going out of their way to secure the biggest, most heavyweight titles they can for launch exclusives in a bid to sway gamers in their direction.

Indeed, the exclusives and lineup of launch titles will likely be the battleground where the war for market share is waged. Both consoles will be similarly priced and sport similar tech, so it is in these very games that the war’s opening exchanges will be won — and is thus doubly important for buyers to pay attention to.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at who the Series X and the PS5 are bringing for backup for their head-to-head clash at the end of the year.

Xbox Series X Exclusives Games

The Xbox Series X games will be exclusive to Microsoft, not just the console, so whatever’s coming out on Series X you can expect to find on Windows too. Yes, even Halo: Infinite and Avowed.

  • Avowed
  • Halo Infinite
  • Fable
  • State of Decay 3
  • Forza Motorsport
  • Everwild
  • As Dusk Falls
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Tetris Effect: Connected
  • The Gunk
  • The Medium
  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
  • CrossfireX
  • Hellblade II: Senua’s Saga
  • Scorn

Xbox Series X Timed Exclusives:

  • 12 Minutes
  • Dead Static Drive
  • Exo One
  • Lake
  • Last Stop
  • Mad Streets
  • Sable
  • Shredders
  • Song of Iron
  • The Artful Escape
  • The Ascent
  • The Big Con
  • The Falconeer
  • Tunic
  • Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy

Xbox One Games with Free Smart Delivery for Xbox Series X

Smart Delivery is an Xbox Feature that delivers, for free, whichever game you purchase on either Microsoft, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X to whichever other console you’re playing it on. This means any of the games below that you purchase for Xbox One or PC right now will be automatically available on Xbox Series if and when you decide to upgrade.e

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Call of the Sea
  • Chorus
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Gears 5
  • Halo Infinite
  • Hellblade 2
  • Destiny 2
  • Dirt 5
  • Metal: Hellslinger
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Second Extinction
  • The Ascent
  • Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon

P.S: Bright Memory, Scorn, and The Medium will be getting upgraded versions optimized for Xbox Series X but will not be featuring Smart Delivery as it stands now, meaning you will have to purchase the Series X versions separately until or unless the publisher decides to use their own option.

The Xbox Series X Games We’re Most Excited About:

Avowed

  • Release: TBA
  • Developer: Obsidian
  • Price: TBA

Set in the Obsidian-created Pillars of Eternity Universe, Avowed seems poised to be Skyrim’s (un)natural successor as the next big dark fantasy open-world RPG. The similarity is uncanny and undeniable, and with many Bethesda fans still pissed about Fallout ’76 (though it’s actually a lot better now!) and sick of waiting for The Elder Scrolls 6, many find themselves more than ready to jump ship and hop aboard the Obsidian raft.

While we know scant little about Avowed, its release date, gameplay or setting beyond what little we can deduce the announcement trailer unveiled at the Xbox Showcase and previous Pillars of Eternity games, it looks like Obsidian is beating Bethesda to the Elder Scrolls 6 punch the same way they did with Outer Worlds and Bethesda’s still unreleased Starfield. What got most people’s attention was the very Skyrim-esque first-person combat and spell/sword dual-wielding — indeed, that short clip alone is almost single-handedly responsible for setting up the comparison between the two games.

Whatever happens with Avowed, whether it becomes Skyrim 2021 or otherwise, it looks like an incredible game from a developer on a serious hot streak right now, and we are super stoked to see what becomes of it.

Fable

  • Release: TBA
  • Developer: Playground Games
  • Price: TBA

Many years after the last main installment in the series, Fable III (barring the random spinoffs, of course), many fans were delighted to see a beautiful cinematic at the Xbox Showcase announcing what is being called Fable 4 — though that will not, apparently, be the game’s actual title. What’s even more exciting is the setting of the game. Whereas Fable II and III jumped forward in time from the original’s medieval fantasy roots, it seems that the newest installment will be returning to a similar setting.

Unfortunately, neither Microsoft nor Playground Games have spilled any beans on a potential release date. And many have theorized that it could be at the soonest no less than two full years away from the release of the series X. This is based on Microsoft’s explicit assertion that games released for the Series X for its first two years will have Xbox One versions available alongside them, and that Fable was clearly earmarked as being developed for Xbox Series X alone. This theory is further bolstered by the fact that the singular cinematic shown at the Xbox Showcase was all we’ve seen of the game, suggesting concrete, demonstrable footage is still further away.

Halo: Infinite

  • Release: December 2020
  • Developer: 343 Industries
  • Price: TBA

Halo: Infinite’s Xbox Showcase cinematic was met with a mixture of sheer excitement, relief, and… some disappointment among some gamers. It wasn’t the gameplay, the game content, or any major narrative developments that rubbed them the wrong way. It was the graphics. For what was one of the most singularly hyped releases for the next-gen consoles from one of the biggest, most iconic gaming franchises ever created, many felt the visuals in its pre-rendered cinematic were well below expectations. With so much fanfare and the incredible power of the Xbox Series X being constantly touted by Microsoft, as well as Halo being the marquee release for the new console, many hoped to see something unprecedented.

Related: Is Halo Infinite Cross-Platform?

Fortunately, the concerns of the audience were addressed directly by 343, who explained that the team had made a concerted decision to go with an art style that hearkened back to the original games, with “cleaner” models and less noise. And many Halo fans were appreciative of this, especially those who first fell in love with the franchise’s original trilogy, and before the signature suits began to shift away from the original designs and include more arbitrary detail.

Halo: Infinite is said to be playable on the series X with ray tracing and 8K resolution, and — despite what some rumors will have you believe — will be launching with free-to-play multiplayer that can run up to 120 fps. And while this most nascent installment of Halo makes a concerted effort to return to its roots, it also changes up the old formula in more than a few ways, starting with the fact that it will be completely open world. Further, Players will not be locked into a linear progression through the game, free to some degree to choose which missions to embark and when to do so.

Get ready for Halo: Infinite: Steam | Microsoft

PS5 Exclusives Games

The following games will be exclusive to the PS5 in perpetuity, meaning they will never be released on anything besides the Playstation consoles.

  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Destruction AllStars
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Project Athia
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Returnal
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Stray

PS5 Timed Exclusives

  • Bugsnax
  • Deathloop
  • Oddworld: Soulstorm
  • GhostWire: Tokyo
  • Godfall
  • Goodbye Volcano High

PS3/PS4 Games Getting PS5 Versions

  • Chivalry 2
  • Control
  • Cris Tales
  • Demon Turf
  • Destiny 2
  • Dirt 5
  • FIFA 21
  • Fortnite
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 / Grand Theft Auto Online
  • Madden NFL 21
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Planet Coaster: Console Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  • Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2
  • Warframe
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane
  • Watch Dogs: Legion
  • WRC 9
  • Worms Rumble

PS5 Games We’re Most Excited For

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

  • Release: Late 2020
  • Developer: Insomniac Games
  • Price: TBA

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is without a doubt one of the most hyped games to be exclusive to PS5. The sequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4, this time around it’s the brand new Spiderman in the leading role, rather than being relegated to sneaking a bunch of crates while Rhino mumbles to himself and smashes everything in sight like a cybernetically enhanced toddler.

The game is set to start out right where the previous game left off, with a minor time jump. Gameplay footage and trailers show a New York blanketed in snowfall and looks to be an enhancement of the same stealth, action RPG from before — invigorated by the power of the PS5. Everything about Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks better — especially the models. Beneath all the fancier particle effects and more dynamic lighting, the underling player models look much more lifelike. One look at the comparatively wonky character model for Morales in Spider-Man PS4 and his new, much more proportional, higher-poly version is enough to show that when it comes down to detail, the difference is night and day.

If you loved the first one, you have little reason to stave off from buying Spider-Man: Miles Morales as soon as it’s available, whether or not you’re upgrading to PS5 immediately; PC and Xbox One editions of the game will be released simultaneously, and come with free upgrades to PS5 should you choose to upgrade to the new console.

Demon’s Souls

  • Release: TBA
  • Developer: From Software, Bluepoint Games
  • Price: TBA

Demon Souls was the precursor to the entire soulsborne, souls-like genre of games. It mixed action RPG gameplay with exceptional level design and absolutely pitiless difficulty that created something special, something as frustrating as it is rewarding.

Gamers should know that the PS5 remake is no mere remaster, either. You won’t be buying Demon Souls with new textures and better frame-rate. The entire game has been rebuilt from scratch to capitalize on the technological capabilities of the PS5, complete with ray tracing, 4k resolution, new models, textures and materials that benefit everything from enemies, the player character, to the levels themselves. The side by side comparisons between the original PS3 version and the gameplay footage are, truly, incomparable.

The new Demon Souls reproduces the game shot for shot with brand new textures, models, an improved color palette and, most interestingly, two graphics options for players to choose from: a high-quality, high fidelity option designed to get even the new system’s architecture breaking a sweat, and a more performance-oriented, frame-rate friendly option.

You might even consider yourself lucky had you missed Demon Souls the first time around. As time wore on, it may have felt like a missed opportunity, certainly — especially with the PS3 quickly nearing the end of its own life cycle. But now, with this new Demon Souls re-rendered in nigh-peerless, merciless detail, you can experience the crushing, often harrowing journey through the Kingdom of Boletaria without any preconceived notions. Lucky you.

Pre-Order: Steam | Playstation

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

  • Release: TBA
  • Developer: Insomniac Games
  • Price: TBA

It’s been four years since the last one, which was a remake of the very first in the franchise, and longtime Ratchet and Clank fans — many of whom grew up with the original games — were immediately chomping at the bit to get their hands on the new game after its unveiling at the Playstation 5 reveal event.

The trailer had a lot for fans to unpack, but the game seems to pick up right where Into the Nexus left off, and it seems the Dimensionator has been repaired and is, as expected, going haywire. We see Ratchet and Clank, vividly rendered with superb specular detail, jumping through dimensions before eventually getting separated.

At the end of the reveal trailer, we see what looks like it might be a female lombax — which would be the first since the saucy Angela Cross appeared in Going Commando.  A lot has been made about this mysterious Lombax woman regarding whether or not she will be playable or if she’s even a lombax at all. The confusion over her species stems from previous comments from Insomniac regarding the anatomical sexual variation among Lombaxes, with them asserting that they do not have tails and that Angela Cross’ short ears are in fact a distinctive feminine trait among the Lombax.

However, it seems that Insomniac has chosen to revamp this aspect of Ratchet and Clank lore because this mysterious woman is in fact  a Lombax, and to answer the other question: yes, she will be playable. It’s likely, with the growth and advancement of concept art as an industry of its own, that the better shapes and more distinct character won out over worldbuilding consistency. Which is fair. The new female lombax looks awesome, with a bionic arm and a straight up cyber-hammer instead of a wrench. Kind of puts Angela Cross in a weird place within the canon though.

The Winner

With the way things stand now at the beginning of August, It looks like Xbox Series X currently holds a slight edge over the PS5 when it comes to their opening lineups. Not only does the Series X have a bigger roster of exclusives and timed exclusives coming with it, but it seems likely that there more to come. This is largely because Microsoft is pulling out the big guns (and that Microsoft-sized wallet) to stack the deck after being pretty decisively outdone by the PS4 last time around.

And we’re not complaining.

And this is just our opinion. More than quantity, what it really boils down to subjective quality. Whatever singular game gets you the most excited should be a decisive factor in which way the console-wind blows for you. If your nostalgia-meters get more hyped up by Ratchet and Clank than they do Halo, go for the PS5. If you think Avowed could be the successor to Skyrim you’ve been waiting for a generation to see, consider going for the Series X.


Stay tuned for more Xbox and PS5 comparisons, analysis, and updates on more titles coming to the next-gen consoles later this year, and remember — you don’t have to make a decision right now.

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