A new console generation is upon us. If you don’t play video games (or even if you do), navigating the tech and gaming landscapes can feel intimidating, even without the additional questions and confusion prompted by new PlayStation and Xbox systems hitting the market soon. If you’re a prospective buyer, like a parent doing some early holiday shopping, and find yourself in this camp–confused by all the different brands, naming conventions, accessories, and technical details–don’t worry! In this guide, we’ll walk you through what’s currently on the market, break down the key differences between the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S, and try to ease some of that gift-buying pressure.
Explaining Next Gen: The PS5 and Xbox Series X
Because of innovations in hardware and other trends and advancements in the game industry, new game consoles often launch around the same time. These periods are referred to as a “console generation.” The current generation of consoles includes Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which were both released in 2013, and the Nintendo Switch, which was released in 2017. When people refer to “next gen,” they are talking about the upcoming generation of new consoles.
In this case, the next generation of consoles includes the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, which will launch in November 2020. For a clearer look at some recent console generations from the past few decades, check out the table below.