Now that we know most of what there is to know about the PlayStation 5 (November 12, $499/$399) and various flavors of Xbox (November 10, $500/$300) arriving in a few months, what do we, as loyal PC gamers, make of them? And more fundamentally: will we buy them?
Off the back of Sony's showcase event today we asked our team: do you feel like you'll buy a next-gen console? What games or aspects of these newly-revealed platforms stand out to you compared to your rig?
I'll probably buy both, honestly
Now that all the cards are on the table, I can't remember a console generation where both Sony and Microsoft had such unique but competitive offerings. Both consoles sound extremely powerful and while I'm immediately drawn to the PS5 because of its exclusives—who can say no to another God of War?—I'm also really intrigued by Microsoft's xCloud and Game Pass. If that all plugs into the PC ecosystem fairly well, I think the Xbox Series X will make an excellent stand-in as a living room PC. In the past, this decision would have tormented me, but both consoles are also so reasonably priced compared to earlier years that I think buying both isn't so unrealistic. The real question becomes which one I get first, but I think that'll largely depend on the games available for each, and since that's Sony's strength, I'm guessing I'll get that. —Steven Messner
Our household will have both
...primarily because my partner works for Gamesradar+ so it's kinda in her job description. Honestly, I also spent the best part of a decade working for a PlayStation magazine, so having the new one also feels like popping back to visit relatives you haven't hung out with in a while. Beyond some of the Sony exclusives, there's not a ton I'm super excited to play so far, and having spent six (glorious) years on PC Gamer, I'm more enthused about picking up a 3090 soon and seeing what that does to my favourite games.
Speaking as the nominal boss around here, the arrival of both new consoles only feels like a net positive for gaming–very much including on PC–as a whole. We're written plenty about what the impact of ubiquitous fast SSD storage will be, and more advanced graphical features (4K, ray-tracing etc) becoming the de facto standard has to be good for multiplatform development generally. Finally, as I've noted too many times: I have no kids, nor any intention of acquiring them, so what else am I to spend my accrued riches on but more consumer electronics? Who's with me! —Tim Clark
I'm good, thanks
At the very beginning of Sony's presentation today, the final, pre-holidy coming-out and price announcement for its long-awaited PlayStation 5, it coughed this under its breath:
Why would I buy a PlayStation 5 when a PC is, even in the eyes of Sony itself, the desirable hardware to showcase PS5 games? Why would I need a PlayStation or an Xbox when most of their games release on PC? Every major game shown at Sony's event today apart from Spider-Man and presumably God of War: Ragnarok will release on PC. The console war is over, at least as far as PC gamers are concerned.
I was prepared to spend $450 for Demon's Souls, but…
Holy shit. As Evan says, it seems like almost everything is coming to PC now. The PlayStation still has a few exclusives, like Spider-man and God of War, that may stay on the console forever. But Bluepoint's gorgeous remake of Demon's Souls was the one big temptation for me, and that one just went up in smoke. I can wait out an exclusive period to play that one on my PC, and put the $400 I'd spend on the console towards a new RTX 3080.
I will say, though, that the pricing on Sony's digital edition of the PS5 is really good. $400 for a no-compromises 4K, 120fps-capable gaming machine, just by ditching the disc drive I would barely ever use anyway? Damn. Inevitably PCs will outperform these consoles, but right now it's great tech, and the $400 PS5 is a way better future-proofed buy than the $300 Xbox Series S. Killer move from Sony there. The thing the conference obscured was how few of those exclusives will actually be playable at launch, but I might've bought one in a moment of weakness just to play Demon's Souls. For now I'll breathe deeply and wait.
The recent weekend question asked which console I would choose, if PC gaming somehow disappeared and I could only play console games. Under duress I opted for the Xbox, although my real answer was, “I’ll find something else to do, thanks.” Well today I have good news—PC gaming has not disappeared, and after watching the PS5 showcase I feel more confident than ever in my decision to just not. The stuff I want to play is coming to PC, and quite frankly the stuff that’s not coming to PC, I can’t work up any excitement for. Maybe that’s platform bias talking, but it’s got me this far and at this point I’m perfectly happy to keep rolling with it. —Andy Chalk
It doesn't have anything to do with the new Xbox or PlayStation. I'm just not a console guy. I like playing games on my PC with a mouse and keyboard, and while I've had a few consoles in the past I pretty much just bought them for specific games—I bought an N64 just to play Zelda 64 and an Xbox 360 just to play Red Dead Redemption. These days I'm patient enough to wait a while for console exclusives to launch on PC, even if it's a year or more later, and if they never come to PC, like Breath of the Wild, well… I can always watch someone else play them on Twitch. —Chris Livingston
I was planning on pulling a Wes and dropping big bucks just for the Demon's Souls remake, but now that it's coming to PC I won't want a PS5 until Sony puts out a couple more close-cropped over-the-shoulder prestige narrative games. I almost never use my PS4 to play games anymore, maybe once a year for something like The Last of Us 2 or God of War, but otherwise it's a breathy Netflix machine. Mouse and keyboard support for all games going forward might tip the scales, but, eh. I'm good for now. —James Davenport