Microsoft is trying to figure out why PS5 games outperform Xbox Series X games

  • In early testing, PS5 games look better and run more smoothly than Xbox Series X games.
  • Microsoft says that the Xbox Series X is “the world’s most powerful console,” but many multiplatform games are performing better on the PlayStation 5.
  • Microsoft is working with its Xbox development partners to address these discrepancies.

One of the more compelling mysteries heading into this video game console generation concerned the power of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Which console would have the edge? The raw numbers pointed to the Xbox Series X coming out on top — which explains why Microsoft calls it “the world’s most powerful console” — but the early tests seem to suggest that the PS5 is actually outperforming its next-generation rival.

While the PS5 has a number of exclusive launch titles that debuted alongside the console on November 12th, many of the biggest games of the fall are available on both PS5 and Xbox Series X. The problem for Xbox fans is that most of those games appear to be running better on Sony’s console than on Microsoft’s.

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Digital Foundry has spent the past few weeks looking at multiplatform games on PS5 and Xbox Series X to see how the two consoles compare. As The Verge notes, the PS5 versions of the games consistently perform better than their Xbox counterparts. The Series X version of Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition marginally outperforms the PS5 version in performance mode, but the high frame rate mode is significantly better on PS5. The same is true for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which has a more consistent frame rate on PS5 while suffering from screen tearing and juddering on Series X. Meanwhile, the image quality and the resolution of Dirt 5 are better on PS5 than Series X.

Some of the discrepancies can be addressed with patches, but developers explain to The Verge that the Xbox Series X developer environment is contributing to uneven performances. Apparently, PS5 dev kits were being delivered long before Xbox Series X dev kits, which meant that developers had far less time to work with Microsoft’s hardware and optimize their games. This should hopefully balance out in the weeks and months to come.

“We are aware of performance issues in a handful of optimized titles on Xbox Series X|S and are actively working with our partners to identify and resolve the issues to ensure an optimal experience,” Microsoft revealed to The Verge. “As we begin a new console generation, our partners are just now scratching the surface of what next-gen consoles can do and minor bug fixes are expected as they learn how to take full advantage of our new platform. We are eager to continue working with developers to further explore the capability of Xbox Series X|S in the future.”

Both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are incredibly impressive pieces of hardware, and each has perks that the other can’t match. For example, the Xbox Series X is backward compatible with every Xbox console ever made, has access to Game Pass, and theoretically has more power than the PS5, but it might be a while before we truly see what the console is capable of, especially with no new Xbox Game Studios titles coming out this fall.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.