A hot potato: The next-gen consoles are still a few months away, but based on what we’ve seen so far, many have already chosen the PlayStation 5 as the better machine—but not Gabe Newell. The Valve boss thinks the Xbox Series X will be superior to Sony’s product.
Newell, you might remember, has been in New Zealand since the beginning of the pandemic. He was on a break in the country following the shipping of Half-Life: Alyx and decided to stay when Covid-19 began spreading worldwide in March. He’s putting on a free concert to thank the Kiwis for hosting him and his friends.
Speaking on current affairs show The Project, Newell was asked which of the upcoming consoles was better. “The Xbox,” he replied, without pausing to think. When the host asked why, Newell said: “because it is.”
“I don’t have a stake in that race,” he added. “Obviously, we do most of our development on personal computers, but of the two I would definitely go with an Xbox.” Skip to around the 3:09 mark in the video to hear Newell’s views.
It’s not too surprising to see the CEO choose the Xbox. While Sony has started pushing some of its console exclusives onto Steam, Microsoft has long been trying to integrate its consoles with the PC, and the Series X will be no different. It’s also a very PC-like console, of course.
While the Xbox Series X boasts more raw power, the PS5 has a faster custom SSD. The drive can shift compressed data at a maximum of 9 GB/s—twice as fast as the Xbox Series X's 4.8 GB/s. After being decompressed, it can be processed at 5.5 GB/s, which again is about twice as fast as the 2.4 GB/s that Microsoft’s console can manage. Its speed forced Epic to rewrite parts of the Unreal Engine.
Sony is reportedly confident that the PS5 will become one of the best-selling consoles ever, and is planning to ship 120 – 170 million units across its five-year lifespan. Double the number of Xbox Series X units Microsoft is expected to ship.