Image: Microsoft

On paper, Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox Series X is definitely the most powerful console ever produced, but real-world performance has turned out to be something quite different. Recent reviews have highlighted the fact that numerous games (e.g., Devil May Cry 5 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla) actually perform better on Sony’s PlayStation 5, which is amusing, being that it has a slower CPU (3.5 GHz vs. 3.8 GHz) and GPU (10.28 TFLOPS vs. 12.15 TFLOPS).

Digital Foundry discovered that Devil May Cry 5’s high frame rate mode runs far better on the PS5, with performance gaps as wide as 40 FPS. The Xbox Series X version of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is also said to suffer from lots of screen tearing and dips below 60 FPS, unlike Sony’s version. We’re also hearing that DIRT 5 has better texture filtering and higher resolution on PS5, while Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s 120 FPS mode runs worse on Xbox.

Following an article from The Verge questioning why the “world’s most powerful console” is being outperformed by the PS5, Microsoft has supplied a statement to save face, noting that it’s working hard with developers to ensure that the Xbox Series X versions reach parity with Sony’s editions.

“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,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

“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.”

This is an embarrassing situation for Microsoft, as the brute force of the Xbox Series X has always been its biggest selling point. The company has even claimed that its next-gen console has a better, fuller implementation of AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture.

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15 Comments

  1. Two things immediately come to mind as possible problems:
    [LIST=1]

  2. These are cross-gen titles. Recall that Gen 8 also had lackluster releases in terms of tech at the beginning of their lifetime.
  3. The Series X is dealing with much more overhead than the PS5. It is making available all kinds of other secondary features immediately to the player compared to the PS5.
  4. [/LIST]

  5. I’ll probably give MS the benefit of the doubt here. It sounds like devs had more time with PS5, and the Valhalla XSX|S issues were patched up pretty quick – I imagine other port issues will follow suit. I don’t think we’ll see much difference between 3rd party titles for either console, and it will be the 1st party titles that will really push the consoles.

  6. It was only a small handful of titles that saw any meaningful performance delta between PS4Pro and XB1X… and even when it existed it was pretty minor and only noticeable if you were specifically looking for it. I didn’t exactly expect it to be a lot different here.

  7. Somebody fire Phil Spencer already – he botched the Xbox one launch and now he’s botching the series x launch even worse. He’s worse than Jim Ryan

  8. [QUOTE=”Bluphoenicks, post: 24355, member: 2075″]
    Somebody fire Phil Spencer already – he botched the Xbox one launch and now he’s botching the series x launch even worse. He’s worse than Jim Ryan
    [/QUOTE]
    Don Mattrick was responsible for the Xbox One launch. Phil Spencer is the one responsible for bringing the focus of the Xbox brand back to games after Mattrick was forced to resign and is why we have great services like Play Anywhere, Game Pass/Game Pass for PC, and xCloud now. They have been making all kinds of right decisions with him leading the Xbox division.

    1. Game Pass looks great now, but it will take at least 10yrs for an exclusive title to earn what any single ps4 exclusive does. Thats assuming best case scenario, where every current subscriber is on the most expensive plan and profits are only split amongst those first party studios. Frankly, there are a ton of free X months on top of the $1 trial. I’ve subscribed for 4 months and never spent a penny, which is great bc I barely touch it. So how do they pay everyone enough to not lose key staff and/or contracts? Bleed MS overall of cash year after year until investors demand a change?

      Then again, maybe they plan to lock everything behind microtransactions eventually. Or dramatically increase the cost in a couple years so that they aren’t losing billions annually.

  9. [QUOTE=”Armenius, post: 24359, member: 180″]
    Don Mattrick was responsible for the Xbox One launch. Phil Spencer is the one responsible for bringing the focus of the Xbox brand back to games after Mattrick was forced to resign and is why we have great services like Play Anywhere, Game Pass/Game Pass for PC, and xCloud now. They have been making all kinds of right decisions with him leading the Xbox division.
    [/QUOTE]
    Except for using Windows Store to distribute their XBGP titles…

  10. We see similar issues every console release. Faux outrage over game optimization seems like pretty low hanging fruit.

  11. Both consoles have two skus. Sony, has the same exact hardware, minus a disc drive in the cheaper model. Microsoft, created two completely different consoles. So I would imagine it being easier to optimize games for the Ps5 with that aspect. Microsoft made a stupid decision in changing the hardware in the series s. Should’ve

  12. [QUOTE=”Uoman, post: 24404, member: 1421″]
    Game Pass looks great now, but it will take at least 10yrs for an exclusive title to earn what any single ps4 exclusive does. Thats assuming best case scenario, where every current subscriber is on the most expensive plan and profits are only split amongst those first party studios. Frankly, there are a ton of free X months on top of the $1 trial. I’ve subscribed for 4 months and never spent a penny, which is great bc I barely touch it. So how do they pay everyone enough to not lose key staff and/or contracts? Bleed MS overall of cash year after year until investors demand a change?

    Then again, maybe they plan to lock everything behind microtransactions eventually. Or dramatically increase the cost in a couple years so that they aren’t losing billions annually.
    [/QUOTE]
    I don’t know, the idea of subscription is x amount times millions in a constant flow.
    Of course the how many millions is the question.
    10 a month times… 10 million? More?
    It adds uo quick?
    I think they will end up with 3 tiers, one of them will probably be fairly high price and will include the newest game as fast as possible, the other two would get a cadance of the new titles, with the lowest rung getting the biggest delay. How fast you have access to a new game has a lot of value to a lot of people ( and in many ways it does, to me not too much, but I can understand why)
    I think this can work, in a big way.
    Its the first time I see xbox more dominant of the future than ever… Unless ms just mucks everything up and sony screws them, which they just might.
    Ms should ask developers to always include keyboard and mouse support. With the resurgence of pc gaming, the series x would make the cheapest gaming computer ever, though it would be locked down I know, but that is a matter of making the selection of games huge on it, which is not a compatibility problem. This is a Trojan horse in waiting like no other… But surely they hem and haw, and muck everything up.

  13. XBGP has been the strongest point Microsoft has had for a long while. I think it’s definitely their biggest strength. I gave it a shot on the PC for a while (mainly to play Outer Worlds). The price at the time was certainly right, and it had an OK catalog of games at the time, but once I finished the game I didn’t have anything compelling to keep me subscribed.

    Although now that PS5 availabiltiy and issues are starting to crop up, I’m re-thinking that with XB1SX…. it hasn’t exactly been available either, but if I had happened to see one in inventory before I can snag a PS5, XBGP is the one single thing that would let me jump over to Microsoft and not feel bad at all about investing into a new ecosystem’s hardware.

    The things that irk me about it:

    For the PC, it relies on Windows Store, which is horrible horrible and makes me want to just walk away from the PC aspect altogether. Yes, MS is offering many of their titles on Steam now, but as far as I know, XBGP is still inextricably linked to Windows Store.

    There isn’t parity between XBGP for the PC and for the Console. Maybe there shouldn’t be, but it’s annoying to see Title XYZ is coming to XBGP, but only for the console. If there were parity, I likely would have continued my sub on the PC even after I finished Outer Worlds, and despite my dislike for the way Windows Store treats my PC storage.

    Games tend to fall off quite frequently. You may have a big name title on there, but it’s only available for 6 or twelve months before it’s pulled. I realize you don’t own the game (even if you bought it, you still don’t own it), but every month I see another list of titles coming and going. The going is what keeps reinforcing the idea that XBGP is transient, and I would be afraid to invest a lot of time into a game only to see it get pulled once I really start getting into it.

    The last point there makes me think that it’s intentional – XBGP is just there to give you a big enough library to choose from to not be afraid to dive into the ecosystem, the games are there just long enough to give you a good taste, and once you dig into a couple of them, you’ll go and buy them outright so you can keep them once they roll off sub. It’s not the worst business model I’ve ever seen, but it does give me a bit of a pause. I guess if I think about it rationally – having the ability to try and play titles, especially those $60-70 AAA titles, before I decide to buy, even if it costs a bit monthly, isn’t a bad idea at all.

  14. Actually that makes sense. Use your sub to play the new game.. just long enough for it to have some steep discounts or gray market proliferation. Then buy it and win.

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