The Abstract Podcast

Xbox Series X vs. PlayStation 5: The battles inside the gaming world

In this episode, we discuss key issues shaping the future of video game culture.


As Covid-19 continues to keep millions of people at home, more people are trying — and playing — video games than ever before.

Embracing endless hours of Animal Crossing, Fortnite, or Valorant during long stretches of isolation? That’s nothing new to generations of gamers who are all too familiar with how to comfortably shelter in place.

With its surging popularity comes new opportunities for important conversations in and outside the gaming world. (Not surprisingly, it’s competitive.) From the latest “console wars” that have Sony and Microsoft battling it out to become your next living room fixture, to a new focus on long-standing social issues involving toxic subcultures that have plagued the gaming community for years.

A fresh look at what players are engaging in, and how they’re engaging, can offer new insight into an ever-evolving gaming culture.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss key issues shaping the future of video game culture.

Our first story looks at how brand loyalty and exclusivity continue to shape the gaming industry. As July 2020’s Xbox Games Showcase reignites a historical Playstation-Xbox rivalry, new details about the Xbox Series X hint at how the next-generation console war is shaping the future of gaming.

Our second story takes a closer look at gaming culture through a phenomenon known as “review bombing.” As The Last of Us Part II becomes the latest major release to draw the wrath of armchair critics, will aggregation review platforms like Metacritic become an important battleground in an exhausting culture war?

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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