console war

PS5 leak details how Sony could one-up the Xbox Series X

Could this decide the next-gen console war?

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We know about a few PlayStation 5 features, but its design, price, and specs list all remain unknown, but that may have changed earlier this week with an alleged leak showing how the PS5 could defeat Microsoft’s Xbox Series X in one key way: Teraflops.

The anonymous user posted a detailed PS5 specs list on March 3 to the sketchy online forum 4chan. This post also included that its “estimated retail price” would be $499 and that Sony would reveal the console that same day. That March 3 reveal never happened, casting doubt on the source's legitimacy, but if we compare these "leaks" to the Series X’s internals, then Sony has a pretty clear edge over Xbox.

On March 5, the company that is making both the PS5 and Series X’s internal components, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), confirmed that the consoles will come with nearly identical specs under the hood. Microsoft unveiled several Series X specs on February 24, confirming that the console will launch with 12 teraflops of graphical power. Is it possible that Sony's PS5 could come with even more 'flops?

Could gamers be swayed by an extra teraflop?Karl Tapales/Moment Unreleased/Getty Images

Sony could be aiming for just over 13 teraflops based on these recent 4chan leaks. That could be just enough of a hardware improvement to convert the more hardcore console gamers that probably preferred the Xbox One to the PS4, but it probably won’t have diehard Xbox fans rushing to convert until we have more confirmed details

Here’s the full list of the allegedly leaked PS5 specs:

  • 13.3 TF Custom RDNA 2 GPU @ 1.7 GHZ with 60 Compute Units
  • AMD Zen 2 8 core @ 3.4 GHZ (Sony is working on boosting to 3.7GHZ)
  • RAM 16 GB GDDR6 + 4GB DDR4
  • 1 TB SSD at 5.5 GB/s
  • Dedicated RT and 3D Audio cores
  • 565 GB Bandwidth
  • Full digital backward compatibility with every PlayStation console and handheld for a library of 1000’s of games on day 1
  • Enhanced Dual Shock 5 with haptic triggers, heartbeat monitors and built-in microphone
  • PlayStation AI assistant that allows you to change games create parties and more with voice commands
The next-gen console war will likely be decided based on price and exclusive games.

Does an extra teraflop matter?

The short answer is that such a small difference in teraflops won't matter that much.

“Teraflop” is computer jargon for the trillions of operations that a graphical processing unit (GPU) can execute every second. In other words, the PS5’s GPU will allegedly be able to pull off a trillion more operations per second than the Series X, which could translate to better frame rates. Teraflops alone don’t determine how well a console runs, however.

It will all come down to how each console’s parts interact with each other based on their system architecture. Every time a console boots up its GPU, CPU, and the software that drives them all, these many components engage in a subtle tango that results in what's essentially a computer allowing you to interact with complex visual renderings using an input device (a video game).

Seeing that AMD will be responsible for both the CPU and GPU of the PS5 and Series X, chances are several of those crucial internal components will be similar. Because of that, the upcoming console war will be won more by console price and game exclusives, because those are the two major factors that will differentiate the two consoles. Tertiary features like backward compatibility is also more important than the number of teraflops.

Which console will you be picking up?Shutterstock

The price of next-gen consoles is still up in the air

Neither Sony or Microsoft have announced a price for their next-gen consoles. There has been a flurry of reports and rumors suggesting that both companies will release two versions of their gaming systems: an affordable and premium model.

Xbox “Lockhart” could be priced as low as $300 and Sony might end up making its rumored PS5 Pro near $500. The baseline PS5 might be priced closer to the Lockhart. The actual games people can play on these systems and the price they'll have to pay for the consoles are the most crucial factors here.

Will Sony wind up flaunting a better-performing GPU as a power move once details are confirmed? Or will the company instead focus on console exclusives?

No diehard Halo fan will give up being able to play Halo Infinite on the Xbox Series X just because the PS5 has an extra teraflop, but it could be just the edge Sony needs to one-up Microsoft's new console.

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