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The One Way Series S Is Better Than The PS5

The PlayStation 5 is billed as a true next-generation console. It'll play a lot of games in 4K at 60 frames-per-second, and it'll work a whole bunch of nifty new features into the mix, too. The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, is more of a budget option. It isn't meant to get anywhere near 4K, and it shaves off a lot of "nice to have" features in order to keep its cost down.

You wouldn't think the Xbox Series S would beat the PlayStation 5 in many categories — or, taking its $300 price tag into consideration, any categories. There is one area in which the Series S will be able to out-do the PS5, however, and what that area is might surprise you.

According to a report from IGN, the PlayStation 5 may fall short when it comes to natively supporting 1440p gaming monitors. As the site put it, Sony's next-gen machine will probably be "upscaling from 1080p" on these displays. You might be wondering, what does this mean, exactly? Long story short: if you're using a 1440p monitor, the visuals produced by the PS5 won't look as crisp. The console will be displaying a lower resolution image on a higher resolution screen.

What makes this news all the more interesting, however, is when you bring Microsoft's Xbox Series S into the equation.

Out of the two next-gen machines Microsoft has on the way, the Xbox Series S by far the less capable option. It'll still hit high frame rates in a lot of games — much like its older brother, the Series X — but in order to hit its super cheap price point, it makes some concessions along the way. Even still, the Xbox Series S has a top-end resolution target of 1440p, and will support monitors with that resolution natively.

To put it simply: the Xbox Series S is doing something the PlayStation 5 isn't. If you have a 1440p monitor all hooked up and ready for the next gen, it's entirely possible Xbox Series S games will look better on it than PlayStation 5 games. At the very least, you should get visuals that are more sharp on the Series S versus the PS5.

Now, that doesn't mean it's game over for the PS5, and that you should automatically go and purchase an Xbox Series S for optimal 1440p gaming. There's always the chance Sony could add support for that resolution at some point in the future. The Xbox One family of consoles, for example, didn't support 1440p at first but added it later on. Sony could do the same and effectively turn this minus into a plus.

There's also something else to consider: not every Xbox Series S title is going to hit 1440p. In fact, some aren't even trying at all. The latest example is Sea of Thieves. When that game's next-gen update arrives on Nov. 10, the game will leap to 4K, 60 frames-per-second on the Xbox Series X. The Series S, meanwhile, will do 60 frames-per-second at 1080p.

The same goes for Fortnite. While the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will both run the game at 4K and 60 FPS, the Xbox Series S will stick to 1080p and 60 FPS. This title, like Sea of Thieves, isn't shooting for that 1440p target at all, which may disappoint those picking up a Series S. Some might say 1080p and 60 FPS is still pretty good for a $300 box. But because these games won't render at a native 1440p, they won't be taking full advantage of monitors with that resolution.

That's not to say all is lost, though. According to The Verge, both Gears Tactics and Yakuza: Like a Dragon will hit that 1440p target. It's not as though every game is simply deciding to opt for 1080p. But some definitely are. It's something to keep in mind.

At the end of the day, however, all this talk about resolution may be moot. If you're someone who cares less about the resolution you play games in and more about the games themselves, you may want to base your console choice on that.

As Bloomberg's Jason Schreier reminded followers on Twitter, Microsoft's next-gen machines have "ZERO games that can't be played on other platforms." If you already have a gaming PC, the Xbox Series S won't necessarily give you anything new. With that in mind, perhaps your money would be better spent on a PS5. It may not do 1440p natively, but while you're neck deep in Horizon Forbidden West, you might not care.