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The Real Reason PS5 Is Performing Better Than Xbox Series X

A recent collection of data from Digital Foundry has revealed that the PlayStation 5 is actually outperforming the Xbox Series X. While the Series X did take a slight lead in some areas of comparison on paper, the PS5 fared better in practice.

As reported by The VergeDigital Foundry has released a handful of videos analyzing game performance on both the Series X and PS5. Devil May Cry 5 did better in 4K and ray tracing performance on the Series X, but the high frame rate mode on the PS5 put a 40 FPS gap between the systems. Digital Foundry editor Richard Leadbetter suggested that this performance difference may be a result of "some kind of API limitation on the Xbox side where the GPU is being held back by something." In the case of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, which is marketed as a primarily Series X title, the game ran considerably smoother on the PS5.

Digital Foundry also experimented with Dirt 5 and found that the PS5 version did better in image quality and resolution, with detail levels far higher on the Sony console. Developer Codemasters did acknowledge the discrepancies and stated that the Series X version will be brought up to speed in a new patch. Finally, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War displayed the same advantage in 120 FPS mode on the PS5 as Devil May Cry 5.

These results were surprising given Microsoft's strong history of claims that the Series X would be not only the company's strongest console, but the most powerful console in the world. The Xbox Series X is capable of 12 teraflops of GPU performance in comparison to the PS5's 10.28 teraflops, and the Series X has higher memory bandwidth. Still, as Digital Foundry discovered, the latest Microsoft console's specs did not live up to their reputation. Sony is not without its own claims, though, since the company previously stated the PS5 would be the "world's fastest console."

The Verge did note that the performance discrepancies may be down to the individual games rather than the Series X as a whole, since developers seemed to receive dev kits for the Microsoft console later than the Sony console, giving developers less time to work. There may be a series of patches coming in from developers soon to work out the performance bugs on the Series X.

Microsoft did also acknowledge Digital Foundry's reports, stating to The Verge that it is working to find and resolve any issues that may hinder the Series X's performance. "Our partners are just now scratching the surface of what next-gen consoles can do and minor bug fixes are expected," Microsoft commented.