The next generation of gaming consoles is here and has been since last year. Of course, there’s a good possibility that if you’ve tried to get one you’ve been unsuccessful. According to statistics released by both companies these consoles have been selling better than any other they have ever put out.
There’s a lot of reason for this and we’ll get into them and then we’ll get into what’s inside these next generation consoles that are on the market. Maybe it’ll help you when deciding which device you want to purchase to play any of the new triple A titles that have been releasing for them since their release, or maybe you’ll just play online poker using them. The choice is yours.
The amount of consoles being purchased has gone upwards drastically from what the companies producing them had predicted when they were first put into production. This has mostly to do with people having a lot more free time stuck around their houses without the possibility of going out.
Something about not being able to go to restaurants, concerts, the movies, or even meet up with friends makes people look for something else to do with their time. The release of the next generation of gaming consoles is a perfect thing for people who didn’t already have a gaming console or anything of that sort to get them and start playing.
So a lot more people were trying to buy the consoles and the stock couldn’t keep up. But that wasn’t the only problem with people’s ability to get their hands on one of the next gen consoles. A lot of it also has to do with people who scalp the consoles too.
Scalpers are people who buy up most of, or all, of the stock for a device and then sell it afterward at a massive markup for profit. Scalpers are especially bad for the new gaming consoles released for a variety of reasons.
The biggest was that these scalpers were able to get large quantities of stock much much faster than any normal customer could’ve hoped for. The scalpers were using things called bots, which are a form of AI program that automatically buys a bunch of a certain thing as soon as stock is available.
This means that the scalpers always have a supply of fresh consoles to sell online and that the amount of consoles going out to normal regular customers remains low. Obviously, this is great for the scalper because they want the demand to stay high while supply stays low.
Another reason that this is a problem for the next gen consoles was the fact that the scalpers were making money. With so many people trying to get their hands on these new consoles there were a lot more people willing to pay scalpers much more than the consoles were worth for them, especially people who might not have known how much exactly the console sold for originally.
If people who are just looking to buy a gaming console search up for one and the only place that actually has them is a bunch of eBay listings or Craigslist ads of course people are going to buy them.
And with people buying them of course that means the scalpers aren’t simply going to stop, and so the cycle continues on and on.
Another bigger problem was that the companies manufacturing the original next gen consoles weren’t doing much to try and stop people from scalping their products.
Some of the official websites for buying one of these consoles didn’t even have anything as simple as a ReCaptcha to try and stop bots from buying all the stock.
A ReCaptcha is what almost every website that has anything of even mild importance on it for verifying that a person is actually a person and not a robot in disguise. They’re those nifty things that ask you to click a button or find every fire hydrant in a set of pictures or something along those lines.
You probably know exactly what I’m talking about and you can probably remember almost every website you’ve logged into, pretty much ever, having some form of ReCaptcha.
Why any of the companies producing these next gen consoles didn’t have any form of ReCaptcha when trying to purchase one of the consoles is still a mystery. The most likely answer is that anyone that tries to buy a console, regardless if they just intend to immediately resell it at an insane mock up price, is still a customer who is going to pay you money for your goods or services.
The PlayStation 5
The PlayStation 5 is Sony’s next generation console, coming after the PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 5 was first announced all the way back in April of 2019. There were hints that a next generation console was in development before this though.
Back in early 2019 when Sony released their financial report for the first quarter of 2019 it showed that another console was in development. This was rightfully thought to be the PlayStation 5, which it was.
The console was intended to launch at some point in 2020 and was rumored to be coming in mid 2020. Later in a second interview about the console in the Magazine Wired, it was revealed that the console wouldn’t be coming until late 2020, which was when it was released.
It went relatively quiet about the console for a few months until a games library showcase announcement event was announced and planned.
A games library showcase is an event where most of the game development companies making games for a console or device come together at a big event to show off what they are working on.
Usually, the games shown at a games library event are the ones that are going to be available to the console on launch. Obviously, the hype around such an event is very high every time one of these events is planned.
The event was originally planned to be done on the 4th of June 2020 but had to be delayed due to concerns over safety and security because of the George Floyd Riots.
The event featured quite a few games from notable companies, such as a re release of GTA V, a new Ratchet and Clank game along with many other games. On a side note, GTA V has now been released for almost every console in the last ten years. It was first released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
That means it’s now been released for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC. That’s a lot of devices for a single game to be ported to. Almost as much as Skyrim.
There were regular ads about the PlayStation 5 following this event all the way until September 16th, 2020 when at a new event Sony announced the pricing and release dates of the PlayStation 5.
They even announced the existence of the two different versions of the PlayStation 5, the physical drive one and the digital only one. The difference between the two versions was one included an HD BlueRay drive inside of the device that allows users to own and use physical disks inside of their PlayStation. This means that people who own the physical drive version of the PlayStation can actually go to a store and buy a game.
This means that they technically own their games to a larger extent since they have a physical copy of them. They can also very easily load in the disks of their old PlayStation 4 games and be able to play them on their PlayStation 5 without any hassle of needing to switch over or connect accounts or any other things.
The digital-only version is pretty much the same as the other, physical drive version, one except that it’s thinner because it doesn’t need to house a disk drive inside of it.
Besides the hardware differences, as in the lack of a disk drive, the devices are pretty much the same. The biggest reason to buy one over the other is the price. The digital-only one is around $100 cheaper than the other model.
There was of course quite a large bit of people that were upset about this. I mean really, a hundred extra dollars just to be a disk drive into a console? It does seem kind of outrageous.
But alas, that’s what the company decided and that’s what we have today.
The console itself is quite impressive, regardless of whether or not an extra disk drive costs an extra hundred dollars.
Apparently, when the PS4 was still the main console out for PlayStation the Sony engineering and design team semi-regularly checked in with different game development companies to ask about things regarding the console.
It mostly consisted of what were the biggest hindrances and roadblocks developers ran into when trying to make games related to the console. The biggest thing that they said they consistently got told was that the hard drive that the previous console had was too slow for loading big games and needing to be upgraded.
Therefore that’s one of the pieces that has been mostly designed for the new PlayStation 5. It comes with an upgradable large Solid State Drive that can load and run the game exponentially faster than the previous Hard Drive that the last-gen console had.
This already by itself greatly improves the quality and size of games that can be published for the console.
As for the specs of the rest of the console. Those are also great improvements over the previous generation of consoles. It features a custom-designed Ryzen graphics card, a custom CPU, and 16 gigabytes of GDDR6 SDRAM.
All of this is stored in a System on a Chip (or SOC for short) which is a solid board with all the parts built directly in it. For a device like this where all the parts are custom built and not interchangeable having it all on a SOC saves a lot of money in the long run.
Xbox Series X/S
The Xbox Series X/S was first rumored to be coming also back in early 2018. At the time it was hidden behind the companies code name for it, which was Project Scarlet. There were rumors of two different consoles being released at launch.
One of them would be a higher end, more geared towards peak performance device, and the other one a much cheaper yet less powerful device.
These were codenamed Anaconda and Lockhart respectively. The two devices were then revealed at the Game Awards 2019 to be the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S respectively.
There was a lot of information revealed at the event and at events following it to release, with a big emphasis on a “soft” transition and backward compatibility.
Originally the company, Microsoft, planned to divulge more information about the Xbox Series X and S at both Game Developers Conference and E3 2020 but both events were canceled due to the global COVID-19 Pandemic.
So Microsoft planned to have an online conference on the days that those events were originally planned and reveal the information about the next gen consoles there.
They revealed a lot about what was inside the machines in this conference and events following these up until release. There were also other Games Showcase Conference but for Xbox which revealed, that both GTA V was coming to the Xbox Series X/S and that a new Halo installment was also coming.
Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, talked at length about how Microsoft is prioritizing faster load times and better frame rates over getting a higher resolution.
The console itself is powered by a custom Ryzen CPU that has 8 independent cores and a clock speed of almost 3.8 GHz. The graphics card inside the machine is another custom Ryzen card made for the Xbox Series X. The console also comes with 16 gigabytes of GDDR6 SDRAM.