Microsoft and Sony have both created rather bulky next-gen consoles. We’ve known for weeks that the PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history, but Microsoft’s Xbox Series X isn’t exactly small. Now that we have both consoles to compare side by side, the design decisions and differences are immediately obvious.
Microsoft and Sony have both taken different approaches to console design for this next generation. These design choices are apparent when you place both side by side vertically or horizontally. The PS5 is bigger than the Xbox Series X is almost every way possible.
While the PS5 towers over the Xbox Series X when stood vertically, it’s thinner when you lay it down. That will mean you can slot the PS5 into TV stands where you can’t squeeze an Xbox Series X. That's something you’ll have to consider ahead of the full reviews.
Placement of the consoles is important since both require adequate ventilation to ensure there’s no heat or dust building up inside or around the devices that could potentially affect performance and noise in the months ahead.
The PS5 measures approximately 390mm (15.4 inches) tall, 260mm (10.24 inches) deep and 104mm (4.09 inches) wide, while the Xbox Series X is 301mm (11.8 inches) tall, and 151mm (5.9 inches) wide or deep.
Sony and Microsoft’s designs also differ when it comes to accessing internals. Sony is allowing PS5 owners to open up the console and clean out dust, or even expand its storage capabilities through an M.2 SSD slot. The Xbox Series X doesn’t invite or allow you to open it up, and storage expansion is handled by proprietary expansion cards.
The differences between next-gen Xbox and the PS5 consoles get even more apparent when you look at the smaller Xbox Series S. Microsoft has managed to squeeze most of the components from the Xbox Series X into a far smaller package, without the same GPU power found on the larger console.
Comparing the Xbox Series S to the PS5 is like comparing apples and oranges based purely on overall specs, but physically they’re also very different. The Xbox Series S is just 275mm (10.8 inches) tall, 151mm (5.9 inches) deep, and 63.5mm (2.5 inches) wide in a vertical position. This smaller Xbox looks almost out of place next to the towering PS5 and bulky Xbox Series X.
While Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles don’t have removable stands, Sony has opted for a stand that you’ll need to move based on orientations. The PS5 stand is disc-shaped, and it attaches using a flathead screwdriver to the bottom of the console. The stand also has claws that fit into a recessed part of the PS5 when it stands vertically, or you simply remove the stand from the bottom and use these claws to clip it to the back of the console to rest it horizontally.
The Xbox Series X has its own stand, but it’s non-removable. When you lay the Xbox Series X horizontally, it almost looks like it has fallen over as the stand stays attached. The Xbox Series S looks good in either position without the need for any stand, and it’s clearly designed to fit inside TV cabinets easily.
We’ll have a full review of all three next-gen consoles in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
Photography by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge