Bleats

PlayStation 5 Vs. Xbox Scarlett: Everything You Need To Know Before Making Your Choice

Or you could not eat for a year and get them both.

It’s been a good generation for video games but the next era is about to dawn upon us in the form of Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Scarlett (which is likely not going to be the final name for it).

Both are penciled in for the holidays in 2020, which gives us plenty of time to take a deeper look at whether the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Scarlett will be your console of choice. If you’re planning to get both then maybe skip this next part and go straight to the end.

PlayStation 5

WIRED got the lowdown on Sony’s latest gaming console and the TL:DR is that the PlayStation 5 is going to be a hell of a beast. While Sony are keeping its cards close to its chest, they did pull the curtain back on some of its impressive specs:

  • Size – No idea but it likely won’t be smaller than the PS4.
  • CPU – AMD Zen 2 (cutting edge stuff).
  • GPU – AMD Navi with ray tracing.
  • RAM – Dunno.
  • Disk Drive? – Yep.
  • Storage – Solid-State Drive
  • 4K? – Definitely, plus there’s 8K support.
  • Price? – No clue but it’ll likely be expensive (around $550 going off what the PS4 initially cost).
  • Backwards compatibility? – Yes, thank frigging Christ.
  • Cloud streaming? – PlayStation Now but it’s unconfirmed, not that it matters given how our internet won’t let us use this properly anyway.
  • Controller – New one that will apparently resemble the PS4 one (no surprises there) but will be charged by USB-C.
  • X factors? – The PlayStation 5 will allow you to install games in chunks so you can choose what bits you want rather than getting everything including stuff you’ll never touch.
Those are some good specs.

Xbox Scarlett

Microsoft pulled the curtain back on its Xbox Scarlett – titled Project Scarlett for npw – a bit earlier than Sony but its console is certainly no slouch. Hell, it looks like it might even win out on the power specs if the recent PS4 Pro and Xbox One X comparisons are anything to go by.

  • Size – No idea but it likely won’t be smaller than the Xbox One.
  • CPU – AMD Ryzen (more cutting edge stuff).
  • GPU – AMD Navi with ray tracing.
  • RAM – GDDR6 RAM.
  • Disk Drive? – Yep.
  • Storage – Solid-State Drive.
  • 4K? – Yeop, and also with 8K support.
  • Price? – No clue but it’ll also be expensive (around $600 going off what the Xbox One initially cost).
  • Backwards compatibility? – Again yes, thank god.
  • Cloud streaming? – Project xCloud but it’s also unconfirmed, not that it matters again because of our dodgy internet.
  • Controller – Backwards compatible with Xbox One controllers but no idea on any new controller yet.
  • X factors? – No idea but Microsoft will surely have something up its sleeve.
Microsoft are doing well this gen.

Verdict

Based on what we know about the consoles (so far), there’s honestly barely anything separating the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett when it comes to hardware so the battle will likely be won on the software front.

As for the actual game front, only one title has been announced – Halo Infinite for Xbox Scarlett – but if we go by what happened when the PS4 and Xbox One were released, Sony will have the edge based on the deep well of game studios it has under its belt. Plus we have big teases from some acclaimed studios so it looks like Sony will be coming out guns blazing.

Having said that, Microsoft appears to have learned its lesson and has been acquiring game studios left and right in recent years so it seems like we’re going to get some quality exclusive titles that’ll match Sony’s impressive output.

As for which one to go, well it’s like picking between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo or Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – they’re both great in their own different ways and you’re not going to be disappointed with what you end up getting.

Except for your wallet.

'One Night Stand' Is The Most Realistic Depiction Of A Drunken Hook-Up Aftermath You'll Ever Play

Unsettlingly real.

We’ve seen one night stands and drunken hook-ups play out in awkward and occasionally comedic fashion plenty of times in films and video games. But perhaps nothing captures the experience quite as honestly and realistically as One Night Stand.

Developed by indie dev Kinmoku, One Night Stand is less of a “video game” and more of a visual novel or interactive movie. There’s no shooting, no princess you have to rescue or some alien world you need to save.

Instead, all it involves is dialogue and conversing with the woman whom you drunkenly hooked up with the night before and finding out more about who she is, what exactly happened and what your next course of action should be.

It’s very minimalistic and befitting of a premise as limited as the awkward morning after a one night stand and yet it all works brilliantly.

Using a branching dialogue system, you can direct the conversation with the mystery woman in whatever way you see fit. You can choose to be an honest and respectful guest or you can opt to be an arsehole who steals her underwear and bails when the woman is out of the room.

It says a lot about a game that allows you to steal someone’s panties within five minutes of starting out.

Without going into the dialogue options too much as it will spoil the experience, One Night Stand is a unique visual novel in that it somehow manages to translate the real awkward emotion and experience of an actual hook-up into a playable format.

There’s a genuine sense of bewilderment when you first wake up with a raging hangover, the feeling of dread after realising you’re in a stranger’s bed, the awkwardness of having to converse with said stranger, and the vulnerability that arises when you’re trying to re-establish boundaries.

“So… you, uh, like stuff?”

There’s more than enough replay value in One Night Stand due to its 12 possible outcomes, all of which are relatable to many. There’s a little repetitiveness but the generally concise yet open-ended dialogue also encourages you to play over and over again in order to see how things play out.

As a whole, One Night Stand doesn’t really offer any new insights into drunken hook-ups. Rather, it’s more of a sounding board for players to share their thoughts and opinions on the matter.

It’s not a particularly comfortable game to play, there’s weird tension throughout the experience and you occasionally left wondering whether you did the right thing, not unlike an actual one night stand actually.

Perhaps that’s the entire point of the game.

A RL Special Forces Sergeant Tells Us How 'Ghost Recon Breakpoint' Is About Fantasy, Not Violence

Ghost Recon Breakpoint isn't the full-blown military simulator you're looking for.

One talking point that comes up almost every time a shooter game is released is the topic of video game violence, despite studies debunking any link between gaming and being violent. With Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint shaping up to be one of 2019’s most buzzed about titles, I decided to talk about this very topic with one of the game’s writers and its military consultant, Special Forces Media Sergeant Emil Daubon.

When I ask him about the topic of video game violence, his thoughts on it given both his extensive experience in both the United States Special Forces and in writing a shooter game like Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Emil doesn’t think much about it.

“I don’t know if I’m qualified to have an opinion about video game violence,” he muses, “truthfully, this is a fantasy and it’s a fantasy based on something people want to experience.”

“What we’re doing is providing players the opportunity to immerse themselves in a fantasy that embodies the essence of that [soldier] persona, and that’s it. There’s no way you can ever emulate combat and that’s never been the point, the point it’s always been the fantasy.”

Emil’s response to my question about video game violence certainly aligns with how Ubisoft approached Ghost Recon Breakpoint compared to past titles.

Whereas previous Ghost Recon entries were set in real world locations, Breakpoint is set in a fictional island called Auroa and this allowed for greater flexibility in terms of the storytelling and gameplay mechanics.

“A fictional location gives [Ubisoft] unlimited licence to expand on it however we see fit,” says Emil, “we don’t have to justify some new, curious biome, it’s our world, it’s a fantasy we created.”

“With post-launch content planned, we wanted the ability to expand the story, the gameplay, all aspects of the game in whatever direction [Ubisoft] felt was necessary to continue the fantasy, the immersion of the Ghosts.”

While Ubisoft originally brought Emil on to do “systemic” writing for Ghost Recon Breakpoint (the callout signs from the AI, comments random non-playable characters make), his Special Forces experience made him the perfect person to consult on the game and his role eventually evolved to include working on things like missions and combat details.

While accuracy from a military perspective was important, Emil stressed that full-on authenticity wasn’t what Ubisoft were going for due to technical and storytelling constraints.

“Often times it’s just the way someone holds a gun, it might not fit with the aesthetic they’re trying to achieve,” says Emil, “my job isn’t to lay down the law of what is or isn’t real, my job is to take the director’s vision and make it viable within a realm of authenticity.”

Aside from slightly inaccurate gun-handling moments in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, players shouldn’t expect the games and missions to operate like they would in real-life either. Emil says he did draw on his military experience, there actually wasn’t as much emphasis on accuracy on the minute details.

“I didn’t feel that pursuing it in that [realistic] way would be effective,” recalls Emil, “there were countless times in development when there were certain things [Ubisoft] wanted to achieve and I was able to take my experience, my training and just say ‘when I was in a similar situation, this happened or I did this, maybe we can find a balance between [realism] and [fantasy].”

Given how shooters like Ghost Recon and Call of Duty are all bringing in real life soldiers and experienced military personnel as consultants, I wondered what would set Breakpoint apart from all the other games of the same ilk.

After some thinking, Emil points to the game’s narrative – Breakpoint has players playing as a Ghost Recon leader who goes up against a former brother-in-arms who has gone rogue – as the standout aspect.

“I honestly feel the narrative experience of Ghost Recon Breakpoint is more immersive than you may find in any other shooter games,” opines Emil.

“The mechanics are there, they’re vastly improved over the last game, on top of that [Ubisoft] have now created this really compelling, deep backstory that drives the gameplay.”

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