Sony and Microsoft are investing heavily in their next-gen gaming consoles, the Xbox Series X and the PS5, which are slated to arrive this holiday season. Both consoles will be incredibly powerful systems, more powerful than anything we have ever seen on a gaming console before.
Sony has an advantage over Microsoft
Both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X are equipped with AMD's third-generation Zen 2 processors and Radeon Navi graphics cards as well as solid SSDs (solid-state drive) as opposed to the traditional HDDs (hard disk drive). However, a new leak has revealed that the PS5 might have an upper hand over the upcoming Xbox console in one department.
A recent leak claims the Xbox Series X's storage is inferior to what Sony is offering on the PlayStation 5 console. While both consoles feature SSDs, they are both made differently. Last year, Sony demonstrated the performance capabilities of the PS5's storage, taking less than a second to load a "Spider-Man" level due to the unprecedented speed of its custom SSD. However, what it did not tell us was what we should expect from the SSD in terms of raw power.
Xbox Series X will run at half the speed of the PS5
A former employee who used to work at Phison, a Taiwan-based company that designs controllers for flash memory chips and has been contracted to supply SSDs to Microsoft for the Xbox Series X, shared details of the SSD controller used on the next-gen console on LinkedIn.
The leak reveals that the chip only supports read-and-write speeds equivalent to a standard PCIe 3.0 NVMe drive on the Xbox Series X, which it refers to as Xbox Scarlett. If this leak is anything to go by, then the console would feature slower storage than the new PlayStation, even though it should feature PCIe 4.0 SSDs.
To put things simply, the chip will have the Xbox console lagging far behind the cutting-edge Samsung SSD drive that Sony believes will allow it to compete with even the fastest PCs in similar gaming space. The Xbox console's controller can still be paired with a PCIe 4.0 SSD, but it still will not be able to run higher speeds than PCIe 3.0.
It remains to be seen whether Microsoft decided to go with this Phison PS5019-E19T budget SSD controller in order to make the console more reasonable in terms of pricing. Regardless of what controllers are used, the new Xbox console will still be much faster than its previous-gen consoles. However, the PS5's SSD speed will be double that of its rival, thanks to the former's rumored Samsung PCIe 4.0 storage drive.