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Xbox Series X, PS5 specs 'leak' suggests Microsoft could lose power game to Sony

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X (Image credit: Windows Central)

Back in December, I leaked the target specs of the next-gen Xbox, codenamed "Anaconda." The information I received pointed to a 12TF system with eight 3.6 GHz Zen-2 CPU cores, with NVMe storage featuring read speeds up to 2GB/s.

Today, a leak from 4chan has been making the rounds (via Tom's Guide), and it claims to offer a glimpse at both Xbox Series X and PS5 specs, which are outlined below.

Source: Tom's Guide / Future The "leaked" specs via 4chan, via Tom's Guide. (Image credit: Source: Tom's Guide / Future)

Since anyone can post anything anonymously on 4chan at any time, giving credence to these types of leaks is hard to justify. There has not really been any credibly sourced information on the PlayStation 5 from commentators who have something to lose from posting incorrect information. All we have is anonymous sourcing on forums, often from people who have an agenda to make their preferred console look good.

Generally, I only fully trust my own information, which is based on multiple sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, physical evidence like documents, and some good ol' fashioned Gut Instinct. This is effectively how Microsoft was reporting the Xbox Series X specs back in December, and they don't fully line-up with this 4chan leak. I've heard the SSD is significantly slower, for example, which doesn't seem like something Microsoft would misrepresent intentionally.

Xbox Series X expected specs, from Windows Central

CategoryOur Xbox Series X info
ProcessorCustom AMD Zen 2-based CPU (8x @ 3.6 GHz)
GraphicsCustom AMD Navi-based GPU (12 TF RDNA)
Memory16GB GDDR6 RAM (13GB guaranteed for game developers)
StorageNVMe SSD (we've heard read speeds of anywhere up to 2GB/s)
Video output8K, 4K @ 120Hz
Optical drive4K Blu-ray
Ports3x USB-A, possible CFExpress expansion storage, SPDIF, HDMI-out
ColorMatte Black
PriceUnknown
Size30cm x 16cm x 16cm (estimate)
Release dateHoliday 2020

As with any leaked information, it's worth taking it with a grain of salt (yes, even ours). Regardless of whether the info is accurate or not, it begs and interesting question: Could Xbox Series X lose the power game to the PlayStation 5?

Will Xbox Series X be more powerful than PS5?

Xbox Series X 3D render

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Microsoft's first Xbox One from 2013 was noticeably less powerful than its closest competitor, a fact that hurt Xbox in the early console cycle, giving Sony a runaway headstart. Many games for Xbox One struggled to climb higher than 720p in the early days, while Sony boasted far more 900p or full 1080p HD titles, owing in part to the Xbox One's architecture and OS overheads, with large parts of the system reserved for the now-dead Kinect.

Microsoft eventually responded to that narrative, releasing the beastly Xbox One X later in the gen and very soundly beating the PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro) at every level. Based on comments to Gamespot, it seems Xbox head Phil Spencer would like to continue that tradition:

Our goal has always been to build the most powerful console possible, and I think we were successful. We like to be the leader in terms of power and performance, and I believe that with Xbox Series X we will continue to be.

The CPU cores on the 4chan leak seem to suggest the Xbox Series X is only incrementally more powerful, at 3.7GHz to PS5's "rumored" 3.6GHz, but our information already pegs the Xbox Series X at 3.6GHz. CPU measurements can fluctuate, and we've even seen typos in internal documents, but the leak also hands the PS5 the GPU crown with slightly more TF potency.

There are all sorts of factors which you could use to determine which console is definitively more "powerful," with things like cooling coming into play, and even more subjective things like features you like. Microsoft also has some unique tricks up its sleeve, like the Hovis Method and DirectX. If this spec sheet is to believed, it would be hard to pin down exactly which console is more powerful in practice until we see the proof: games and performance.

Does it matter whether Xbox Series X or PS5 is more powerful?

Xbox Series X Reveal

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Arguing over the decimalization of the CPU clock speeds might make for a great forum thread or YouTube video, but the vast majority of console buyers care most about value for money, features, and games. You can bet without a shadow of a doubt that both systems are going to be incredibly powerful, and both systems are going to offer customers an incredible experience, regardless of debates over the tiniest tech advantages ... or the veracity of anonymous leaks from the internet.

The truth is, we simply don't know which system will be more powerful, and we have to wonder if it will even matter next-gen if streaming takes off. You can own a PlayStation 5 and play Xbox exclusives on your tablet via Project xCloud or buy them locally on a powerful gaming PC. If you're already in the Xbox ecosystem, the Xbox Series X will run your games better than ever, powering next-gen experiences like Hellblade II complete with hardware raytracing for truly vivid visuals.

Either way, there are fun times ahead. But don't put too much faith in random "leaks" on 4chan.

Related: Why Microsoft's partnership with Samsung could be a big deal for Xbox

Xbox Series X/S

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Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

37 Comments
  • Oh i guess we will see at the sony ps5 reveal event in april according to new leak :P
  • PlayStation "fans" have been doing nothing but trying to claim the more power game for PS5 since Sony showed nothing besides the Logo. It smells like desperation with every leak to have that feeling something happened on Sony’s Side. In the end I don't believe any of the leaks including that of Xbox till for both are officially announced.
  • I feel u
  • Lol wow, everything I've read so far showed Sony was nothing close to that, but they were "leaks".
  • If specs mattered that much, everyone would be buying an Xbox One X right now. No, what matters is the cost, and if lower specs mean the Series X is notably cheaper than the PS5, that may actually really favour Microsoft. It goes both ways.
  • I'm a Sony fan but this leak is fake AF, first 18gb of GDDR6 Ram is impossible to have, second if it was it would mean that it would be automatically faster Ram than Xbox's Other thing that is false is 500gb of storage because Sony doesn't even sell 500gb PS4s anymore. We have currently conflicting information, devs say the PS5 is slightly stronger but some leaks suggest the opposite, either way I believe that these consoles are going to have similar performance (not more than 20% difference). With similar performance what's crucial now is seing how well Microsoft can manage their new adquired studios, in numbers they certainly have enough to compete with Sony, let's see what Microsoft is capable of. Also I believe they will cost 399$
  • I agree with just about everything except for price. Just the SSDs inside needing to be 1TB or larger means another $100 on top of your predicted price. I'm actually under the belief that both systems will be at least $600.
  • The most recent leaks suggest that it costs 450$ to build meaning that 399$ is very likely
  • It cost 450 to make plus a controller and shipping.
    The ps4 cost 385 to make and they sold it for 400. If 399 was a thing Sony wouldve announced it a long time ago.
    They trying to decide if they should do 500 or 600 maybe even more. 399 is an easy decision, but that's just not an option for them.
    499 this gen is equivalent to 399 last gen.
    And yes they will be 500gb. Ssd drives cost a lot and it would drive it up in price if they put a whole Tb.
  • Putting a 500GB unit in would be asinine. This can bearly hold 3 games even without an OS installed on the system. This shouldn't even be an option, but unfortunately this may be the case.
  • Yeah, I don't see any Universe where these things cost $399 US. I do agree that this leak is unrealistic based on the SSD capacity. Giving one of these systems only 500GB is basically asking for the system to fail because after OS you are likely to only get about 3 blockbuster games, and that's going by current textures and audio.
  • I think that is very likely for this console to cost 399$, if building it costs 450$ and lets assume that transportation, retailers cut, etc. Adds another 50$ than Sony just needs to lose 100$ per unit to hit the magical 399$
  • "Sony just needs to lose $100 per unit..." Wow, yeah, that's a solution. Do you realize how much money even a $20 loss equals when it comes to thousands if not millions of units?
  • Of course it's a solution, this gen was the only gen where they didn't lose money on hardware, Sony for example was losing 300$ for every PS3 and that was at time where PS+ and digital games weren't a thing. If you think about it the users that buy in its first year will buy it with PS+ and at least one game, that's the 100$ that they would lose. The only reason they would price it at 499$ is if MS priced the Series X higher and that won't happen.
  • I don't think you understand how much $100 per unit actually is. If they sold 10 million units in the first six months that's a 1 BILLION dollar loss. No sane Company would do that.
  • Sony lost 300$ with every PS3 in a age where PS+ and digital games weren't a thing.
    And 100$ can be got back with only a PS+ subscription and a digital game. A consumer that buys it in its first year will most likely buy PS+ for the rest of the generation (360/420$), buy at least 10 AAA games in wich half are digital (150$) and an extra controller (40$), that's a hopping 550/600$ extra that they get back after only losing 100$.
  • The PS3 was a very different situation though, it was purely about winning the format war and it succeeded.
  • Did you see what the PS3 cost Sony? Sony lost 'ALL' of thr profit made by PS1 and PS2 generations in just a single PS3 generation. You have to factor in R&D as well. Sony will have spent the last 2-3 years and a ton of money on research to make the PS5. It's not just the cost of parts the make the end consumer price. The Playstation business and Sony as a whole was in terrible financial trouble by the end of the PS3 end of life. They had to drastically make things different fro PS4. Which is why it wasn't so advanced and why it was 399. They went not as powerful as they could have. And got entirely lucky MS spent more money on Kinect than power for Xbox One. This time around they are up against MS gunning for huge power. And it seems there are cracks in the Sony Armour as far as pricing, components. Sony Execs don't want to lose a ton of money again like 2006-2013. PS5 won't be cheaper than 499. It can't. If Sony fail Playstation can just die instantly. They aren't like MS where they rely on just a console business.
  • But wouldn't Sony be able to make back the difference on money lost from hardware with all their incredible software exclusives that their fans always talk about?
  • I've always been of the mindset that visuals are great, but they aren't my number one, if visuals were all that mattered I would have owned a PS4 before an Xbox One. I will likely own both systems eventually so it's irrelevant, but it's definitely possible that the PS5 will be more powerful than the Series X, mainly because it feels like we have more concrete details about Microsoft's newie, so it's much easier for Sony to work around that. But who knows, I imagine come mid year we will all know what's the go.
  • I'll just be consistant. For me power is not really that important in console gaming.
    More powerful console have almost always been less popular. And personally I think as we go along it'll be more and more difficult for the human eye to see any difference between the resolution of two versions...
    I don't care which is more powerful to be honest.
    If power was my priority I would have gamed mostly on PC and update my GPU regularly. It's amazing to see people's priority about POWER change depending on which company has the more powerful consoles.
  • I'll be honest, I actually really, REALLY want the PS5 to be more powerful than the SX just solely to hear all the excuses as to why the SX is still better and the visuals don't matter from people here. I mean I had a lot of fun with it when Microsoft outdid Sony in the mid-gen upgrades with reading people's comments on both sides. Suddenly for one camp visuals mattered, and then, like magic, on the other side suddenly a lot of people stopped caring about visuals. And obviously it's not everyone on either side, but the ones that are like that give me hours of entertainment, it's cheaper than a movie.
  • it doesn't look powerful enough to have next to 0 load times
  • Big blockbuster games are NEVER going to have zero load times at least, not until there is a drastic change in the very nature of how applications are stored and loaded. But running SSD's is going to make a HUGE difference, the difference between the two systems for loading times is going to be negligible (even if those specs are correct, there is very little difference in game load times on a 2GB/s drive compared to a 5GB/s drive, but over a HDD both systems are going to be significantly faster).
  • Yeah don't believe that. That was just sony exaggeration things again. I'm sure they meant that current gen games would have low load times. Next gen games will still have to load. It just might only take about 10 seconds instead of 35.
  • They actually showed an example with the PS4 Spiderman game, on PS4 Pro it took fifteen seconds to load the game world, on the PS5 it took less than a second. Not every game is going to be that fast, but they will be significantly faster than current gen, but that's going to be on both systems, it isn't an advantage Sony has over Microsoft.
  • The only thing I think is a pretty safe assumption is that both consoles are going to be AMD based with pretty similar CPUs so it is the GPU part that will set them aside beside pure software related stuff (developer environments, optimization etc). I don't think there will be a "major" performance difference between them. I would rather suspect they will be more closely aligned than the PS4 and Xbox One were at launch. It is pretty evident that both are turning into compact gaming PCs.
  • OK. So the way I had a little look at this is the following. PS5 price has been pushed 'up' to 450 manufacture costs due to parts being hard to obtain. DRAM specifically. Which means it was cheaper to produce before that. Those supposed specs from 4Chan are likely to be much higher than what they originally were costing before the price rise. 2nd this is the 4th different supposed leak of PS5 specs. Each leak saying a different spec list for PS5. The only spec list for PS5 we actually have with any connection to anything is the AMD leak of 9.2 TFLOPS. It's also worth noting that devkit have higher spec ls than thr actual Console release. Looking at the memory in 4chans leak it shows 18gb ram. If his specs are real, it screams devkit specs. One X devkit had 16gb ram but the console released with 12gb. Also the TFLOPS of devkit units are always higher as well. At the moment I'll stick the widely accepted AMD leak of both consoles. Ill say this though. If Sony had those specs, not only would they be massively overpriced they would be in serious trouble IMO. Becssue MS could price both Series X and Lockhart cheaper than PS5. And those PS5 specs would only be about 4% more power overall. When you consider the CPU and memory bandwidth are both weaker than Series X. I'm really actually worried about Sony. We need competition to keep things good. All this worry of them struggling to get parts to make the thing is concerning.
  • I 100% care about power. If the SX is at a disadvantage over Sony power-wise. It is all over. However, I don't believe it will be. I guess it is a wait and see game...I'll be picking up a RTX 3080 instead of a console...I hope the best for MS.
  • If I were you, I'd look at the benchmarks for the AMD 5900XT (placeholder name). The early benchmarks are out and can find it on YouTube. It smashes the RTX 2080TI by nearly 30%. Even if RTX 3080 is say 5% more powerful than 5900XT. The 5900XT is arriving in less than 2 months. And will undoubtedly be $500-$800 cheaper than RTX 3080. And there will most likely be nothing between them. At this point Nvidia need to drop their prices massively. Because AMD is not behind anymore. But at the same time destroy Nvidia on prices.
  • The RTX 3080 is going to be a $2000 graphics card (substitute whatever currency you use) it doesn't compare to a $500 console.
  • So I've just gone and viewed the source for the leak. It is as follows copy and pasted. "I am currently working as game tester in a 3rd party studio we are now working on Devkit 2
    PS5
    1.12.6Tflops RDNA 1.5
    2. AMD ZEN 2 @3.6Ghz
    3. 18GB GDDR6+4GB ddr4
    4. SSD@5.5GB/S 500GB
    5. Dedicated cores for RT and 3D Audio
    6. Bandwidth 576GB/S
    DS5 on Devkit 3 has a alot of new "tweaks" (my friend reported me working at WWS). No information on Price, Design, reveal and BC" So a couple of things that are red flags. Firstly if it's real info, he says clearly this is the specs of the PS5 devkit 2. Devkit specs are always more powerful than the commercial console. As you can see in this article about the specs of the Xbox One X devkit in the following link. Which shows thr One X devkit had 6.6tflops GPU performance, 24gb Ram and even an SSD. https://www.windowscentral.com/xboxs-project-scorpio-dev-kit-has-been-un... 2ndly he says he's a game tester. So he doesn't work on making any games at all. He simply play tests them. So is going to have very little knowledge of what the consumer consoles have in them. You have to be very careful when looking at devkit specs. Because they don't represent consumer specs at all. The only leaked info we have of actual benchmarks that are not related to devkit are from AMD. Which has been verified by multiple sources as definately coming from AMD including WC, Digital Foundry among others. Let's all take a wait and see approach. But I can tell you now. If both consoles are about the same power as suggested by the Devkit playtester, then everyone will be looking at 499+ for both PS5 and Series X.
  • Also just seen this article. https://www.gamesradar.com/xbox-series-x-may-push-sound-more-than-ever-b... Considering the 4Chan leak claims Xbox Series X does Not have dedicated sound chip, I'd say its extremely hard to take that so called leak as anything but false at this point.
  • Pffffft! If you believe rumors from 4Chan I have several bridges to sell you in Manhattan. Cheap! Hardware is not the end-all, be-all. SOFTWARE is where you wring the performance out of the hardware, and MS has VASTLY more experience and capabilities in the OS/VM area than Sony (just look at backwards comparability and the XBSX xCloud integration for examples.) Or look at the PS4 Pro vs. the Xbox1X for an example. The two consoles will be very close in hardware specs, but MS will own Sony on the software side, Hands Down, especially when it comes to tweaking and upgrading the user experience.
    Now, the FanBoys on both sides will go to ridiculous extremes to convince themselves that THEIR Console is THE BEST, but for the rest of us, we will just enjoy the ride no matter what we buy.
    I do hope however that Sony does NOT maintain that "Jet-Pack Laying on the Floor" case design we have seen in the early renders for the PS5. My God that is UGLY.......
  • That leak is fake, Phil Spencer have known before the Xbox Series X was announced at the VGA that the Series X is the most powerful console. That's the narrative they are sticking with because they are very confident that Sony does not have the power advantage, but Sony would have the price advantage, I guess. They are waiting for Microsoft to release their price first. That being said, it would only make sense that they would be cheaper based on power, until Microsoft finally releases info regarding the Series S aka Lockheart which will under cut the PS5 in price. Sony may be in a tough place. It's not only the PS5, its backwards compatibility, not having to leave 108 Million PS4 console owners behind, Game Streaming and subcription service... They have alot more to work on beyond a console.
  • You are more than likely correct that the SX will be the more powerful (enough leaks imply it), however Phil Spencer likely has absolutely no idea how powerful the PS5 is.
  • So MS just officially confirmed some destils on their Twitter account. https://twitter.com/Xbox/status/1231942057393967108?s=19 You'll notice the 4chan leak says Xbox One Series X is RDNA 1.5. Totally wrong it's confirmed 2.0. Also MS confirm retail unit has 12 tflops of GPU performance exactly like the AMD leak. Also dedicated Direct X hardware Ray Tracing. Variable rate shades all confirmed. 4chan got it wrong.