Xbox vs PS5 vs PC – Which One Should You Buy In 2024?

pc vs xbox vs ps5 which one is right for you

While the old-school console battle of PC vs Xbox vs PS5 is kind of a cliché at this point, it’s practical and interesting to look at each value proposition that these gaming platforms have to offer. There are a lot of things to take into consideration when looking at each of these platforms, such as the flexibility of the system the price, how much is it future-proof, the upgradability factor, and much more.

For the sake of simplicity, we will compare the standard PS5, Xbox Series X, and a solid ~500$ gaming PC (with a Ryzen 5 5500 + RX 6600 + 16GB RAM), this is where the budget stands. Again, there are a lot of deals and price differences out there, but let’s take this as the standard. It is all based on that 500$ price point, if you have more money and want as much performance as possible, you will need to go with the PC. That said, let’s dive deeper into PC vs Xbox vs PS5 comparison. We will each platform in each category and try to be objective as much as we can.

Ecosystem – One of The Most Important Factors

all three (steam, xbox pass, ps store) stores shown in collage image

As we already mentioned, there are a lot of factors that come into play when comparing these gaming machines, but one of the most important and impactful factors is the overall ecosystem and the way you can get games. Moreover, there are a lot of shady games, and corporate tactics that make you overpay for video games, so it is important to know what you are getting yourself into with buying a certain console. That being said, let’s compare PC vs Xbox vs PS5 stores and the value propositions they have to offer. 

PC – Steam

Steam cover

Steam, as you may already know, is the best platform for buying video games and that’s not even a question at this point. It’s been around for a long, it has player trust, it doesn’t have a lot of shady tactics than other game stores, there are very good deals all the time, and the whole system is really well-made. Moreover, there is a strong community for new game developers to break through and it is the standard platform for PC games nowadays.

For this reason, we can’t give Steam any lower score than 10/10, because it really stood the test of time and proven itself to be the ultimate store. It’s actually fascinating how a store can have so many functionalities, and be so simple and straightforward at the same time.

PC Store Score: 10/10

Xbox – Game Pass

gamepass-xbox

When buying the Xbox, the main value proposition for this console nowadays is the Game Pass. It had a whopping 33.3 million subscribers at the end of 2023, and the number just keeps rising. While we are not fans of subscription models, there is a certain price for everything. Game Pass really is a good deal because you will have a gigantic library of games to play and it’s just so fun to be able to access all these games just for $10 a month. There are some even ways in which the GamePass can be found for lower prices, we found 13 months for 45$ from some “sellers”, and that’s just amazing value.

The main downside is that it is inherently a subscription model and once you stop, you won’t own any of these games, this is the obvious downside, but nevertheless, it’s still a fair bargain. While it is a good deal, we will give it a bit of a lower score than Steam, just because it doesn’t have that robustness and community, plus there is nothing like owning an AAA game in 2024 that you bought 8 years ago for a 10$ deal, you can’t do that on a subscription model. One more thing we have to mention is the integration with the PC and the ability to buy the Game Pass on the PC as well. This kind of handicaps the Xbox console a bit because it doesn’t have that exclusivity factor, mainly because Microsoft wants Windows OS to be the flagship product.

Xbox Store Score: 9/10

PS5 – PlayStation Store

sony playstation store image

The PlayStation store is a Sony Blindspot, and we kinda don’t like it. There are cool benefits of owning PlayStation Plus and the store isn’t really bad at first glance, but there are a lot of quirks once you start using it regularly. On top of that, the store itself can’t really beat Steam when it comes to deals, flexibility, community support, or the interface itself. The Xbox store isn’t really something to boast about, the GamePass is ahead of anything Sony has to offer (mainly PlayStation Plus).

Coming from something like Steam to the PlayStation Store is like downgrading and stripping away 80% of features and functionalities. Given all these facts, we can’t give a high score. It functions OK and it is a store, but other than that it’s just lukewarm and boring.

PS Store Score: 5/10

Exclusivity

PC Exclusivity

games played on PC exclusives shown in collage image

While you may think that there aren’t many exclusives for PC, there is a real problem when it comes to consoles and certain genres. Games like Hearthstone, Stellaris, Warcraft, Word of Warcraft, Starcraft, Age of Empires, and a lot of other games that are naturally played on the mouse+keyboard don’t have a place in the console ecosystem. Sure there are some attempts to bring these kinds of games to consoles, but PC is still king here and there is no humane way to play something like Starcraft on a console.

On top of this, a lot of shooters are subpar on consoles and once you get your hands on a mouse, it can’t compete. When it comes to actual exclusives, PC is old-school and has the biggest library of games. Sure, Sony snatches some cool games, but PC is the most versatile platform and by extension, most of the games usually come on PC.

PC Exclusivity Score: 8/10

Xbox Exclusivity

xbox-exlcusive-games

There was a lot of fiasco regarding the exclusives and where Xbox stands in this very important space. Sony is known to have the best console exclusives and the main issue Xbox faces is actually self-imposed, meaning it’s Microsoft that is “not comfortable” putting exclusives on Xbox. This is mainly because they still want Windows (PC) players to access their top games like Forza Horzion 5 and Halo Series to be playable on PC. It’s obvious that the Windows OS comes before Xbox and that is their bread and butter. Having Forza Horizon 5 only on Xbox will surely boost Xbox sales, but it will hinder PC, in translation, it will be locked from Windows, their own software. Given all these facts, Xbox is in a very weird and rough spot nowadays when it comes to exclusives…it seems better to just buy a PC.

Xbox Exclusivity Score: 4/10

PS5 Exclusivity

sony-playstation-exclusive-games

We all know that when it comes to exclusivity, Sony is the most competitive one in this area. They pay a lot of money and go out of their way to lock games for their console only. Popular titles like Bloodborne, The Last of Us (even though it has a PC port now), Spider-Man 2, and Gran Turismo 7 are just some of the extremely well-made games that are exclusive to Sony. While there aren’t whole genres of exclusives on Sony (the whole RTS genre is primarily on PC – LoL, Dota, Warcraft, etc.), they do have a lot of high-quality ones that are just so good, that you might even buy the console alongside you PC, just to play these games.

PS Exclusivity Score: 9/10

Overall Performance, FPS, Graphics

PC graphics card vs PS5 vs Xbox 

When it comes to the performance, we have to take the price into account and measure the PC as a 500$ machine with RX6600 and Ryzen 5 5500 for example. This puts the overall performance under the two consoles. It is ideal for 1080p120 gaming, but it can’t really push itself to high resolutions like Xbox and PS5. When comparing the two consoles, the Xbox has slightly better raw power and is capable of 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, while the PS5 is only 1080p and 4K. This gives Xbox the slight edge, but in real life, most of the games are down to optimization.

PC Performance, FPS, and Graphics Score: 6/10
Xbox Performance, FPS, and Graphics Score: 10/10
Sony Performance, FPS, and Graphics Score: 9/10

Controller and Peripherals

ps 5 controller

Controllers are an essential part of the console experience and this is where the 500$ value proposition of PC kind of falls short since you will need additional cash to buy the peripheries. When comparing the two controllers from the consoles, they each have pros and cons, some report that the Xbox controller is sturdier and lasts longer, while others give praise to the features and haptic feedback of the PS5 Dualshock controller.

This is a big personal preference and we suggest you try to hold each controller in the store and decide which one feels the best for you. In regards to the PC, while it may not come with a controller, it does provide the most options out of all three gaming platforms. You can buy an Xbox controller with an adapter, all the keyboards and mice in the world, and additional specialized gaming gadgets, so we have to give PC some credit here.

PC Controller and Peripherals Score: 5/10
Xbox Controller and Peripherals Score: 9/10
Sony Controller and Peripherals Score: 9/10

Compatibility and Flexibility

These two factors are something a lot of people overlook and they are actually one of the most important ones. Compatibility can be a huge benefit or a great nuisance depending on your use case for the gaming platform. Microsoft went to great lengths to enable seamless compatibility between the games that came out for earlier versions of Xbox, they even added a great emulator for super old-school games.

Meanwhile, Sony is limited and loses to Xbox when it comes to the overall compatibility of old games. Their focus tends to be on exclusives rather than reviving old games. On the other side of the spectrum, PCs are extremely versatile when it comes to running old games and emulators. Moreover, most mods tend to be only compatible with PC games and, for some games, mods can literally transform the game into a whole different experience (Factorio Space Mod, Assetto Corsa Mods,…).

PC Compatability and Flexibility Score: 10/10
Xbox Compatability and Flexibility Score: 8/10
Sony Compatability and Flexibility Score: 6/10

Summary of PC vs Xbox vs PS5

As we can see below, these are the final combined scores in all the mentioned metrics. The final score itself doesn’t really paint a useful picture of the PC vs Xbox vs PS5 battle, because there are a lot of use cases and preferences when choosing the mentioned machines. We would boil it down to the following:

  • PC – The most versatile, it can be upgraded, tweaked, and used outside of the scope of gaming. This is the ultimate platform, but for a 500$ price, it lacks a lot of things that you can get with the consoles.
  • Xbox – If you love the controller, and exclusives like Forza Horizon 5, want to use it as an emulator, and are intrigued by the overall idea of the GamePass, Xbox is the right pick.
  • PS5 – Again, if you find the controller superior, and are on the lookout for some extremely well-made PS5 exclusives like Spider-man 2, choose the PS5.

Final Score PC: 39
Final Score Xbox: 40
Final Score Sony: 38


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