Sony PS5 vs. Microsoft Xbox Series X: Best high-end game console for 2021
5 min read
fairly easy
Almost a year after launch, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are still evolving -- and both are still playing hard to get. Here's how they stack up.
As the PS5 and Xbox Series X near their one-year anniversaries, competition between the console kings remains fierce. While the base hardware remains the same (aside from internal cooling tweaks in some new PS5 units), new software updates have added features, like more storage options and expanded cloud gaming access.

That's of little comfort to the scores of gamers who still can't find one of these consoles in stock. While shortages were to be expected during the initial launch, both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are still hard to get, and that shortage is expected to continue through the holiday 2021 season. The key is to stay abreast of restock alerts, so keep an eye on our PS5 restock tracker or Xbox Series X restock tracker -- or see if you can snag an equally hard to get Halo Infinite Xbox Series X.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

There are other options, too. Nintendo's updated OLED-screen Switch is coming in October, and if you can find one, there's the $300 Xbox Series S, which is a scaled-back version of the Series X intended for 1440p gameplay rather than 4K.

This chapter of the console wars is especially important. Not because 4K-and-beyond-resolution video or ray-traced audio for more natural sound are must-have features, but because the gaming landscape is more complicated and fragmented since the previous generation of boxes came out.

Read more: PS5 review: Exclusive games power Sony's space-age console

In addition to competing with PCs, consoles now face challenges from new hardware-free cloud gaming services such as Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and…
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