The Xbox Series X's 12.15TFLOP, 56CU Navi 2X GPU is 15% more powerful than the PlayStation 5's 10.3TFLOP, 36CU RDNA 2.0 GPU...but some third-party developers say this power discrepancy isn't a big deal.
Both next-gen consoles have their own strengths. The PlayStation 5 comes with a powerful 12-channel PCIe 4.0 SSD capable of hitting 4.8GB/sec, and also features liquid metal cooling compound to keep the system cool under intense 4K 120FPS gaming loads. The Series X, on the other hand, is able to maintain more demanding performance thanks to its 12TFLOP Navi 2X GPU with 56 RDNA 2.0 Compute Units and heavily-optimized DirectX 12 API toolsets.
Some third-party devs aren't entirely convinced the Series X's GPU will be an edge over the PS5. The Dirt 5 developers at Codemasters, who are among the first to implement 4K 120FPS on the Series X, say the GPU gains won't really impact development much. It's worth remembering Codemasters is a third-party dev, though, and first-party devs are always able to squeeze out extra performance and do crazy things with new console hardware.
"From development and gameplay perspectives, it doesn't really have an impact. When it comes to tuning, tweaking and optimizations at the end of a game, it might mean slightly less work for one platform," Dirt 5's lead designer Mike Moreton told Gamingbolt.
There's more to next-gen performance than simple specs and numbers, though. The big advantages will come with integrated tools, software stacks, OS optimizations, game engines, etc. This means variability in game performance across most developers, both third-party and first-party. We should always expect first-party games like Halo: Infinite and Spider-Man: Miles Morales to break new grounds for both Xbox and PlayStation hardware.
The Coalition, for example, is making massive upgrades to Gears 5 on the Series X.
Sony has a big advantage when it comes to PS5 optimization, too. Developers are saying the PS5 is the easiest console to develop games for, and that PS4 to PS5 transitions are extremely efficient and streamlined.
It'll be interesting to see how both Sony and Microsoft devs push their respective hardware and software environments in the next generation of consoles.