All of these comparisons show that the Xbox Series X isn’t outperforming the PS5 in most scenarios, and it’s often Sony’s console taking the lead. Some of these differences could be down to bugs, but I’ve been speaking to developers (who wish to remain anonymous) about the Xbox Series X development environment and it’s clear things are a little complicated.
Microsoft only allowed developers to submit games for Xbox Series X certification in June, after delivering an update to its Game Developers Kit (GDK). That followed the company’s rather tight schedule for dev kit allocations, all while I’ve been consistently hearing that many developers had access to PS5 dev kits far in advance of Xbox versions.
It always takes time for developers to get used to the new software and tools involved in creating games for next-gen consoles. One developer tells me Microsoft’s switch to the GDK has been troublesome for basic things like user profile switching or gamepad linking.
Microsoft has spent years improving its tooling situation since the Xbox One, which was a messy launch period for developers. Still, I consistently hear that Sony’s tools are superior, even in the basics of providing more clear documentation for developers to follow.
These performance gaps, weird bugs, and differences between the Xbox Series X and PS5 versions of games look like issues related to the games rather than a platform problem for the Xbox. If Microsoft delivered dev kits and tools far later than Sony, then it could take creators more time to optimize further for Xbox. It may also explain why we didn’t see a lot of Xbox Series X gameplay in the months ahead of launch, but Sony was happy to regularly deliver PS5 gameplay.
Expect to see a lot of game patches either way. Codemasters is fixing up Dirt 5, and I understand Ubisoft is working on an Assassin’s Creed Valhalla patch for the Xbox Series X to improve gameplay. Microsoft is also working with developers to resolve issues and has acknowledged the comparison videos in a statement to The Verge.