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Cloud Gaming Face-Off Digital Foundry Pits Xbox & PlayStation Against Each Other

Cloud Gaming Face-off Digital Foundry Pits Xbox & PlayStation Against Each Other

Mixed Results Revealed in Comprehensive Testing of Cloud Streaming Services

Cloud gaming has become a cornerstone of modern gaming, particularly with the rise of subscription services and their expanding offerings. Both Sony and Microsoft have integrated cloud gaming technology into their PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass services respectively. In 2024, Digital Foundry decided to conduct a thorough examination of these platforms to assess their performance.

After conducting a series of tests across various cloud titles, Digital Foundry uncovered intriguing results. In a nutshell, PS Plus delivers superior image quality and performance, whereas xCloud boasts better latency figures.

Using a PS5 for Sony’s cloud gaming service and an Xbox Series X for Microsoft’s counterpart, Digital Foundry made some intriguing discoveries. Notably, PS5 streaming closely mirrors local PS5 performance, with latency being the primary differentiator. Conversely, Xbox Series X cloud gaming surprisingly utilizes Xbox Series S performance targets. Digital Foundry elaborates on this anomaly:

“An interesting twist emerges here. Despite Microsoft’s confirmation that xCloud datacentres are built on Series X silicon, users are actually served the Xbox Series S versions of each game tested. This suggests that the Xbox cloud employs a virtualized Series S platform running on Series X hardware.”

PlayStation VS Xbox

While this approach may alleviate server strain for Microsoft, it does result in slightly inferior performance compared to PS5 cloud streaming. Titles like A Plague Tale: Requiem and Resident Evil 2 exhibited approximately 20FPS lower framerates on the Xbox platform, presenting a less-than-optimal experience.

In latency tests conducted on Back 4 Blood, Xbox emerged as the clear victor, boasting around 40ms less input delay than PS5. Given that controller input latency remains a significant concern in cloud gaming, Xbox’s notable improvement in this regard is commendable.

Overall, the comparison yields a mixed bag of results, initially leaning toward PlayStation’s favor. However, both platforms exhibit strengths and weaknesses, indicating room for improvement in their respective cloud gaming services. Digital Foundry underscores the need for ongoing enhancements from both Sony and Microsoft to achieve consistently high-quality cloud gaming experiences.