The world’s most powerful console – just not necessarily at launch (pic: Microsoft)

The Xbox Series X is supposed to be the most powerful console in the world, so how comes some multiformat PS5 game run better?

Everyone knows the Xbox Series X doesn’t have much of a launch line-up, with its highest profile game being Assassin’s Creed Valhalla… which, embarrassingly, runs better on PlayStation 5; as does Devil May Cry 5 and Dirt 5.

That’s despite the fact that the Xbox Series X is meant to be the more powerful console, although the difference between the two consoles is not large (12 teraflops vs. 10.28 teraflops is one of the best ways to visualise it).

Microsoft has now acknowledged the issue with ‘a handful’ of games and blamed it on developers being sent Xbox Series X hardware relative late, compared to the PlayStation 5.

Many developers have since claimed that the development software and documentation for the PlayStation 5 are more advanced and easier to use than for the Xbox Series X/S, which even given the extra time seems surprising given Microsoft is a software company at heart.

One reason for the delay in sending out Xbox development kits (beyond the ever present problems caused by the coronavirus) is that Microsoft was waiting for RDNA2 support from AMD, to add to the Xbox’s GPU chip.

That meant they ended up starting production of the console later than Sony, which explains why devkits were sent out late and why the Xbox Series X/S has had so many stock problems.

Although Microsoft hasn’t really explained what difference RDNA 2 support will make, the implication is that over the long term the Xbox Series X will still be seen to be the more powerful machine.

‘We are aware of performance issues in a handful of optimized titles on Xbox Series X/S and are actively working with our partners to identify and resolve the issues to ensure an optimal experience,’ a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge.

‘As we begin a new console generation, our partners are just now scratching the surface of what next gen consoles can do and minor bug fixes are expected as they learn how to take full advantage of our new platform. We are eager to continue working with developers to further explore the capability of Xbox Series X/S in the future.’

Ubisoft has this week released a new patch for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which reduces the amount of screen tearing on the Xbox Series X and introduces an option to choose between higher performance or better graphics.

Whether that improves the overall performance, compared to the PlayStation 5 version, is not yet clear but you should probably expect a steady stream of updates for all major Xbox Series X games for the next several months.

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