The video game marketplace is about to be shaken up significantly, with the PlayStation Neo anticipated for release by the end of the year, ahead of a new Xbox Scorpio release in 2017. It is unusual for the two major players in the console niche to be releasing new machines in the middle of a console generation, but needs must for both Sony and Microsoft as they attempt to address industry trends.

Consumers will already be wondering which one of the two consoles to opt for, so how do the Xbox Scorpio and PlayStation Neo stack up against one another?

PlayStation Neo Concept
Image Source: MyTechBits

PlayStation Neo vs Xbox Scorpio – Processor and specs

It is very early days to talk about the specifications included in the two consoles, as neither corporation has confirmed anything which can be considered remotely explicit. When talking about the capabilities of the two machines, it must be emphasized that we are dealing with media rumors rather than hard fact.

Nonetheless, the early suggestions are that the Xbox Scorpio will outperform at the PlayStation Neo in numerous departments. The PlayStation Neo is expected to run at approximately 2.1 GHz, with a new eight-core processor having been developed by AMD for the console. Early suggestions related to the Microsoft machine are that it will be significantly more powerful in processing terms than the Sony platform, although an eight-core CPU will be used as well.

Both the PlayStation Neo and Xbox Scorpio are expected to have 8GB of graphics memory, but the memory bandwidth of the Microsoft machine is reckoned to be superior at this time. The Xbox Scorpio has been linked with 320GB/s of bandwidth against 218GB/S for the PlayStation Neo. This figure does sound rather ambitious, though, with the 320GB/s figure equivalent to Nvidia’s top-end GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card for PCs. How Microsoft can deliver this in console form and keep the machine affordable remains to be seen.

Xbox Scorpio is also rumored to have an edge in terms of the GPU’s floating point operations per second (TFLOPS). The Xbox Scorpio will be capable of 6 TFLOPs while the Neo is rumored to be capable of 4.14 TFLOPs. Again, these figures are very much based on hearsay, but considering the seemingly later release date of the Xbox Scorpio, it is not unreasonable to assume that it will have higher specifications than the Sony machine.

In raw specs, it seems that the Xbox Scorpio will have an advantage, but this doesn’t tell the whole story, particularly as some analysts are sceptical about the early whispers regarding this Microsoft device.

Functionality

It seems that both machines will be greatly capable of the same functions, with both the Xbox Scorpio and PlayStation Neo intended to deliver 4K and virtual reality functionality. In addition, both machines will play games from earlier versions of Sony and Microsoft consoles, and are intended to be companion devices for existing consoles rather than outright replacements.

Xbox Scorpio / Project Scorpio
Source: Microsoft.com

Pricing

It seems that the Xbox Scorpio will be more expensive, based both on the specifications of the two devices and previous precedent. The Xbox One retailed at a higher price point than the PlayStation 4, and this seems certain to continue with the next generation of consoles, and will certainly be the case if the rumored specs are accurate.

It is likely that the PlayStation Neo will retail at a similar level to the PlayStation 4 when it was initially released, possibly suggesting a price tag in the region of $450. If Microsoft can produce a console with the specs are currently linked with the Xbox Scorpio, and retail it at under $500, this would be little short of a minor miracle.

Release date

Those wanting the next generation experience as quickly as possible will naturally plump for the PlayStation Neo, which is anticipated for an October release this year. Microsoft will not be able to unveil its Xbox Scorpio until at least 12 months later, meaning that Sony will gain a significant advantage over Microsoft in the marketplace.

Gamers waiting for the release of the Xbox Scorpio must hope that it delivers a superior experience to the PlayStation Neo if the 12-month wait is to be worthwhile.

Software

Finally, a major influence over the success of both consoles will be the exclusive titles available for both machines. Sony has arguably already announced a killer app for the PlayStation Neo, with Gran Turismo Sport set to debut on the new console, and also to come with virtual reality compatibility. Sony can also call upon the might of The Last of Us; probably still the best game on either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Naughty Dog is also behind the Sony-exclusive Uncharted series, with Uncharted 4 having received outstanding critical acclaim recently.

While there are some excellent exclusive titles on the Xbox, the consensus of opinion is that Sony is ahead in this department, and that this will continue with the PlayStation Neo and Xbox Scorpio generation.