We may be over a year away from having both Microsoft and Sony’s console upgrades sitting in our living rooms under our 4K televisions, but there has been plenty of discussion from sides about what Microsoft’s Project Scorpio and Sony’s PlayStation Neo will and won’t do.
Some out there might say it’s way too early to tell what the next set of consoles are capable of, but if the current console generation has proven anything, it’s in the early details, even if they are eventually changed, which prove to be important in figuring out the final direction these systems will ultimately take.
Electronic Arts excited to be developing content for both Microsoft and Sony
The upcoming mid-generation console upgrades are certainly going to shake up the video game community, with many saying that these upgrades have the potential to bring an end to the traditional cycle of generational upgrades. While there still is not much information out there regarding the consoles, we do know that some third-party publishers are extremely excited about Sony and Microsoft’s forthcoming console upgrades, according to Electronic Arts’ Chief Competition Officer, Peter Moore.
When Moore was asked whether he believes that the hardware revisions being seen with Xbox Scorpio and PlayStation 4 Neo are good for the video game industry, the EA executive responded with a definitive “absolutely.”
Peter Moor explained that there was “huge excitement the moment [the consoles] were announced.” He explained that their imminent release “extends console generations” and that they may bring forth a time when we no longer have traditional hardware launches like there have been in all previous console generations.
“I think Sony and Microsoft have done this incredibly well,” said Moore. “They have taken what they needed to so whether it’s 4K… to keep the platform fresh for technology that’s moving faster than the archaic nature of a 10-year piece of hardware cycle.”
“I think it refreshes mid-cycle,” Moore added, focusing on the fact that this sort of refreshment “certainly obviously ups the technological output,” something that Electronic Arts’ development studios “love what they’re seeing right now.”
The Electronic Arts exec also spoke regarding how the upcoming console upgrades will give gamers “extra excitement, particularly to the hardcore gamer who will go, ‘I’ve got to have the latest and greatest,’ and trade in their old console, which will in turn provide another entry point to bring more consumers back into the gaming.”
Xbox Scorpio taking the powerful specs route
Whether you are a fan of the upcoming console or not, it’s hard to deny that the video game industry seems to be undergoing a massive change, or shift, if you will.
Its seems as if Microsoft is set on completely changing the paradigm of console generations with Project Scorpio, which is intended to be nearly 5 times as powerful as the Xbox One yet also intended to sit and function alongside the older machine. It will play the same games, albeit at a much higher resolution, and will most likely have some sort of virtual reality functionality that has yet to be explained.
The video announcing the Xbox Scorpio featured top developers and executives gushing about what Microsoft’s console upgrade was capable of: 4K gaming, a console capable of “high-fidelity VR,” and other impressive-sounding feats like “uncompressed pixels of the highest quality that anyone’s ever seen.”
At the heart of Scorpio, according to Xbox Chief Phil Spencer, is an eight-core processing unit with six teraflops of power, which should make these feats possible. While many believe that the Xbox Scorpio is ideally suited for those with powerful 4K television sets, Spencer noted that these optimized frame rates will still benefit gamers just outside of the 4K TV realm.
PlayStation Neo brings proprietary VR system
While an early September event may finally bring news of Neo’s specs, Sony has held its cards much closer to the vest. Not keen on spoiling anything, Sony only admitted to the console’s existence ahead of E3.
The few details for the Neo that have been revealed show that the console is in development for the same reasons as the Xbox Scorpio : to showcase 4K gaming and the best-possible virtual reality on home consoles.
Similar to Xbox Scorpio, the console is attempting to improve upcoming software without rendering the current console obsolete, as the Neo will present games at a higher resolution, with an enhanced graphical experience as compared to the PlayStation 4.
However, PlayStation Neo has an advantage in that it has its own proprietary virtual reality system: PlayStation VR. It has a release date and price, and will also be compatible with current PlayStation 4 consoles. However, showcasing how the new console that is more than a year away will imminently improve available tech and games is Sony’s mystery.
Xbox Scorpio or PlayStation Neo: Who is ahead?
While it is difficult to say which console we are more excited about, as a single press conference can dramatically shift this console “war of words” (Sony’s is next week), based on what’s been said so far, it seems as if Project Scorpio’s powerful specs indicate that it could have the edge in terms of pure performance. On Sony’s side, however, its proprietary VR platform ensures exclusivity and the potential of a killer-app.
Outside of these two advantages, however, there are still so many untold variables yet to be breached. It is great news, however, that EA, the largest game publisher and developer in the world, is extremely excited to be creating games for both consoles. One thing is for sure: this next battle of consoles is still far from won or lost.