With Microsoft having finally unveiled the next generation Xbox One X, the video games landscape for the coming months has taken shape. The premium Xbox One X will compete with the PS4 Pro and Nintendo Switch for market share. But how do the three major consoles stack up against one another? Here is a rundown of the qualities of these three video gaming machines.
Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro vs. Nintendo Switch Specs Sheet
As it promised to do so from day one, Microsoft has delivered a behemoth of a console with the Xbox One X. There is no doubt that this new machine will be the most powerful available – at least until the PlayStation 5 emerges – which is the sort of package that Microsoft really needs to deliver considering its relatively troubled market position.
Thus, the Xbox One X outperforms the PS4 Pro and Nintendo Switch in categories such as CPU. Each of these consoles is built around an octa-core processor, but the clock speeds of the three machines are significantly different. The Xbox One X is clocked at 2.3GHz, with the PS4 Pro processor speed being 2.1GHz. And the Nintendo Switch processor is around half of this in clock speed, with the Japanese console delivering 1.02GHz.
The Xbox One X also delivers the most powerful GPU setup of the three consoles, with the forthcoming Microsoft console capable of the 6 tflop that Microsoft promised. This is significantly more than the 4.2 tflop of which the existing PS4 Pro is capable, while both of these consoles is massively more powerful than the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has never focused on high specs, and thus the Switch only delivers 1.31 tflop.
This is another area where the Xbox One outperforms the competition, with the 12GB of RAM included in the newest of the three consoles, with the RAM also being delivered at 326GB/s. The PS4 Pro features 8GB at 218GB/s, while the Nintendo Switch has just 4GB at 25.6GB/s
Both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro deliver 1TB of storage, with some observers surprised that Microsoft refrained from outranking Sony in this department. It is hard to compare the Nintendo Switch to the Microsoft and Sony contenders, as the manufacturer decided to opt for a flash system with cartridges, meaning that the console only has 32GB of native storage.
Microsoft attempted to make mileage out of the fact that the PS4 Pro does not feature a 4K Blu-ray drive. This may have been considered a major oversight at one time, but in a climate in which streaming is becoming increasingly important it seems far less significant. Nonetheless, the fact that the Xbox One X features a 4K Blu-ray drive could be viewed as a minor selling point considering that the PS4 Pro only has a standard Blu-ray.
The Nintendo Switch is unique in many ways, and this certainly extends to the optical drive department; ie. it doesn’t have one! Nintendo has relied on cartridge-based gaming with the Nintendo Switch, with Nintendo gamers relying on a streaming for other media. This seems an entirely valid approach in this day and age.
Considering the reduced specifications of the Nintendo Switch, it is impossible for this console to deliver 4K gaming. This is not the case with either the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, although the extra power of the Microsoft machine should make native 4K gaming more feasible and stable.
Again, both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro deliver full HDR support, while the Nintendo Switch is not able to provide this display technology.
Virtual reality can be considered a slightly contentious area, but what can be said with certainty is that Sony is the only one of these three manufacturers to provide explicit virtual reality support with the PS4 Pro. The PlayStation VR headset has been a modest success for Sony, and the developer just announced a raft of new titles at the E3 trade show.
While the Xbox One X will certainly be technologically capable of delivering virtual reality there has been no word on this feature from Microsoft. And the Wall Street Journal suggested that there will be no VR support from the Xbox One X when it hits the stores.
It is unlikely that the Nintendo Switch will ever offer VR system, and certainly does not at present.
The major advantage of the Nintendo Switch over the other two consoles – aside from the outstanding exclusive games such as Zelda that Nintendo delivers – is the fact that the console offers portable gaming. The ability to take the Nintendo Switch with you wherever you go is certainly a welcome innovation, while the living-room functionality of the console is also more than adequate. This is definitely the most flexible console on the market, and early adopters have spoken glowingly of the ability to play Zelda and Mario Kart in public; definitely a massive plus point in an era in which mobile gaming is so popular.
It is obviously asking too much for consoles of the power of the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro to be portable as well, and indeed it is not possible to game on either the Sony or Microsoft machine without a monitor.
The Xbox One X is coming in at a price point that has never been seen before in the console marketplace, with the launch price being $499. This means that the machine is already $100 more expensive than either the PS4 Pro or Nintendo Switch, and both Sony and Microsoft have the potential to reduce the price of their consoles ahead of the release of the Xbox One X. While the Switch launched at a lower price point than the PS4 Pro, it currently retails at around $400 on Amazon.com, and it is very difficult to pick up a new console cheaper than this.
This is particularly true for Sony, with the PS4 Pro having been released back in November 2016. Thus, the premium Sony console will be about one year old when the Xbox One X arrives in the stores, making it ripe for a price cut. If Microsoft is to shift significant numbers of units of the Xbox One X, it must convince gamers that the extra money is worthwhile; certainly a challenge considering Sony’s massive advantage in installed user base.