The PlayStation Neo and Xbox Project Scorpio are the two most highly-anticipated consoles at this moment, with Sony’s offering having a confirmed announcement date of September 7 and the Xbox Scorpio likely to appear sometime in late 2017. As for their specs and features, here’s everything we know about them.
Everything we know about the PlayStation Neo
If you had been a visitor to this year’s E3 event in June, hoping to see Sony unveil the PlayStation Neo, you would have left disappointed as the Japanese giant decided to refrain from spilling the beans at that time. However, since then, Sony has become a little more open, confirming that the PlayStation Neo was indeed a real device and that it would officially unveil it on September 7 and finally put frenzied gamers out of their misery.
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Virtual reality on PlayStation Neo
Everything we know about the PlayStation Neo and its specs, features, and design has come about because Sony saw the need to improve upon the specifications of the first PS4 before the PlayStation VR headset launches in October. Now that Sony has created this new console variant specifically to accommodate its future as a VR gaming pioneer, the world is waiting with bated breath to see what the two devices provide when combined.
According to tech site Giant Bomb, its multiple unnamed sources are providing it some serious hardware specs for the PlayStation Neo. These specs are as follows: an eight-core AMD-Jaguar CPU, overclocked to an even faster speed of 2.1Ghz, and 8Gb of GDDR5 RAM, just like the previous model, which has also been overclocked to reach a data transfer rate of 216Gps. The GPU (graphics processing unit) has also been beefed up from 800Mhz on the PS4 to 911Mhz on the PlayStation Neo.
Does this mean that the PlayStation Neo will be less powerful than the Xbox Project Scorpio? No, not at all, as you would have to go back all the way to 2001 and the launch of the first Xbox to discover a device that was more powerful than Sony’s offering at the time. However, only time will tell if this is the case.
Ultra-high definition (4K)
There has been a lot of misinformation surrounding the PlayStation Neo and 4K doing the rounds online of late. Many have suggested that Sony has officially announced 4K capabilities for the console, but nothing could be further from the truth.
However, what is certain is that if the PlayStation is the recipient of the improved specs above, it will be able to deal with higher and more stable frame rates than its predecessor. It almost seems certain that Sony does intend to make the PlayStation Neo able to support UHD or 4K. However, it is not known if the console would be able to render all games in 4K or if any games in the future will have 4K modes available.
As for media playback, it seems as though Sony has no choice but to provide playback capabilities in 4K. This should be the least Sony fans should hope for, seeing as its rival, the Xbox One S, supports it.
Xbox Project Scorpio
Unlike Sony, Microsoft surprised its adoring fans and the press at this year’s E3 event with the announcement that it is working on the next (and possibly last) generation of the Xbox console. However, what the Scorpio represents is an upending of the concept of what a console is. This new device, according to Microsoft, will consist of powerful hardware, seamless software and great titles worthy of such a device.
While Microsoft has been making a lot of noise regarding the Xbox Scorpio, there is not too much information to share. What we can say is that it looks like Microsoft has learned from its mistakes with the Xbox One and will now focus entirely on what gamers want.
Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed that at the heart of the console, there will be an eight-core processing unit offering a humongous 6-terraflops of power, which will give it almost as much grunt as current high-end gaming PCs. Apparently this much power will be required to make 4K gaming at 60fps a reality.
Virtual reality on Xbox Project Scorpio
Virtual reality, at this moment in time, is a mystery, where the Xbox Scorpio is concerned. Microsoft has yet to reveal what kind of platform it could/will use for the console. Yes, it has its own headset, but the Hololens is an augmented reality technology, not VR, so it is unlikely that it will be used with the console.
Early rumors suggested that Oculus Rift could be Microsoft’s VR headset of choice, but yet again, nothing has been confirmed. In a recent interview with Wired, Spencer announced that Microsoft was not interested in developing its own VR hardware and indicated that instead, third-party VR hardware may be an option for Xbox Scorpio.
While one single E3 press conference seems to have dramatically changed the console landscape, based on what we see right now, it could be 2017’s Xbox that has the edge over its rival, the PlayStation Neo.
However, on the plus side for the PlayStation Neo, there is the knowledge that VR and a dedicated headset will be available for it. But apart from what is known about these two consoles, both tech giants have revealed very little so far. So with that in mind, the first round will undoubtedly be won by Sony with the PlayStation Neo, due to its 2016 launch date.