The Sony PS4 Pro and the Microsoft Xbox One S are set to battle it out for supremacy in the games console market.
It may be a while before either console is released, but the internet is already awash with rumors of their capabilities. For its part Microsoft is going all in on 4K capabilities, but it appears that Sony will leave out one piece of equipment, writes Jon Porter for Tech Radar.
Sony will not build a 4K Blu-ray drive into PS4 Pro
According to the latest reports the PS4 Pro will not have a 4K Blu-ray drive, even though it is the first 4K console from Sony. Microsoft’s senior Xbox director, Albert Pinello, said that the decision is “surprising” during an interview with Tech Radar.
Many people have been wondering why Sony chose not to build a physical drive into the PS4. “I would say it’s one of the more surprising decisions that they made, given their history with being on the forefront of media transitions like they have,” said Pinello. “So I don’t know, I think it’s a really great question, I’m not sure.”
Rather than a 4K Blu-ray drive, the PS4 Pro will allow users to watch 4K content via streaming. To this end the company has promised than an Ultra HD Netflix app will be made available by the time the console is released.
Pinello has great faith in 4K
In contrast Microsoft will include a 4K Blu-ray drive on the Xbox One S console. However the company has not revealed whether the upcoming Project Scorpio console will also have one.
Pinello spoke out on Project Scorpio during the interview with Tech Radar, and hinted that 4K Blu-ray would remain. When pressed on whether the 4K Blu-ray drive would remain for the Xbox Scorpio, Pinello refused to confirm or deny the rumors.
However he did reveal that he has “a personal belief in 4K.” Although he was unimpressed by previous media format changes, Pinello said: “I really believe in 4K and HDR.”
These comments also go some way to explaining Pinello’s comments on the PS4 Pro. He also spoke out on the issue of 4K gaming capabilities in upcoming consoles.
Nintendo NX also set for release
After the Xbox One S, Microsoft is set to release the Xbox Scorpio. While the console isn’t scheduled for release until 2017, rumors are already flying about its capabilities.
Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Scorpio will have 6 teraflops of GPU power, compared to 4.2 for the PS4 Pro. According to Pinello this means that the Sony console will struggle to produce real 4K.
“I think there are a lot of caveats they’re giving customers right now around 4K,” he said. “They’re talking about checkerboard rendering and up-scaling and things like that.”
The war of words between Microsoft and Sony will surely intensify as the next generation consoles are released. Elsewhere in the gaming industry, excitement is also building around the Nintendo NX console.
Many people are intrigued to see what Nintendo does with its next console, which is rumored to be a hybrid portable/console device. It seems unlikely that Nintendo will fight it out with Sony and Microsoft in terms of power, and instead concentrate on luring buyers thanks to innovative hardware and different gaming options.
As it stands it looks like we are in for an interesting period in the console market. This can only be a good thing for gaming fans.