With just one week to go until Sony’s PS4 Pro hits the shelves and another year or more to wait for Microsoft’s Xbox Scorpio, the latter half of 2016 and 2017 will revolutionize the home console, and that’s without the Nintendo Switch. So in this article, we’re going to take a look at the Sony and Microsoft consoles in order to determine which one is the better gaming machine.
Xbox Scorpio vs. PS4 Pro
For months now, there have been claims from both tech giants about the abilities of their next consoles. Sony claims that the PS4 Pro is not a next generation device. Instead, it is an addition to what is now the PlayStation 4 family. However, it does have the feel of a next-gen device due to its support for VR and superior graphics capabilities.
Due to the Xbox Scorpio’s release date being sometime next year, facts about it are still thin right now. However, there may be just enough to compare it to its rival.
If you haven’t been keeping up to date with what’s been going on in the console gaming world, you may be a little perplexed as to why Sony and Microsoft have announced their new consoles so early. The answer can be boiled down to two parts, with the first being 4K. Since manufacturers started producing ultra-high-definition televisions, console users have felt left behind. That is because their consoles are only able to output 1080p or 4K at slower-than-usable frame rates.
The second reason is due to the rise of virtual reality gaming and the growing popularity of VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Sony has jumped firmly onto this bandwagon; however, Microsoft has yet to make up its mind, preferring instead to wait until the technology becomes mainstream.
So let’s have a look at how the Xbox Scorpio and PS4 Pro compare.
4K high definition gaming
Even though the Xbox Scorpio isn’t due to hit store shelves for some time, Microsoft has announced that its console will have a 4K Blu-ray drive. Sony has decided not to use that technology, calling it unimportant to the future of 4K gaming. However, that doesn’t actually mean anything for 4K gaming. It just goes to show that there is more than one technological approach to it, and both companies are taking different routes.
Processors and RAM
Right now there’s little known about the processor that will power the Xbox Scorpio. However, Xbox chief Phil Spencer has revealed that it will have an eight-core unit which will be as powerful as a high-end PC. This means something like 6 terraflops of power will be on offer.
There is more information available on the PS4 Pro, and this is where the non-next-gen tag becomes believable. With an eight-core AMD Jaguar CPU, the same as in its predecessors, it will be tweaked to run overclocked. Its CPU speed is thought to be 2.1Ghz, and it’s expected to have 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 4 Pro.
Phil Spencer recently revealed that Microsoft and Xbox are still undecided about VR gaming. The Xbox Scorpio will apparently be VR-ready, but no information about what headset it could use has been revealed. Previously it was thought that Xbox would announce a partnership with Oculus. However, it now seems as though those who spend the money to develop devices would prefer to wait.
As for the PS4 Pro, one of the two reasons it has been developed is VR gaming. This was due to the PS4 not having the required grunt to give users a great PSVR experience. However, not even the Pro can provide a great VR experience when you compare it to the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
Whichever way you look at it, both the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio are going to change console gaming forever. Sony’s willingness to tackle both 4K and VR at the same time may give early adopters a lead. But will Microsoft have finally come around to VR by the time the Scorpio is released? It’s unclear for now, but the company will have had a year to watch and learn. Whatever happens, these are exciting times, and we can’t wait to see how the next year to 18 months pans out.