If you take your console gaming seriously, the recent launch of the Nintendo Switch was a mere distraction, almost an intermission for what is to come. Yes, we’re talking about the Xbox Project Scorpio and its now long awaited promise of next-gen graphics and massive performance increases. Fortunately, that wait is no longer than a Fall away, and we’ve now seen Microsoft publish a store listing for the device. However, this is but yet another chapter in the Microsoft Vs. Sony conflict that’s been going on for years.
Xbox Project Scorpio Vs. PS4 Pro
Now while we’ve had the PS4 Pro since Fall 2016, and had the time to get to know it. It is clear that it is the most powerful gaming console on the market today. However, Sony’s approach to soup-up the specs of the original PS4 and include tweaks to allow for 4K upscaling hasn’t gone un-noticed. In fact, on the above mentioned Scorpio listing Microsoft mentions the following:
- The most powerful console ever with 6-teraflops of graphical processing power
- The first and only console to enable true 4K gaming and high-fidelity virtual reality
Now, some have taken the above and decided that Microsoft is having a slight dig in the ribs of Sony and its PS4 Pro. Pointing out that the Xbox Project Scorpio will be much more powerful, and be the first device to deliver native 4K games and high-definition VR. However, is this unfair?
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From our unbiased perspective, if this is a playground attempt at bullying, it would be a 10th grader picking on a 6th grader. Why? Well, to start with the PS4 Pro for all its promises is not a next generation console. Instead, it is the evolution of the PlayStation 4, a device which can not match the rumored specifications of the Scorpio.
As for the Scorpio, it has been said, that it is Microsofts attempt to merge platforms. Meaning, it’s PC gaming and console users, the end point being that users of either could play their favorite games on either platform. Now, if you’ve ever tried to keep up with the constantly increasing graphical power of PC gaming, you know this is going to be difficult. And that’s why 6-terraflops of processing power is being talked about by Microsoft it will need that amount to be capable.
Again, comparing the Scorpio to the PS4 Pro is almost abhorrent, these two devices were never designed to be in the same league. Which means there can be no comparison from the start. However, we must push on to the remaining points.
Yes, ultimately the PS4 Pro uses upscaling to create the belief that you’re 4K gaming. However, the point is how well does it do this? Really, really well is the answer! It does a good job of fooling the majority who try it, which is good enough for Sony. As to why Sony didn’t create a console that can deliver native 4K, there’s a good reason.
If it had done so, it would have required a redesign the internal components. Doing so would have made the 700 or more games already on sale non-compatible with the console!
As for the Xbox Project Scorpio, little is known other than it will be the first true native 4K console. It will be able to deliver what the PS4 Pro can not, even if there’s little perceivable difference between upscaled and real 4K. Where the real change may come in is via it sheer power. After all, a next-gen console should deliver next-gen graphical output.
Microsoft mentions that the Xbox Project Scorpio will offer true high-fidelity VR gaming. Now, if you’ve been following the Scorpio news, this piece of text may come as a surprise to you. Why? Well, it has previously been noted that Microsoft was cautious about entering into VR.
In fact just last week the site TrustedReviews reported that Microsoft Boss Phil Spencer wasn’t sold on the technology. And in an interview with Stevivor he said:
“While he’s a fan, he doesn’t feel the tech or games are quite there yet, and that will affect its availability on Scorpio.”
So, with the above in mind, how can the Xbox Project Scorpio promise to deliver better VR than Sony with its PSVR? The answer is, Microsoft is waiting to see which way the wind blows for the technology before committing. After all, unlike Sony, it doesn’t have a ready and waiting user base of 40+ million console owners to sell to. Meaning that, if the tech doesn’t take off in general for the Japanese giant the PSVR becomes an expensive accessory. It won’t be something that could kill its console platform.
Regarding VR performance, yes, the PSVR is no Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. However, what it does have is mass market appeal! Compared it’s cheap, and it’s easy to setup, right now this gives Sony an edge one that it will likely take advantage of with next-gen PSVR’s.
So, was there any point in Microsoft comparing its Xbox Project Scorpio to the PS4 Pro? In some way’s there isn’t. However, it’s possible that with the Pro and PSVR Sony has set a path for other devices to follow. Being an iteration, not a stand-alone device the Pro could be seen as a trail-blazer one which fundamentally, displays what is possible now, and entices future possibilities.