There’s no doubt about it: When it comes to the most capable system on the market, the Xbox One X reigns supreme. Despite higher adoption of the PS4 worldwide, the Xbox One’s more powerful machine is your best bet if you’re looking for the latest and greatest in 4K graphics and performance. Yet there’s one key area that makes the PS4 Pro better than the Xbox One X: Remote Play.
One way in which Sony has managed to make their console stand out from the crowd is the capability to stream games from the system to almost anywhere you’re located. Whether you’re simply on your PC upstairs or using your Vita on hotel WiFi, you can access the latest generation of games on the go.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the Xbox One X also has this capability, albeit in a more limited capacity. You can stream Xbox games to your Windows PC as long as you’re on the same WiFi network. But say you want to stream the game to a different TV — you’ll have to link the TV to your PC (provided your PC is even close enough for this to work), which is a much more convoluted process than simply firing up the system and starting to play. The easier setup really makes the PS4 Pro better than the Xbox One X when it comes to streaming functionality.
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Although remote play on the PS4 Pro is not without its flaws, there’s something to be said for playing the latest and greatest new titles while kicking back on the couch with just your Vita in hand. While the Nintendo Switch is not necessarily a direct competitor to Sony’s console due to the different design philosophies, more and more people are realizing the convenience that a portable and powerful game system offers. Being able to stream content from a powerful console and play remotely pretty much anywhere you have a WiFi connection really makes the PS4 Pro better than the Xbox One X when it comes to ease of access.
Remote play on the Vita is especially useful. While the screen is not necessarily the best quality, you have access to a user interface that’s similar to the PS4 Pro as well as analogous, albeit more compact, controls. Many games, like competitive first-person shooters, may be difficult to play with these modified and smaller controls, but for your average RPG it’s more than sufficient. If tight controls are a concern, you may be better off using your Mac or PC with a dedicated PS4 controller. Remote Play with games like Overwatch is possible, you just need to have the right setup.
One system that’s often forgotten is the PS TV. While the resolution is currently capped at 720p with no signs of a future update, the PS TV essentially allows for a $40 PS4 that you can hook up to any TV for streaming. It’s compact and easily portable, so as long as you have an HDMI cable and a TV with a port, you can connect to WiFi and stream your games from the PS4 or PS4 Pro. It is unfortunate that the resolution is so low, so it may not be the best option for hardcore graphics enthusiasts, but it’s a cheap and easy way to access your games remotely whether you’re in the other room or 1000 miles away.
Keep in mind, too, that this advantage only really exists if you have access to reliable internet. Streaming high-end graphics from your console relies on a connection that can handle quick data transfer, so remote play may not end up being the huge benefit that it usually is if you can’t actually keep a strong connection. If you’re trying to make a decision between the two consoles and Remote Play is a consideration, make sure that your network can handle it before you buy.
If the success of the recently released Nintendo Switch is any indication, gamers value unique features and convenience over raw power. The new Xbox system is the most powerful console on the market, but it still falls behind high-end gaming PCs when it comes to performance. A successful console needs something unique, and Remote Play functionality definitely makes the PS4 Pro better than the Xbox One X for many users that value adaptability over raw performance.