Xbox Scorpio vs PS4 Pro: 5 Big Differences Early Buyers Must Know
With PS4 Pro announcement last week, Sony really made a big news out of PlayStation Meeting, first of all because they are going to launch it this year already. Since Project Scorpio was announced to be releasing in late 2017, many thought Sony'd follow Microsoft's line when approaching mid-cycle hardware upgrades. But they didn't. Also, first technical information getting out of the event revealed PlayStation 4 Pro would not ultimately be able to run native 4K resolution games, unless we're not talking about very few cases, with less demanding titles, like The Last of Us Remastered.
A particular technique is said to be in use right there for developers to build 2K resolution game and then see that resolution be upscaled through a refined and almost unnoticed upscaling. Project Scorpio is not going to do that, at least from the few information Microsoft let get out of June's E3, boasting 4K graphics running at 60 frames per second. With these few things in mind, let's try and take a look at the most basic and clear differences between the two platforms, PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio.
PS4 Pro is releasing one year ahead
Yeah, as we already said PS4 Pro is launching one year ahead of Project Scorpio, which is something no one would've bet upon before PlayStation Meeting kicked off, apart from some insider/analyst who was too quickly labeled as crazy. This makes a lot of advantage as Sony has a lot of time to convince consumers theirs is the only 4K machine on the market and that, whatever Project Scorpio manages to do, they've already done that one year before.
PS4 Pro is probably going to be less expensive
From the look of it, Sony has been pretty careful while building PS4 Pro, as their first desire was to keep what made the base PS4 launch so successful: pricing. This is why PlayStation 4 is shipping with a not-so-4k hardware – they wanted it not to be more expensive than the original PS4 and not to go beyond the $399 price tag.
Looking at what Microsoft is doing for Project Scorpio, well, they're just going all in with the raw power: it's a 6 teraflops console, which is something we're really not used to when talking about this particular market share (it'd be simpler if we were discussing PC gaming, to be honest). And they've already said this is going to be a “premium” package, so it'll be hard to go at retail at the same price PS4 Pro did. If not impossible.
Project Scorpio is going to be more powerful (but how much of that power is really going to be supported by developers?)
Project Scorpio is much more powerful than PS4 Pro. Sony's new console is going for a 4.19 teraflops rig, while Microsoft is launching its console at a whopping 6 teraflops computational power. We don't really know what devs are going to do with such a big amount of raw power, but usually the more power you have, the better.
Spencer said at E3 2016 the Xbox team is going for 4K resolution and 60 frames per second all the way down, although this is not possible on PC running with the same specifics. Unless they don't use some magic like Sony did with PS4 Pro, we're going to see a lot of compromises, just like it has happened so far with Xbox One.
As Xbox One S, Project Scorpio is going to feature an Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray drive
One of the things Sony worked upon in order to maintain a good pricing for PS4 Pro was getting rid of an Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray drive – yes, Sony, the one who created Blu-ray, is not supporting this technology with its latest home console.
Personally I don't need it but, you know, someone may actually do. So it's a plus for Project Scorpio, which is coming along with a brand new optical drive, allowing you to see even more defined movies and stuff like that. Or at least, this is what we suppose will happen based on the Xbox One S recent experience – they might be forced to remove that 4K Blu-ray drive from the final Project Scorpio in order to have a more competitive price.
Project Scorpio is supporting third party VR platforms
One thing I believe could be truly interesting right here is Project Scorpio supporting third party VR headsets and platforms. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear and others could all find a new home on Project Scorpio, just like they do on Steam.
It's something Sony won't be able to do as they already own PlayStation VR. So they're going to need to have first party effort on that platform and do a good job while convincing third party developers to approach it. Which is something they'll manage to do only in case this October's launch finally reveals successful.