The eighth generation of game consoles is slowly becoming one of the most unusual. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, introduced at the end of 2013, from the first months of sales, made many people say that their power would not be enough to pass a life cycle of 6-7 years without problems.
As a result, Sony and, especially, Microsoft were forced to present to the public not just slim-versions of their consoles, but consoles with improved hardware, without moving to a new generation. And so it happened, Microsoft announced the Project Scorpio console at E3 2016, and Sony presented the PlayStation 4 Pro game console at the PlayStation Meeting 2016. Before starting any comparison, I would like to consider each console separately.
PS4 Pro: specifications, price, features, release date
To begin with, I would like to immediately note that the PlayStation 4 Pro should not replace the usual PS4, but will only dilute the game console market. That is, PS4 Pro and PS4 are one platform.
PS4 Pro parameters:
- CPU: overclocked eight-core x86-64 AMD “Jaguar” 2.1 GHz (about 1.3 times faster than the standard PS4);
- Graphics card (GPU): AMD Radeon based on Polaris architecture. Power 4.20 teraflops (standard PS4 has 1.84 teraflops);
- RAM: GDDR5 8GB;
- Winchester: 1 TB (versions with a larger hard drive are expected);
- Ports: 3 USB 3.1 Gen1, as well as 1 AUX port;
- Connection: Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T), IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.0 (LE);
- Power supply: AC 100V, 50 / 60Hz;
- Power consumption: up to 310 watts;
- The temperature at which the console can work: 5 ℃ – 35 ℃;
- AV output: HDMI (4K / HDR output);
- Dimensions: width 295 mm, height 55 mm, length 327 mm;
- Weight: 3.3 kg.
As you can see, the PS4 Pro GPU is more than twice as powerful as the standard PS4, while the CPU only got a slight overclocking. The main focus of the PS4 Pro is 4K gaming. Despite this, the console’s power is unlikely to be enough for a full-fledged 4K game resolution. Thing is, the standard PS4 had a hard time handling 1920 * 1080p resolution.
It takes a bit of math to figure out that the console isn’t powerful enough for full 4K. Let’s take a Full HD resolution and multiply its width by its height – 1920 * 1080 = 2,073,600. That is, a standard PS4 can hardly handle 2,073,600 pixels at the same time. Now let’s take 4K resolution, and use the same formula to calculate the total number of pixels – 3840 * 2160 = 8,294,400. Thus, for the PS4 Pro to cope with 4K, it must be four times more powerful, four, not two. as in our case.
Based on this, we can make a preliminary conclusion that the PS4 Pro will not cope with full 4K. However, you should not get upset ahead of time. Sony is not fooling gamers at all by saying that games on PS4 Pro will run in 4K. In fact, the console will use advanced upscaling technology. In simple words, this technology stretches the picture from 2K resolution to 4K, while applying special anti-aliasing. That is, in the end, everyone should be happy – a gamer with a 4K TV gets the desired resolution, and Sony gives it to him through the program code.
Project Scorpio: features, price, features, release date
Having finished with PS4 Pro, I want to stop at Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. Unfortunately, when this console was announced at E3 2016, Microsoft never showed it, limiting itself to just a few words about its capabilities. At the announcement, Microsoft promised that Project Scorpio will delight gamers with support for 4K resolution in games and a 6 teraflops GPU. No, you read that “6 teraflops” correctly.
That is, in fact, Project Scorpio should surpass the PS4 Pro in terms of performance. In addition, the console will have support for all games for the standard Xbox One, as well as a new eight-core CPU. Which one is not yet reported, but most likely it could be a processor from AMD from the Jaguar or Zen line. Another feature of Project Scorpio will be 320 GB / s bandwidth. Thus, Microsoft will take into account all the disadvantages of Xbox One and will not repeat them with Project Scorpio.
The design of the console is still clouded with secrets. The only thing Microsoft showed in its video was the board for the new console. Judging by it, it can be assumed that Project Scorpio will have 12 GB of GDDR 5 RAM running on a 384-bit bus. In addition, company representatives announced that Project Scorpio will support a virtual reality (VR) device and will be able to display images at a frequency of 90 Hz. Initially, it was assumed that such a device could be an Oculus Rift helmet, but it is possible that Microsoft is preparing something new for us.
Microsoft is not shy about saying Project Scorpio will be more powerful and more advanced than the PS4 Pro. As an example, the company representatives cite the ability of Project Scorpio to play 4K HD Blu-ray discs, which the PlayStation 4 Pro cannot. Quite a dubious advantage, especially for those who rarely buy 4K HD Blu-ray movies.
Unlike Sony, Microsoft won’t release its new console this year. The release of Project Scorpio starts only at the end of 2017. Until that time, the most powerful game console on the market will be the PS4 Pro. As for how much Project Scorpio will cost, Microsoft is keeping it under wraps as well. Most likely, the price will be significantly higher than $ 400, but it is too early to say something one hundred percent. Perhaps by that time, many of the components will become significantly cheaper, and Project Scorpio will be an affordable console.
What is better PlayStation 4 Pro or Project Scorpio (Xbox): conclusion
So we got to the main question – what is better? Which console is the future? Which console will stay relevant longer? Should I swap my regular PS4 or Xbox One for PS4 Pro or Project Scorpio? Here, as always, everything is not obvious – the advantages of the PlayStation 4 Pro lie in its exclusives, which are not available either on Project Scorpio, or on the PC, or anywhere else. Exclusives have always been Sony’s trump card over competitors, because most gamers at one time bought the same PS3 for several products, including Heavy Rain, the Uncharted series, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, etc. Another advantage of the PS4 Pro is support for the PlayStation VR headset, for which quite a few games have already been announced.
As for the advantages of Project Scorpio, it is too early to talk about them, but, apparently, the console will really outperform the PS4 Pro in terms of performance. This means that multiplatform games can look prettier on Project Scorpio than on a competitor’s console. Note that this is just an assumption, because both consoles have not yet entered the market, and it is simply impossible to compare them fully.
If you remember the situation with the Xbox 360 and PS3, then everything was not so obvious there. PS3, although it had a large line of cool exclusives, was not a favorite for everyone. The fact is that Xbox 360 also had some pretty good exclusives, such as the Halo series, the Gears of War series, Fable 2, Forza Horizon and Dead Rising. In the case of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Project Scorpio, things are very different. While Sony continues its policy of exclusivity for its consoles, Microsoft, on the contrary, says that PCs are now also in the priority platforms for the company. That is, games that will be released for the Xbox One and Project Scorpio will also be released for the PC. In addition, some of them will be fully compatible thanks to the Xbox Play Anywhere program – you buy a game for Xbox One (Project Scorpio), you get a copy for PC (Windows 10).
It is rather difficult to answer the question “is it worth changing a regular PS4 or Xbox One to PS4 Pro or Project Scorpio”. In the case of the PS4, users without a 4K TV likely don’t need to change their console. After all, Sony has repeatedly stated that everything that the PS4 Pro will receive will be available on the regular PS4, with the exception of some minor effects. If someone is just going to buy the PS4 platform, then here it is better to take the “Pro version”, since it is newer, more powerful and does not cost much more.
In the case of Xbox One and Project Scorpio, the performance gap will be more noticeable. The fact is that the standard Xbox One is still in the role of catch-up, surpassing in performance only the Nintendo Wii U. Many games cannot even function normally at 900p, let alone full Full HD. In addition, Project Scorpio will be released only at the end of 2017, and therefore everyone who wants to change their Xbox One has time to save some money.