By Jeffrey Vadala PhD, Gamer News Daily Contributing Author
This generation the big console manufacturers have done something different. They are releasing slightly upgraded systems after their flagships have only been on the market for a few years. This article discusses this new trend, the Playstation 4 Pro and the Xbox Project Scorpio. Given that the Playstation 4 Pro was released last fall, this article serves as an “aftermath piece.” Cutting past the original Christmas season hype, I assess what Sony really gave us in the PS4 Pro and compare this to what we know about Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox Scorpio.
Playstation 4 Pro
Last fall, Sony released the Playstation 4 Pro with upgraded specs that allow it to produce better visuals for VR, 4K, and regular 1080P gaming content. Since the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro, we’ve seen crisper/smoother VR games, games that run at full 1080p, 60 FPS titles, and games with ultra high resolution textures. That said, the release of the Playstation 4 Pro has not been without issues. Initially, although producing higher resolution visuals, some games ran worse on the Playstation 4 Pro. In most cases patches have solved these issues but the question remain as to whether the Playstation 4 Pro was rushed to the market too early to beat Microsoft.
Microsoft is being secretive about the Project Scorpio. Without a real name as of yet, Project Scorpio remains an unknown to consumers and a somewhat defined shadow to developers. Last fall, Microsoft told developers and consumers alike that Project Scorpio would be a 4k system but details beyond this are scant. As of today, Xbox manager Phil Spencer still won’t commit to even showing the Project Scorpio at E3 2017. That said, with a 2017 release, some details about the system’s potential power are leaking out.
Keeping his lips shut for the most part, Halo director Frank O’Connor said that he thought “it’s beefier than I expected.” This gives hope to gamers that may have been disappointed with the somewhat rushed PS4 Pro. This could be biased Microsoft talking points but, but given that Microsoft is taking it’s time with the Project Scorpio, it is possible that the Scorpio is far beefier and “more” 4k ready than the PS4 Pro which will be a year old by next Christmas. Microsoft has said that the Scorpio will have 6 teraflops with of power which compares favorably to the 4.2 teraflops of the PS4. Microsoft also has said that the Scorpio will have 320 GB/s of memory bandwidth which trumps the PS4 Pro’s 218 Gb/s.
30 Percent More Power but No VR?
Overall, it appears that Microsoft is shooting for roughly 30 percent more power than the PS4 Pro. With 30 percent more power, the Scorpio should be able to hit the 4k much more easily than the PS4 Pro. This may also allow easier texture and FPS upgrades as well. VR support for the Scorpio is an unknown at this point. Microsoft is leaving the door open VR but won’t commit. It is just too early to tell. On VR support, Spencer recently said ““We designed Scorpio as a VR-capable console. Whether that happens this year, next year or the year after…”
With this in mind, gamers shouldn’t get their hopes up for an Xbox VR this christmas. The Playstation 4 Pro paired with a Playstation VR will be the best choice for VR console gamers. That said, it’s looking as though the Project Scorpio may end up being the best 4k machine with its “beefier hardware.”