It's been a few weeks since Sony unveiled its latest creation at a (sub-par) gaming conference in Manhattan, New York. The PS4 Pro is supposed to symbolize the future of the PlayStation brand, while simultaneously allowing the standard version PS4 to continue its life cycle, thus making things a little more complicated and convoluted for gaming consumers - but we've got you covered in that department.
And yet, though Sony will be releasing the most powerful console the world has seen on November 10, Microsoft has been gearing up for a mighty surprise with the Xbox One Scorpio. This impressive little white box threatens to undermine the advantages of Sony's PS4 Pro prior to its release.
The Might of the Xbox One Scorpio
Let's look at how the Scorpio plans to respond to Sony's PS4 Pro and try to pin down exactly what separates these two consoles. Are the differences between Xbox and PlayStation that noticeable?
All That 4K, Baby
When Sony representatives took to the stage in New York, they made it very clear to talk about two specific things, and one of those was 4K visuals. The PS4 Pro will be able to play certain games in 4K resolution, provided the user has a television that'll display that amount of pixels. However, there's a difference between how the PS4 Pro handles 4K and how the Xbox One Scorpio will when it releases in 2017.
PS4 Pro is a very inexpensive console at $399, but it comes at a rather different cost: it isn't all that powerful. PS4 Pro games will be rendered at less-than-4K resolutions then sized-up to fit our displays. Essentially, the image will be smaller than 4K and then stretched to fit. But Microsoft, on the other hand have stated that their first-party games will in fact "natively render at 4K." Therefore, we can actually expect crisper images from the Xbox One Scorpio. This is its major advantage.
FDR Capa- I Mean HDR Capabilities
This was the second thing that Sony made a big song and dance about on stage. For those who don't know, HDR ready displays reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity than is possible with standard digital imaging, and this, as opposed to 4K, is what developers see as the future of video games. HDR will essentially deliver a cleaner and more colorful image to your living room.
But thankfully both the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio will support HDR visuals. Though Microsoft haven't commented on Scorpio's support of HDR, the Xbox One S already supports it.
What About Power?
What about it, indeed. When we look at the specifications for the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One, its easy to spot the more dominant machine: The Xbox Scorpio will be the most powerful console ever conceived when it releases in 2017. Numbers-wise, PS4 Pro has 4.2 teraflops of graphics processing power, while Xbox One Scorpio gets even terafloppier with 6 - hence why the console will be able to render natively in 4K.
Additionally, the Xbox One Scorpio will be able to play UHD Blu-Ray movies, whereas PS4 Pro will only be able to stream in 4K on certain applications. Strange considering Sony invented the technology... But this brings me on to another point and another console.
Explaining The Xbox One S's Advantages Over the PS4 Pro
The Xbox One S is a smaller, sexier and slightly more powerful variation on the original Xbox One. Released in early August, Microsoft have been using this console to poke holes in Sony's reveal of the PS4 Pro.
The Xbox One S currently boasts HDR, 4K streaming and 4K Blu-ray. Aside from the lack of Blu-ray, Sony spent their latest conference talking about features that this little white box has boasted for over a month. While it certainly doesn't match the PS4 Pro in terms of power, Microsoft made it very clear that the Xbox One S is a fantastic alternative to the PS4 Pro for those who enjoy 4K. And with the Xbox One Scorpio arriving next year, we could see a powerful shift in the console race on the horizon. But will Sony make an even more powerful console to combat the might of the Xbox One Scorpio? Were do your loyalties lie?