PS4 Pro vs Xbox One Scorpio comparison review

Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro is out now, and is currently the most powerful games console on the market by some way. It won’t hold that crown forever though, as Microsoft’s souped up Xbox One Scorpio is set to arrive at some point in 2017. Some gamers might already know they’re planning to pick both upgrades as soon as they’re out, but that’ll get pretty pricey, pretty quickly. So if you’re just looking for one, should you grab the PS4 Pro right now, or wait a year for Project Scorpio?

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One Scorpio Comparison: Pricing and Availability

Comparing pricing and release dates for the two consoles is tough, because while we know everything that we need to about the PS4 Pro, there are a lot of question marks around the Scorpio. Sony’s console arrived in the UK on 10 November 2016, and the 1TB edition can be found for £349. That’s only £100 or so more than the default PS4 model (a.k.a. the PS4 Slim), making it a reasonably compelling value proposition.

By contrast, we don’t know much about the Xbox One Scorpio, but what we do know puts it at a distinct disadvantage. The only release date Microsoft has confirmed so far is that it’ll be out by ‘Christmas 2017’, so it’s most likely a full year away from release. Whilst we're not yet sure of UK pricing, the ability to provide "true 4K gameplay" suggests to us that it may cost somewhere between £350 and £500 - already more expensive than the PS4 Pro, which could cost even less in a year's time.

We do at least know when we'll find out more though. Microsoft has confirmed that it will be holding an E3 press conference on 11 June 2017 at 10 p.m. GMT, and we know the Scorpio will be the big focus. Expect to find out specs, price, release date, and to get a look at the device itself.

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PS4 Pro vs Xbox One Scorpio Comparison: Specs and Features

So Project Scorpio is likely to cost a bit more than the PS4 Pro, but will you get more for your money? If claims from Xbox execs are anything to go by, then yes.

Scorpio is said to boast six teraflops of graphical power, with Microsoft already branding it "the most powerful console ever." By comparison, the PS4 Pro clocks in at 4.2 teraflops, and both the standard PS4 and Xbox One have less than 2 teraflops of power. The Scorpio is also expected to trump the Pro when it comes to memory. Microsoft has already confirmed it will have a memory bandwidth of 320GB/s, while the the PS4 Pro runs at 218GB/s. The Pro has 8GB of memory, and while we don’t know what the Scorpio will boast, it will no doubt be at least that much, if not more -- after all, 8GB is what the existing Xbox One is packing.

Getting away from the consoles’ innards, both devices will boast native 4K support for those of you with TVs to take advantage of it, although Microsoft claims that only the Scorpio can provide "true" 4K gameplay. The Xbox One Scorpio will also play 4K Blu-rays, though the PS4 Pro doesn't. That’s probably not a big deal for most people, but if you know you’re going to want to watch films in the highest definition you can, you might want to wait for the Scorpio.

One of the other benefits of the PS4 Pro is that it should make every game on the console run better, not just those with specific PS4 Pro support. The Boost mode, currently available in a beta firmware update, lets the PS4 Pro run at a higher GPU and CPU clock speed in order to improve gameplay on some PS4 games that were released before the Pro. Sony said it should provide higher frame rates for some games, and may reduce load times too.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has previously suggested that the Scorpio should do something similar, suggesting that some games with dynamic scaling "will look different" and may "run a little better" on the Scorpio, but we don't know exactly what benefits to expect yet, or how many games will be affected.

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One Scorpio Comparison: Virtual reality support

Much of the hype around both consoles has been about one thing: VR. With increased processing power, both consoles promise serious performance upgrades for anyone looking to pick up a virtual reality headset, which both Microsoft and Sony are betting will be a big draw.

Sony has launched its own PlayStation VR, which comes with a variety of exclusive titles and retails at £349.99 -- pretty affordable by current VR standards. You don’t need the Pro to use PS VR -- a regular PS4 will work just fine -- but it will help make sure that VR games and experiences run as smoothly as possible.

Microsoft isn’t making its own virtual reality headset, and is instead expected to partner with the Oculus Rift. That would make sense, because the company has already teamed up with Oculus to provide an Xbox One controller for every headset, and Windows 10 was designed with the Rift in mind. That should mean much more cross-compatibility with the PC when it comes to Xbox One VR. The big downside? Once again, price. The Rift is £549, and once you add that to Scorpio’s expected £550-500 price tag and it begins to look like a very expensive choice.

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One Scorpio Comparison: Games

Last but not least, what about their game libraries? This is less of an important factor if you already own either console (or even both), but if you’re new to this generation then it might matter a lot more. Obviously, to some extent it’s a matter of personal taste, and the main thing to look at is each console’s lineup of exclusives. The PS4 boasts the likes of Uncharted 4 and Bloodborne, and has major titles like Detroit: Beyond Human and Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding on the way. Thanks to the PlayStation Now streaming service, you can also play a whole range of older Sony titles for a small fee.

For the Xbox One, it's a similar story: Halo, Gears of War, Crackdown, ReCore and Forza are just a few of the exclusives that you can play on the platform. The more you care about those, the better the argument for sticking with Microsoft. The Xbox One also offers backwards compatibility, offering the chance to play old Xbox 360 games if supported. If that don’t hold much appeal, then the PS4 might be a better choice.

Sony PS4 Pro: Specs

  • x86-64 AMD Jaguar octa-core processor
  • 4.2TFlops, AMD Radeon based graphics engine
  • 8GB RAM GDDR5
  • 1TB storage
  • BD/DVD drive
  • 3x USB 3.1 Gen.1
  • Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)1
  • Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • HDMI
  • digital out
  • 327x295x55mm
  • 3.3kg
  • x86-64 AMD Jaguar octa-core processor
  • 4.2TFlops, AMD Radeon based graphics engine
  • 8GB RAM GDDR5
  • 1TB storage
  • BD/DVD drive
  • 3x USB 3.1 Gen.1
  • Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)1
  • Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • HDMI
  • digital out
  • 327x295x55mm
  • 3.3kg

OUR VERDICT

For now, picking up the PS4 Pro looks like a pretty safe bet. It will most likely be cheaper than Microsoft’s alternative, especially if you’re hoping to take up VR as well. It may lag slightly in performance and power, but probably not enough for the average player to notice. If you’re still not convinced though, wait until June for Microsoft to reveal more about what it’s planning.

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