There has been a lot of hustle and bustle of late from the Xbox team as they unveil the official hardware specifications for the Project Scorpio. Admittedly, the console is a monster and can outpace even a mid-range computer. However, will the performance gains be enough to make a Playstation 4 Pro user switch to the Project Scorpio? Here is a comprehensive specs comparison for the Project Scorpio and Playstation 4 Pro that can help you make an informed decision.
There is no denying that Microsoft’s Project Scorpio is a very capable machine. In fact, the Xbox team calls the device “the most powerful console ever made.” First of all, the new Xbox console boasts six trillion floating point calculations per second. According to Eurogamer, in comparison to the Playstation 4 Pro, the Project Scorpio leads by about 45 percent in terms of computational power.
When it comes to memory bandwidth, Microsoft’s upcoming console is also ahead with 326Gbps compared to a decent 218Gbps bandwidth of the Playstation 4 Pro. System RAM on the Scorpio is also bigger by 50 percent; PS4 Pro with 8GB while Scorpio has 12GB.
Of course, all that computational power must come from somewhere. The upcoming console is powered by a custom AMD chip that packs eight x86 cores running at 2.3GHz. The SoC will also have a grand total of 40 AMD compute units clocked at 1172MHz. Even for the mid-range computer, one can tell that this is just raw power.
On the other hand, the Playstation 4 Pro has an eight-core Jaguar chip paired with 36 AMD compute units. The processors run at a slightly lower 2.1GHz while the GPU is at 911MHz.
At first glance, one can already tell that the Scorpio is leading in everything compared to the Playstation 4 Pro.
Both the Scorpio and PS4 Pro will have a 1TB 2.5-inch hard drive inside. However, the optical drive on the Project Scorpio will be a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive instead of the the standard Blu-ray that is on the PS4 Pro.
Right now, the PS4 supports all the games released on the original Playstation 4 console. Some developers have issued patches for their titles in order to maximize the power of the PS4 Pro. However, for those games that do not have the proper driver or patch, Sony released the Boost Mode feature that will enhance gameplay on unpatched games. The Boost Mode is available on all PS4 consoles running the latest PS4 System Software 4.50.
In the case of the Project Scorpio, Microsoft offers a somewhat similar approach. However, instead of increasing the frame rate, Scorpio offers 4k upscaling. The way this works is by stretching a full HD resolution image or video to fit a 4K display. This is done by filling the empty spaces with other pixels with the user of a robust upscaling algorithm. In essence, it is slightly similar to zooming in to an image or a video to fit it in the confines of the display. For the Project Scorpio, older Xbox games will be upscaled to a higher resolution.
Unfortunately for the Project Scorpio, this is where the Playstation 4 Pro flourishes. So far, Sony has built a strong support system of exclusive titles for the PS4 console. Right now, both the PS4 and PS4 Pro have titles like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Destiny 2, Persona 5, Nioh, and many more. Sony has managed to wrangle a collection of game developers who create exciting and impressive games for the consoles.
On the other hand, this is where the Xbox, and quite possibly the Project Scorpio, will struggle. Right now, the Xbox is already trying to make ends meet with a meagre size of its games library. Furthermore, there are actually far less Xbox exclusive games than that of the PS4. Microsoft would have to work hard to get more game studios to develop games for the Project Scorpio.
Another kink in the Project Scorpio armor is the lack of support for virtual reality or VR. For now, only the PS4 and PS4 Pro offer support for VR headsets. Sony even has its own VR headset that connects to the consoles, the PSVR.
As the days go by, Sony is planting itself on console-based VR gaming grounds by introducing a growing number of VR game contents for the PS4 ecosystem. As of December 2016, there are about 120 VR games for the PSVR. More of them are being released on a weekly basis. Before long, gamers will be looking at hundreds of VR game titles for the PS4 and PS4 Pro.
If Microsoft ever decides to dabble with VR, it would probably be too late. By that time, there could be thousands of VR games already released for the PS4 consoles. It will be quite difficult for Microsoft to keep up with Sony’s progress unless it has something more impressive, like Hololens support.
Price and release date
At the moment, Microsoft is yet to announce the pricing for the Project Scorpio console. Nevertheless, with its sheer power, consumers can expect to shell out somewhere between $500 and $600 easily. While the supposed official release of the Microsoft console is set for later this year, the pre-order and price announcement could happen during this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 2017) in Los Angeles.
On other notes, the Playstation 4 Pro has been officially launched last November 2016. Gamers can get the PS4 Pro for $400 from any retailer shop or online. One important thing to note here is that this price can even drop when Microsoft releases the Project Scorpio. If that happens, the new Xbox console will look a lot more expensive that it would be.
Obviously, each console has its own merits. The Project Scorpio is indeed an impressive gaming console, there is no denying that. However, the price, available game titles, and VR support can put a dent on its somewhat impervious armor. Meanwhile, Sony is already reaping the benefits of the PS4 Pro as we speak. It is cheap, possibly to go even cheaper, and it has a huge library of exclusive games. For more tech updates, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.