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June 13, 2017

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: What’s the difference?

by John_A

Although Microsoft announced its 4K games console during E3 2016 last June, it was Sony that beat it to the punch, releasing its mid-generation upgrade a full year before the Xbox equivalent.

The PS4 Pro has been available since the end of last year and provides 4K gaming – sometimes natively – so it holds the mantel of the most powerful console on the market. Until the Xbox One X is available, that is.

The One X (formerly known as Project Scorpio) will be released on 7 November and, with the benefit of hindsight, is even more powerful and fast that its PlayStation equivalent.

So here’s a rundown of the two might gaming powerhouses to see which would suit you best.

  • Xbox One X: Release date, price, specs and everything you need to know
  • Sony PS4 Pro: Price, specs and everything you need to know
  • PS4 Pro review

Microsoft

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Graphics

The Xbox One X will offer 4K HDR gaming, like the PS4 Pro.

Microsoft official unveiled its machines during its E3 2017 press conference and revealed that the GPU will be capable of natively running games at 4K 60fps. This is something the Pro finds hard to achieve.

The Scorpio system on chip (SoC) has 6 teraflops of computing power just to render 4K graphics – that’s high-end PC graphics card stuff. And it is optimised to ensure they run as smoothly as possible.

The PS4 Pro has 4.20 teraflops of graphics processing power, using an AMD Radeon-based GPU. It looks less powerful on paper, but is capable of rendering games in 4K and with High Dynamic Range (HDR) colour and contrast processing. They just seem to stick to 30fps, however, at least when run in native 2160p.

Both consoles are expected to playback 4K HDR video via streams, although the PS4 Pro does not have a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. The Xbox One X does have a 4K BD deck.

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: CPU and memory

Xbox One X has an octa-core processor, with eight custom x86 cores running at 2.3GHz.

The PS4 Pro also has an octa-core CPU, the x86-64 “Jaguar”, but runs slower at 2.1GHz.

Microsoft

An important differentiator is that the One X also offers 12GB of GDDR5 RAM. The PS4 Pro has 8GB.

In addition, the memory sported by the Xbox One X has a bandwidth of 326GB/s. The Pro, in comparison, is restricted to 218GB/s.

This might not make much difference in general gaming, at least initially. But as developers get more to grips with the extra power, the more they will be able to eek out of it in the future and the better the overall console experience will be.

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Virtual reality

One of the aimed digs Xbox sent PlayStation’s way during its E3 press event was about virtual reality.

While Sony is already in the VR space with the PSVR headset, Microsoft has repeatedly delighted in revealing that Xbox One X will be capable of running better, higher-res VR devices.

The company explained that Xbox One X will eventually be able to run its own Mixed Reality headsets, made by manufacturers such as Acer and HP. They will be better spec’ed than the PSVR.

The PlayStation VR uses a single 1920 x 1080 OLED panel to serve 960 x 1080 to each eye, while the Mixed Reality headsets could have overall resolutions similar to the Oculus Rift – 2160 x 1200, so 1080 x 1200 for each eye.

It is also possible that major VR headset manufacturers, such as Oculus and HTC, could support the Xbox One X because it essentially runs on Windows 10.

To be honest, from our experiences with all three headsets, that doesn’t matter that much when a game is good enough. It matters more that an experience is smooth than in higher resolutions.

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Price and release date

This is where Sony wins hands-down. The PS4 Pro is already available.

The Xbox One X, on the other hand, will be available from 7 November.

The PS4 Pro also has the upper hand when it comes to price. It currently costs £349 with rumours of a further price drop on the horizon.

The Xbox One X is a full £100 more expensive, at £449. It is more powerful sure, but you have to pay a premium for the extra oomph.

Microsoft

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Backward compatibility

One of the things current-gen console owners will be most worried about is what the two high-end consoles mean for their existing machines.

Thankfully, both manufacturers have taken strides to ensure that, while their new consoles are better and higher spec’ed, all games released going forward will be compatible with the standard consoles too.

Think of it like a PC. Some people have the ability to play games at 4K, others in Full HD, and others still are capped at lower resolutions depending on their graphics card. They can still all buy the same games though, which scale at a software level to offer the best experience possible per computer.

The PS4 Pro is able to play many archive games in higher resolutions and with HDR, thanks to a swathe of patches either applied now or coming soon.

We’ve had confirmation that the Xbox One X will offer the same. More than 30 existing Xbox One games will come with 4K HDR patches after the new console is available and that list will expand in time.

Conclusion

To be honest, at this stage it is impossible to judge which of the two consoles will be “the most powerful ever” thanks to only one of them being available to us to test properly.

The Xbox One X spec list certainly suggests the new console will be, but we’ve not played with one for an extended period yet. The signs are certainly there, though.

The PS4 Pro is certainly the most powerful console currently available.

One thing’s for sure; it’s an exciting time to be a gamer.

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