PS4 Pro is not a Scorpio competitor

first_imgAfter months of speculation and rumors, we finally have some concrete information about the PlayStation 4 Pro (formerly known as the PS4 Neo). On the outside, it appears to be a challenger to Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. As tempting as it is to want to compare Sony and Microsoft’s upcoming systems, they are actually fundamentally different machines.Let’s start with the PS4 Pro. We now know that it will support High Dynamic Range (HDR) visuals and output at 4K resolution. This is for any game made before and after the PS4 Pro launches. While this is all well and good, the titles themselves will not be native 4K. This means that, while the games may end up looking better than they did on a regular 1080p TV, they still will not look as good as they could if had they been built from the ground up with 4K in mind. It should also be noted that the PS4 Pro won’t be able to play 4K Blu-rays.While Project Scorpio is essentially vaporware at this point, it promises to have games running at native 4K resolution at 60 frames a second. One thing that struck me as odd about this PlayStation Meeting is how there was no word about frame rates. Sony’s Andrew House promised “smoother frame rates” but that isn’t the same as higher frame rates. The emphasis was clearly on resolution, which tells me that 60 fps isn’t a priority. Microsoft has said that not every game on Scorpio will run at 4K/60fps and that it is up to developers to decide whether to implement that or not. Will developers working on the PS4 Pro have this same choice, or will they be restricted by the hardware?As I discussed before, Project Scorpio is effectively an Xbox Two. The Xbox One did well this generation, but it was destroyed by the PS4, which has outsold it by over 20 million units. Microsoft seems to want to cut this generation short and start over with Project Scorpio. The system’s supposed 6 teraflops GPU is far more powerful than that of the Xbox One (roughly six times more powerful), making it more than just a slight update. The fact that it will run games natively at 4K and at 60 fps (at least according to Microsoft’s Albert Penello) all but says that Project Scorpio is a next-gen system.The PS4 Pro is Sony’s attempt to lengthen the lifespan of the PlayStation 4. Higher resolutions aside, this system will not provide gaming experiences that are radically different from what we currently have. Though Sony did say that those who have regular 1080p televisions will benefit from the graphical upgrades of the Pro, it is clear that those with 4K TVs will be the ones to reap the most. But as I said earlier, this is all somewhat moot since the games are just being upscaled to run at 4K. If you also consider how even the current PS4 will get HDR via an upcoming firmware update, it makes the PS4 Pro seems somewhat unnecessary — at least compared to Project Scorpio.If you’re in the market for a new, more powerful PlayStation 4, then the PS4 Pro is definitely the way to go, especially if you have 4K TV. For $400 — the exact price of the original PS4 when it launched — it isn’t a bad deal at all. Just understand that you won’t be getting the full 4K experience that Project Scorpio is promising. At the end of the day, people will choose a system based on brand loyalty, but the fact remains that the PS4 Pro is not a direct competitor to Microsoft’s more powerful Project Scorpio.Pre-orders for the PlayStation 4 Pro are now available at Amazon.last_img read more