Last week to the day, Sony officially unveiled the Playstation 4 Slim, and Playstation 4 Pro . Although the Playstation 4 Slim had been in the wild for several weeks, with certain parties on the internet not only having access to the console, but offering up detailed unboxings. The Playstation 4 Pro was so shrouded in mystery that leaked specs of the console were beginning to look beyond erroneous. Once revealed though, the Playstation 4 Pro proved to be closer to leaked specs. This resulted in gamers, journalists, and enthusiasts being less than thrilled. Especially in light of MS E3 2016 reveal back in June that the Xbox Scorpio upgrade will launch next year, and be the most powerful console ever. Tall words from the software developer especially in light of the fact that the Xbox One is less powerful than the Playstation 4. Although, many will argue that the power difference between the PS4 and Xbox One is negligible the marketing conversation has placed the PS4 in a substantial lead against Microsoft’s current console. What Microsoft has done which many have applauded is offer up an in between console which shows off what exactly is the mindset of the Xbox team. The recent release of Xbox One S last month was meet by huge consumer interest, Microsoft entertaining a two month NPD sales lead against the PS4, and not to mention a true upgrade where 4K content is at the forefront. Now a week later, many are starting to state that the Playstation 4 Pro’s marginal upgrade palate will be enough to stave off the advance of the Xbox Scorpio. One such framework narrative is that time is on the side of the Playstation 4 Pro to prove better than the Xbox Scorpio. Except time is not on the Playstation 4 Pro’s side.
The full specs of the PS4 Pro
- Main processor: Custom-chip single Processor
- Memory: GDDR5 8GB
- Storage size: 1TB
- External dimensions: Approx. 295×55×327 mm (width × height × length) (excludes largest projection)
- Mass: Approx. 3.3 kg
- BD/DVD Drive: BD × 6 CAV, DVD × 8 CAV
- Input/Output: Super-Speed USB (USB 3.1 Gen.1) port × 3, AUX port × 1
- Networking: Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)×1, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth® 4.0 (LE)
- Power: AC 100V, 50/60Hz
- Power consumption: Max. 310W
- Operating temp: 5ºC – 35ºC
- AV Output: HDMI out port (supports 4K/HDR) DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) port
When Microsoft announced the Xbox Scorpio they did so in a very elegant, connected, and fully understandable way. The intention of the Xbox Scorpio is to upgrade the current Xbox One experience not replace it. Giving gamers an upgradeable experience without compromising on hardware, accessories, and overall capability. Everything you play on the Xbox One, will be played on Scorpio, and vice versa. With Xbox Play Anywhere program any digital game purchased through the Xbox Store or the Windows Store, is yours to play on Xbox One, Xbox One S,Windows 10 PC, and the upcoming Xbox Scorpio at no additional cost. To take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere, Windows 10 Anniversary Edition update on your PC should be made. Microsoft also recently offered up this in an update on your Xbox One console. Logging into your Xbox Live/Microsoft account and your Xbox Play Anywhere games will be available to download. This program adjustment in how Xbox gaming goes from now on has bolstered Microsoft’s gaming conversation with gamers. Increasing value, at the same time offering up hardware features such as design lab for game controllers. Microsoft has prepared the conversation about Scorpio in a way that comes across as a hardware feature, and not an upgrade. You may say this sounds strange, but Scorpio has been able to avoid the tried conversation that it is some kind of a departure or exit of Microsoft from this current generation with the Xbox One. This supposed narrative is furthered destroyed by the fact that Xbox Scorpio is also meant to offer VR to gamers in an uncompromising way that mirrors what gamers on PC can get out of VR, but for console gamers.
During last week’s Playstation 4 Pro reveal Sony said very little to nothing about PSVR and Playstation 4 Pro. With PSVR coming out in a month we have information, titles, and demo experiences yes; what we don’t have is a large enough marketing conversation around it. So in essence there is very little conversational synergy for the Playstation 4 Pro, and PSVR. Time in this respect does not work for Sony to let consumers know what it is they have to look forward to in a way that stimulates gamers, the industry, and would be buyers looking for that holiday buy. In fact the Playstation 4 Pro reveal actually has misplaced gamers and the industry’s feelings of what Sony wants consumers to get behind. In this aspect consumers are being asked to navigate to the Playstation 4 platform of options organically. This signals that Sony themselves maybe struggling with how to market consumers without bombarding them with hardware options. If one were to purchase a PSVR, or PS4/PS4 Pro then one is looking at a substantial purchase before you get to the games. At the end of the day it’s all about games right?
Project Scorpio will have an 8-core CPU from an unknown manufacturer and a graphics card with 6 TFLOPs (trillion floating point operations per second) of power. It’ll also have 320GB/s of memory bandwidth. This places the console in the tier of a mid range PC releasing in 2017. Expensive today, but not so when you factor in that Xbox Scorpio is set to release in fall 2017. Positioning the platform around major release titles that have been pushed back from 2016 to 2017. Add in new titles that are unannounced from themselves, and third party partners. This year ahead schedule offers Microsoft enough time to refine the Xbox Scorpio hardware to fall in line with an acceptable price point, offer up game content that showcases the Xbox One family line up of features, and give gamers a clear conversation in terms of marketing that is approachable and acceptable to digest. This year ahead also gives the whole industry time to adjust to the VR landscape in a way that gives an idea of where developers are with content, hardware price reductions, and 4K television adoption. These are all things that Sony is struggling with in terms of market growth for the Playstation 4 platforms. Sony is smart to have offered up 4K hardware solution, but by hedging their bets with PS4 Pro they give Microsoft’s Xbox Scorpio more value as a true upgrade for gamers to consider. Yes, the Playstation 4 Pro will be able to offer gamers a cheaper solution in terms of a price drop, quality titles that take advantage of the platform. The problem is that it is not significant of an upgrade when compared to the base Playstation 4. So there really is no drive for platform owners to upgrade unless the belief is that gamers, and consumers will no longer want a regular Playstation 4. Which again is more than viable to play PSVR, offer HDR for 4K content, and regular gaming outside of upscaled 4K content that the PS4 Pro is offering. If Microsoft unveils Xbox Scorpio fully capable of 4K gaming, and upscaling similar to the Xbox One S that is out now; while improving current games it stands to reason that Xbox Scorpio on release will be even more attractive to gamers than it is today. Hands down Xbox Scorpio has elicited such good will, and clear planning that gamers are holding out for the console for its sheer potential. Exciting everyone with very limited information. Time is Microsoft’s favor to deliver on their promise rather than come up with a solution to the PS4 Pro.
Make no mistake Sony has some intriguing games for the Playstation 4/Pro that are compelling. At the end of the day games is what must translate, and with Sony’s first party publishing offering up titles like Horizon Dawn, God Of War 4, and Spiderman. Taking into account that there will be many titles for PSVR in the near future, and next year. It stands to reason that Sony will be in position to have a strong presence for gamers to consider. The fact remains that with Microsoft’s synergy program being more, and more robust. Xbox Scorpio remains the big fish that everyone is excited about, with content that has gamers anticipating highly. Titles like Crackdown 3, Scalebound, State of Decay 2, Halo Wars 2, and titles we don’t know are coming. We have a whole new E3 to get to. So time is not something that Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro has on its side with a head start. There are too many factors and obstacles that will have to be beaten and Microsoft to drop the good will they have garnered with the progress they have made, and the reveal of the Xbox Scorpio.
- Xbox One S helped Microsoft outsell the PS4 in August(engadget.com)
- Sony upgrades PS4 for 4k gaming and slimmer version – Movie TV Tech Geeks News(movietvtechgeeks.com)
- ‘PlayStation 4 Neo’ Specs, Latest News & Updates: New Console Could Be Better Than Microsoft’s Xbox One S?(gamenguide.com)
- Microsoft – Xbox Scorpio has an “obvious power advantage” over PS4 Pro, will support 4K Blu-rays(vg247.com)
- Xbox One S vs PlayStation 4 Pro: Hardware Compared(gottabemobile.com)
- Sony’s new PlayStation 4 Pro can’t play 4K Blu-rays(theverge.com)
- Microsoft Exec Not Worried About Sony’s Announcements: Xbox Scorpio Will Have Obvious Performance Advantage Over PlayStation 4 Pro(techtimes.com)
- PS4 Neo: reveal, games, specs, rumoured release date and everything we know(eurogamer.net)