Xbox One S the answer to PS4 Pro

Opinion: Microsoft already has its answer to the PS4 Pro - its called the Xbox One S

PS4 Pro

In case you missed the news yesterday, Sony announced the PS4 Pro. The shiny new console builds upon the original PS4 architecture, adding 4K resolution gaming, optimized specs for PlayStation VR, and smoother performance for past and future PS4 games.

The announcement of the PS4 Pro also marks the beginning of a new breed of console generation – one where companies make more iterative upgrades to their consoles over time rather than leap from one outdated hardware platform to something totally new.

Sony isn’t alone in doing so. Microsoft picked up on this trend, too, having formally announced two of its own iterative upgrades to the Xbox One this summer at E3 2016– Xbox One S and Project Scorpio, which promises to also bring 4K gaming, VR support, and silky-smooth framerates for the serious player.

Given that the PS4 Pro is but a couple months away from release while Project Scorpio over a year off, it would seem Sony got the jump on Microsoft in this new Mid-Console War. At least, so it appeared.

What Sony – and frankly, a lot of us – didn’t see coming was the Xbox One S, which may seem underpowered at first glance, but offers just enough to give the PS4 Pro a run for its money.

Opinion: Microsoft already has its answer to the PS4 Pro - its called the Xbox One S


Xbox One S(emi-Pro)

Microsoft’s slimmed-down Xbox One, as it turns out, is much more than a slimmed-down Xbox One. The console’s sleek design on the outside is matched with refined hardware on the inside, granting players HDR support, improved performance, 4K streaming, and Ultra High-Definition Blu-ray support.

That last tidbit is especially important because despite all of the PS4 Pro’s pros, the supposed super-console, has a big con – it can’t play your Blu-rays in 4K.

The Xbox One S puts the PS4 Pro in an awkward place by already offering a feature Sony’s brand-new console can’t – which is made even more awkward considering how much the PS4 Pro leaned into how big a deal 4K is when it was announced.

Sony also made a big deal about how HDR will flesh out the graphics of your favorite games, promising to bring HDR support to all PS4 models – even the three-year-old one you bought back in November 2013 – in a firmware update going live next week.

An impressive feature, undoubtedly, and it would’ve been another easy point for the Sony scoreboard … had the Xbox One S not already debuted the feature on consoles back in August.

Also, the Xbox One S retails for $100/£100 less than the PS4 Pro, so that’s another thing to consider, especially if you’ve already spent a pretty penny building up a movie library and don’t feel like shelling out cash for both a console and UHD Blu-ray player.

Opinion: Microsoft already has its answer to the PS4 Pro - its called the Xbox One S


Slim pickins’

“But what about that PS4 Slim that was also announced?” you say. “Surely it makes more sense to compare the Xbox One S to that, right?”

In theory, yes. The finally-confirmed PS4 Slim comes at around the same price as the Xbox One S while also refining the original console’s design.

However, where the Xbox One S sports multiple changes to the original Xbox One’s design, the PS4 Slim almost little to nothing new over the original minus its form factor.

Now, some might argue that’s because the PS4 didn’t really need revising – at least certainly not as much as Xbox One, which needed a return to the drawing board within seconds of its launch in 2013.

The Xbox One S not only cleaned up its exterior design – cutting about 40% of its size, ditching that brick of a power supply, and gaining the ability to sit up vertically – but also added new interior features in the form of the aforementioned UHD Blu-ray support, improved performance, 4K streaming, and game upscaling.

Opinion: Microsoft already has its answer to the PS4 Pro - its called the Xbox One S


We’re gonna need a bigger Pro

For this reason, I don’t think Sony got the headstart it hoped it’d get with the PS4 Pro. Rather, Microsoft beat Sony’s mid-generation machine to the punch over a month ago with its own revised Xbox One.

Does that mean I think the Xbox One S will beat out the PS4 Pro blow-for-blow? Of course not.

For example, the PS4 Pro still has the advantage of being built expressively with performance and true 4K gaming in mind, while the Xbox One S’ performance enhancements over the original are minor, and it can only upscale 1080p games to 4K – not display them at a native 4K resolution.

So, if you’re looking to test out your fancy 4K-ready entertainment centers, the PS4 Pro will be the way to go. Framerate junkies and those sold on PlayStation VR will also flock to the PS4 Pro thanks to its optimized CPU and GPU.

In short, the PS4 Pro still competes with the still-a-year-away Project Scorpio, which promises to match, if not surpass, the PS4 Pro in performance, on top of adding native 4K gaming and VR support of its own.

However, while framerates and performance reign supreme for many players, 4K and VR may not pan out in the Pro’s favor as much as it intended – leaving room yet again for the Xbox One S to close in on Sony’s tail.

Opinion: Microsoft already has its answer to the PS4 Pro - its called the Xbox One S



So here’s the thing about native 4K gaming – it’s only as good as the games that actually get made for it.

While the PS4 Pro promises to make older games “forward compatible” – upscaling them to look their best on 4K televisions, (just like the Xbox One S, how about that?) – it also promises to bring players a growing list of games fully optimized for the PS4 Pro’s graphical abilities.

The good news? Big budget exclusives like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Horizon: Zero Dawn are going to look amazing on PS4 Pro.

The bad news? Developing games in native 4K is both demanding and expensive. Unless the game’s production budget includes an extra chunk to vie for the highest resolution possible, it won’t be taking full advantage of the Sony’s hardware.

Same goes for PS VR – all the souped-up specs of the Pro won’t mean much if the platform goes unsupported. If the virtual reality headset winds up going the way of PlayStation Move – or worse, Kinect – you’re looking at a console that costs extra for little more than the better framerates and the occasional pretty game.

Opinion: Microsoft already has its answer to the PS4 Pro - its called the Xbox One S


Project S(corpio)

We originally thought the PS4 Pro, back when it was codenamed the Neo, was solely comparable to the Project Scorpio – a competitor Sony had a year’s worth of leg up on.

Now that the console is announced, it seems Microsoft threw a wrench in that plan by releasing the Xbox One S a month earlier – a console that not only is a major upgrade over the original Xbox One and comparable to the PS4 Pro, but even offers features Sony’s unreleased machine lacks.

Add this with some of Microsoft’s other plays in the book, such as last year’s backwards compatibility update and this holiday’s merger with PC gaming thanks to Xbox Play Anywhere, and the Xbox architecture is starting to gain some serious traction.

We don’t know much about what’s in store for Project Scorpio, but unless Sony commits to the PS4 Pro and puts all its weight behind it, it seems the Xbox One S successor won’t have much catching-up to do.

Opinion: Microsoft already has its answer to the PS4 Pro - its called the Xbox One SSource:

28 thoughts on “Xbox One S the answer to PS4 Pro

  1. Everything said about 4k only as good as the games made for it also applies to the scorpio so its not really a minus. Probably more so as I imagine the games which get the most out of it will be exclusives and xbox is seriously lacking in that department

  2. I just see this being a disaster. The only people I would recommend this to are people with 4K TV’s or planning to purchase PSVR. I am one of those that pre-ordered a PSVR but I don’t feel like shelling out another $400 for another console. If the PSVR doesn’t work well with the PS4 then they are going to piss a lot of people off that pre-ordered it. They never said that you needed an updated console to use the hardware..I already own a Rift with a GTX 1080 and really I’m only interested in the exclusive games they have coming to PSVR

  3. Legal action, such as he kind Sony will be looking at if they don’t start telling the truth.

  4. It’s a good thing you have zero credibility- analogous to a tabloid- or these lies you’re spreading would be cause for legal action.

  5. Quatman on damage control like he’s been for the last three years.

  6. @disqus_yFbJJ0Lq6q:disqus That was a joke Idiot!!! Of course I use Netflix/Amazon as only way to get true 4K…. Living in Japan if caught downloading/Uploading pirated stuff gets you a 10,000,000 yen fine and 10 years in prison… Do you think I;m that stupid ?

  7. Awww, Cute comment not based on facts, according to the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG)customers purchasing of 4K ultra HD TVs is expending at a rapid, robust pace and the rush for 4K UHD content for these TVs is growing as well. This year alone,in the first three months more than `1.5 Million 4K TV Models have been sold,to,American customers. Sales have been greater than expected according,to,BIG-BOX Stores and Amazon..\n\n\n\nAs of 2016 4KTV’s have Outpaced 1080P TV Models in Sales, and the prices of 4K have FALLEN like CRAZY this year alone to under $600 by the holidays 4K TV Models might be sold under $400 and by 2017, become even more affordable.

  8. That’s an argument, you should make towards 1080p not 4K, those,40”inch and under models, are more affordable market towards college students and those on a budget, the bigger models have been outsold by the 4K Models near the same price.

  9. Not only that, the JUMP to 4K have been beyond expectations and a lot quicker than,the jump made to HD several years ago,is now selling alot more units than 1080P TV’s, it’s unlikely that in a few years, you will actually be able to buy a 1080p TV- at least a new model- an older model from old stock maybe..\n\n \n\n\n\n\n 4K TV will play SD, 720-1080 HD all the way up to 4k! unlike the old 1080p Models,because the prices of 4K have FALLEN so much to under $800, to near the price of current 1080p TV models, Customers just decide to go with 4K instead

  10. This article is so much BS!!! Really you think Sony don’t have a plan in mind ? Sure the pro has no 4K Bluray, its main reason was for VR… And tell me what happened to the 80% Xbox ones that did not sell ? Buried somewhere in the desert soon like atari game ET… Seriously only around 5% of people have 4K UHD TV’s anyway’s due to cost factor. I’m a pc gamer so either console does not bother me… Apart from a few PS exclusives, So I will buy new PS4 not the Pro and TBH not that much difference in terms off graphics, Colours yes…. As for VR I won’t invest for at least a year, like all new products overpriced and full of faults etc… By then the Scorpio will be out and a new PS ultra or 5… UHD TV’s will be cheap!!! Plus I will pick up all the good old PS exclusives for less than $8 each… And yeah Sony screwed us over with first PS4, if that runs VR Full HD I will be surprised, your lucky if it runs pacman lol…. But still Xbone sucked even more…. I only want a games machine, no media player and all the GUI BS!!!! I use my PC to watch 4K downloaded movies for free anyway’s LOL…

  11. so MS answer is a 720p -900p console to a x3 more powerful console ?? k…\nstop being a joke TECHRADAR -_-

  12. Geez, you guys are truly desperate for clicks with headlines like this. You are just losing my respect.

  13. Every PlayStation has been a commercial success. It won’t stop now

  14. Hardly. The Xbone S upscales from 1080p flat out resulting in a Vaseline smear while PS4 Pro upscales from 1800p and uses checkerboard rendering techniques to maintain IQ. 1080p set owners will benefit from either supersampling or better framerates in SP games and/or better graphical effects.\n\nXbox fanboys are going to have to try a new meme to push. Hey look! XBL logs in faster! Wow!

  15. Incorrect. Most games on Xbox One are 900p to 1080p. Only exceptions are Dice engine games. Besides, the upscaling hardware in Xbox One S is very advanced aince it yields beautiful results in UHD upscaling. The difference is tht MS has not detailed how their upscaling works.

  16. The grand majority of the Xbone games are between 792p and 900p. Hardly any game in the system is actually 1080p.\n\nThe Pro will render games from 1440p(2k) and will upscale to 4k through a reconstruction method that some call

  17. \nIncorrect. I dont think it works exactly like that\n\nGameSpot\n\nMicrosoft has given GameSpot an official statement, saying the Xbox One S’s extra GPU and CPU is not there to improve performance. Instead, it’s so developers can make use of the slimmer system’s HDR support.\n\n

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