After quite a wait, Microsoft finally released all the relevant information about its next iteration of the Xbox console at their E3 briefing, and the product that was initially designated “Scorpio” we now know is the Xbox One X. Considering the fact that the PS4 Pro has already been released and is settling into the market, there’s a little bit of catching up to do for Microsoft, and when the two consoles go head-to-head there are three primary aspects that will convince consumers to go for one or the other:comparative specifications, console exclusives, and finally, price. We’re going to break the two consoles down to see which of the two win out in those categories.
Let’s start with the hardware specifications, since that’s what most people refer to when they decide which console has bragging rights; even though it’s not the most crucial aspect of any console. Both are 4K capable systems that feature HDR (High Dynamic Range) functionality, but in most other hardware areas there’s a gap in their power:
- 8 Core, 2.1GHz processor
- 4.12 Teraflop, 218 GB/s
- 8GB GDDR5
Xbox One X:
- 8 Core, 2.3GHz processor
- 6 Teraflop, 326GB/s
- 12GB GDDR5
When it comes to a straight shootout between the hardware, the Xbox One X is significantly better equipped, specifically when it comes to handling 4K resolution at higher frame rates. The long and the short of it is that Microsoft’s offering will manage 4K resolution at 60FPS far more comfortably than the PS4 Pro, which will encounter some hiccups here and there. So for those who want the crispest and most impressive graphics to go along with their gaming experience, the Xbox One X comes out as a clear favourite.
Winner: Xbox One X (until proven otherwise)
The next relevant element is the gaming library that prospective consumers can expect out of either console. Because, while having 4K resolution is great and all, the real tipper-of-scales are the games. The Xbox One X will be backwards compatible as its predecessor was, with around 300 titles in the library of games from previous console generations. The PS4 Pro, on the other hand, merely has access to whichever PS4 games are out there already, as it’s essentially a conventional PS4 with far more powerful hardware set. The exclusive franchises for both consoles mirror the exclusives for both the traditional Xbox One and PS4 consoles respectively, which may make the decision easier for some consumers if they have a particular affinity for certain franchises such as Halo, Gears of War, or Uncharted. Before pulling the trigger on either console, it’s worth a look at the list of exclusive titles to assess which console packs the more appealing ammunition, and that generally comes down to personal preference.
Winner: down to personal preference, but the PS4 exclusive library does edge the Xbox One’s.
The final aspect any prospective buyer will want to be clear on is, of course, the price. Considering the fact that the PS4 Pro is already established, while the Xbox One X is still a few months away, it’s not completely surprising that the Xbox will be about 25% more expensive. The PS4 Pro’s recommended retail price is around $399 while the Xbox One will hit shelves at $499 – which is a significant difference. Of course, we all know that South African prices get spiked a bit in order to cover import duties and local distribution, and with the PS4 Pro selling at around the R7,000 mark, you can expect the Xbox One X to break the R8,000 barrier.
Although the Xbox One X is more powerful on paper, the specs should (almost) never lead a decision for a new console – the game library should. At the end of the day, the correct purchase is the one that will give you the most value, so more important than ‘which console outmuscles which’, is rather how many exclusive games are there from either platform that catch your eye. Both have impressive games when looking at large studios, but also when it comes to innovative indie games, the PS4 gets the crown on embracing the indie scene more.
Before making a decision, it’s a good idea to plot out which current and upcoming games you’re looking forward to the most, and if more of them are exclusive to one or another console, that should lead your decision. If exclusives aren’t going to play a part in your decision-making, though, then the Xbox One has a clear advantage since its graphical power will make games run better than the PS4 Pro will.
Which exclusive caught your attention, and, are they enough for you to pick one console over another? Let us know by commenting below and tweeting us @MenStuffZA!