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Project Scorpio vs. PS4 Pro - What Gamers Need to Know

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Microsoft finally pulled back the curtain on the Xbox Scorpio, and there can be no doubt that it is the most powerful console ever created. It places Microsoft back on the throne and leaves the PlayStation 4 Pro behind when it comes to things like 4K gaming and overall improvement for console gaming.

However, all the power of the Scorpio, begs for platform exclusives and if Microsoft Doesn't deliver in that regard, then the PlayStation 4 Pro could still come out on top as the darling of console gamers. I think Microsoft is going to throw in a few exclusives at this year's E3.

Digital Foundry's Tom and Rich have had some exclusive time with the Scorpio, and in their latest video they tackle the important question of the "Project Scorpio vs. PS4 Pro." Below is a summary of the most important points.

Project Scorpio vs. PS4 Pro by Digital Foundry

So, how will the Scorpio pair up against the PlayStation 4 Pro? That is the question. Previously, the PlayStation 4 had a clear advantage over the Xbox One with most games hitting 1080p on PS4, and most hitting 900p on Xbox One. With the Scorpio, however, Microsoft seems to have turned the tables.

  • The Scorpio is essentially a 4K extension of the Xbox One.
  • With the Scorpio; Microsoft did something unprecedented in gaming, they reversed how they engineered the console.
  • Microsoft looked at the code first (traditionally you would design a console, and devs would make a game), and asked what tech they needed to run the code at native 4K (as opposed to the PS4 Pro's checkerboard 4K).
  • Since there aren't games yet to test the success of this approach, it remains to be seen if the gamble paid off.
  • The only game that has been tested so far is Forza 6. and according to DF the improvement "is remarkable" and "staggering."
  • It shows the tremendous potential of first-party games on the Scorpio.
  • According to DF all current PC games that have 4K assets (Gears, Forza, Rise of the Tomb Raider) could be "patched up" to run at native 4K on the Scorpio.
  • First-party games aside, a lot of the Scorpio's success depends on how it will run third-party games.
  • One clear win for the Scorpio is "memory allocation" with its extra available to devs for 4K gaming.
  • 12 x 1GB GDDR5 / 384-bit Bus / 320GB/s bandwidth.
  • However, PS4 Pro's dynamic scaling optimise the game to its maxed performance.
  • From the Xbox One to the Scorpio we have about 4.6X% boost in GPU performance and a 1.31 in CPU performance.
  • The above stats show one thing - getting existing game engines to scale to 4K - whether it's currently running at 900p or 1080p.
  • However, do not expect games to run at 60 fps if it was designed to run at 30 fps.

In closing, it seems to be a question of the Scorpio finally matching the PS4 Pro in reaching optimized visuals for third-party games. But is that boost enough to validate it's very possible massive price tag? Then there's the big draw of the fact that the Scorpio will run games at native 4K vs. PlayStation's 'almost 4K '- then again, looking at Horizon Zero Dawn that "checkerboard 4K is so close to the real thing that it again begs the question if the Scorpio's price tag will validate the native 4K experience.

We also have to keep in mind that at first it will probably only be first-party exclusives that will run at native 4K and so far we're still waiting for those to be announced by Microsoft.

If you're considering grabbing the Xbox Scorpio when it finally releases, then you should check out the full Digital Foundry video below. Personally, I am waiting to hear about those exclusives first. Looking at what we know so far about 2017's console exclusives it's clear that Sony has a lot more in store than Microsoft.

Further Reading

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"begs the question if the Scorpio's price tag will validate the native 4K experience"

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