Gamers are in for a treat this Christmas with both Sony and Xbox launching new versions of their consoles. But which is right for the gamer in your life?
Graphics and power
The original PlayStation 4 and Xbox One offered similar specs. But the latest releases mean there are bigger differences between the 2 consoles now.
The Xbox One S is similar to the original Xbox One, with an 8-core CPU and 8GB RAM. It uses the DDR3 type of memory. And it does get a slight boost in processing power over the original Xbox One. When it comes to graphics, it boasts 1.4 TFLOPS (teraflops).
The PS4 Pro is a different beast. It still has the 8-core CPU and 8GB RAM, but the Pro boasts more powerful GPU and faster CPU than the original PlayStation 4 – with more than double the graphics processing power. When it comes to the graphics chip, PlayStation 4 Pro has 4TFLOPs – the original PS4 had 1.84. The Xbox One S is available with up to 2TB hard drive, the PS4 Pro has 1TB.
4K gaming and HDR video
4K TVs are fast becoming the norm for anyone buying a new television, with content available in 4K resolution from the likes of Netflix and Sky. The latest 4K TVs are also compatible with a video technology called HDR, or high dynamic range – which improves contrast and colour.
Both the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One S work with 4K and HDR TVs. When connected to a 4K TV, the Xbox One S can upscale games to 4K and can also play HDR-supported games – of which there aren’t yet many. Most current PS4 and Xbox One games run in HD. And the Xbox One S can only output games at Full HD – so when upscaling to 4K it is from a Full HD source. As we move closer to proper 4K gaming, games will run at a higher resolution.
The PlayStation 4 Pro can actually output games at a resolution higher than Full HD. To upscale games to 4K from a higher than Full HD output will give better gaming performance than upscaling from a Full HD output. Put simply, your games will look outstanding.
You’ll be able to play your original PS4 or Xbox One games on the new consoles, as well as new titles that take advantage of the features of the new machines. Many of the blockbuster titles for Christmas 2016 are available on both consoles, including FIFA 17, Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. But there are exclusives for each console, such as Forza Horizon 3 for Xbox One and Gravity Rush 2 for PS4.
Regular games will be upscaled to 4K from HD by both consoles. But games will be launched specifically for them too – with Xbox One S games with HDR support, and PlayStation 4 Pro games with a higher than Full HD resolution output (as discussed in the 4K gaming and HDR video section). Games developers are expected to come up with games that have 2 modes – one for PS4 Pro and one for the original PS4 – in order to output games at a higher resolution.
Blu-ray players and streaming
The Xbox One S has a built-in 4K Blu-ray player so you can watch 4K Blu-ray discs in stunning quality on your 4K TV. This makes the Xbox One S a great option for casual gamers looking for an Ultra HD Blu-ray player for their 4K TV. PlayStation 4 Pro has a standard Blu-ray player so can play Full HD Blu-rays. But both consoles can stream Netflix and Amazon Instant Video in 4K and 4K HDR when connected to a 4K or 4K HDR TV.
The Xbox One S is 40% smaller than the original console and is finished in white matte which looks much sleeker. It gets a proper power button that you have to press. PS4 Pro is slightly bigger than the original PS4 – deeper and wider. It has an added layer on the top and it gets an additional USB 3.0 port, and it retains an audio optical output.
What about virtual reality?
Virtual reality has been one of the biggest tech trends of the year. We know PS4 Pro will work with the PlayStation VR headset, launching in October with games like Battlezone and Rez Infinite.
‘All PS4 systems are ready to deliver on the promise of virtual reality with the upcoming launch of PlayStation VR’ says the Sony blog. Microsoft is working on another new Xbox, called Project Scorpio, that we know will be VR-ready. But there’s no news on Xbox One S and virtual reality gaming at this time.
Choose your console
We’ve given you the facts and it’s time to act – but which will you choose?
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