1 year ago
Thomas Cassa
Commentary

Sony released information regarding the hardware specs of their new version of the Playstation 4, the Playstation 4 Pro, which is being marketed for its ability to display games in 4K resolutions. Even if you are a die-hard Sony fan, or just someone who always buys a new console on release day, it may be worth it to see what Microsoft, Sony’s main console competitor, has to offer.   

The PS4 Pro is set to be released this coming November priced at $399.99.


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When looking at the PS4 Pro’s hardware, what differentiates it the most from the current PS4 is the addition of Advanced Micro Device’s new graphics technology called Polaris, which hit electronic retailers earlier this June.

It is thanks to the performance differences in this new technology when compared with the old that consoles will be able to upscale games to a higher 4K resolution. Gamers who don’t have a television capable of 4K will be running most games at the same resolution as with the old hardware, but they can still get some use out of the PS4 Pro’s stronger graphical capabilities. If the game developer allows it, they can create their game to take advantage of the new hardware and run more smoothly than on the old consoles. 

With that said, Sony isn’t the only one making a console capable of 4K. Microsoft also has a new product up its sleeve, which is codenamed “Project Scorpio.” The new console however, has no confirmed hardware specifications yet, and isn’t set to release until the holiday season of 2017.

For a lot of gamers who want the shiniest new toy as soon as possible the PS4 Pro is the more apparent choice, since it releases a year earlier. But for the consumers who want the unit with the best performance, the answer may not be so simple.

Project Scorpio will most likely run on AMD-made graphics hardware, since the original PS4 and Xbox One, as well as the new PS4 Pro do as well. But because there is about a year difference in release dates between the new consoles, Project Scorpio may end up running on fairly different graphical hardware than the Polaris technology in the PS4 Pro.

If Microsoft’s Project Scorpio will run on newer graphical hardware than the PS4 Pro, which is likely, it would have a noticeable performance edge over its competitor. AMD’s previous line of graphics hardware that predated Polaris came out in June 2015, only a year before. If they pull it off again in 2017, we may find that Microsoft’s new console will run on the newer hardware, since it is coming out approximately a year after Sony’s console. On the other hand, this could potentially result in Scorpio having a heftier price tag on release day.

If you’re a gamer looking into replacing your Playstation 4 or Xbox One with one of the new 4K consoles, it may be smart just to simply wait. The currently existing consoles aren’t too old yet, so they will still be strong enough to run what the games developers put out for a few more years to come.

It would also definitely be worth it to find out what Microsoft’s Project Scorpio has to offer before dropping your hard earned cash on a nice brand new unit, only to find out you actually wanted the other one instead.