The PS4 Pro Killer?

Is anyone else excited for the Xbox Scorpio?

The race for 4K gaming has been going on for a while. Although PC Master Racers have claimed victory a while back, console owners had something to boast about with the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro. Sony released this updated PS4 system that improved graphics on both 1080p and 4K screens. The PS4 Pro also sported twice the memory, and twice the power. It was basically a better PS4 all around. It would seem that Sony beat Microsoft to release the first 4K capable console.

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Yet, in a twist that angered many people, it was revealed that the PS4 Pro, in fact, did not render in true 4K. Now, I should mention that achieving native 4K actually depends on the game developers. All the power behind the Pro can be used by developers to render in 4K, or something pretty damn close. However, while most developers did improve their games to work with the Pro, not everyone’s game actually renders in native 4K. PlayStation exclusives like Rise of the Tomb Raider and Horizon Zero Dawn do achieve 4K resolution (Horizon Zero Dawn was actually not made to run native 4K as it was in development way before the PS4 Pro was announced).

The Pro uses checkerboard rendering to reach a resolution very close to native 4K, but it is not “true” 4K. Essentially, the PlayStation 4 Pro does come very close to native 4K; so close you really can’t tell the difference. And from a guy who bought a PS4 Pro the week it came out, trust me, games like Tomb Raider and Uncharted 4 look breathtakingly beautiful. But, Microsoft revealed their answer to the PlayStation 4 Pro on Thursday.

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The  Xbox Scorpio is, at least to a lot of people, the PS Pro killer. Sporting 4.5 times the power of the Pro, with 6 teraflops and 320 memory bandwidth, the Scorpio is the Pro’s superior in every way. Microsoft is so confident in their project, in fact, that they hailed it as “the most powerful console ever built.” They even went so far as to take a jab at Sony by claiming that the Scorpio would deliver “true 4K.”

Here are the full released specs:

  • CPU: Eight custom x86 cores
  • GPU: 6 teraflops
  • RAM: 12GB GDDR5
  • Memory bandwidth: 326GB/s
  • Vapor-chamber cooling
  • 1TB Hard Drive

The Scorpio is 30% faster than the Xbox One with a GPU 4.6 times more powerful than the previous version. The hard drive read speeds are also greatly improved. All this means that the Xbox Scorpio can effortlessly achieve native 4K. This truly is the world’s most powerful console. To prove this, with a stress testing version of Forza 6, the console displayed the game in native 4K resolution at 60 frames per second! If you are not impressed, keep in mind that the PS4 Pro struggles to render close to 4K at 30fps, and only few games can clock 60fps. In comparison, the Xbox One could only clock 30fps at 1080p using 90% of its power.

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It was also rumored that Rockstar’s new western themed game, Red Dead Redemption 2, would also make an appearance to display the Scorpio’s capabilities. Sadly, it appears we will have to wait a bit longer for a full reveal of one of Rockstar’s most anticipated games.

As a Sony fanboy, I am both awed and scared at the raw power that the Scorpio possess. My little PS4 Pro doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell against this titan. Still, as many Sony loyalists will tell you, graphics only obtain half the victory. Without good games to play, 4K resolution is really not that great. And let us not forget that Xbox exclusive games are very few in comparison to PlayStation’s, especially with the cancellation of Scalebound, a highly anticipated game.

There is also the issue with the price. Digital Foundry estimates that the Scorpio will cost around $499. That’s a pretty steep price, but keep in mind, this console is supposed to go head to head with gaming PCs, and it will be able to play 4K Blu Ray discs, unlike the PS4 Pro. It seams the Microsoft has landed the final blow in this never ending console war. Of course, PC gamers are rolling around on the floor laughing as they have been playing games in 4K will before Sony or Microsoft even considered 4K gaming. At this point, they’re just sitting back and enjoying the show.

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So, are you excited for the new Xbox Scorpio? Or will you stay faithful to the PlayStation? Will the raw power of the Scorpio be enough for Sony fanboys to join the Xbox bandwagon? Or, will console gamers finally bow down to our PC overlords with their GTX 1080s and built gaming machines? That’s up to you to decide.

Me, personally, I’ll stick with my trusty Pro. Partially because I enjoy having exclusive games and I can’t wait for The Last of Us: Part II to come out, but also because, as a college kid, I really don’t want to pay another $400-$500 for a new console. But who knows, the Scorpio might win me over in the end. All I know is, when it comes to graphics, we all might as well join the PC Master Race. They have 8K gaming now!!!

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