Xbox Scorpio vs PS4 Pro: The Truth About What To Expect



There has been a lot of misinterpretation by the media and consumers alike regarding the recently announced Xbox Scorpio specs and how it compares to the PS4 Pro. I've been hearing things like "Xbox Scorpio's massive power advantage..." or "the Xbox Scorpio specs blow the PS4 Pro's specs away..." etc which is not true. There is no question that the Scorpio will have more raw horsepower than the PS4 Pro, but if the reveal by Digital Foundry told us one thing, it's that the Xbox Scorpio is not a radical departure in hardware from the current consoles on the market including the Xbox One, PS4, and PS4 Pro. It essentially uses the same components from the same vendor (AMD) but just has faster versions of those components. It is basically a "supercharged" Xbox One/Ps4 but not anything fundamentally new. That's not to say games won't indeed look best on Scorpio but if you are thinking the difference will be massive over any console on the market today, you are mistaken. For those that may not have heard the specs, here is a table summary of how Xbox Scorpio stacks up:

 
Scorpio is roughly 460% faster than XB1,  330% faster than PS4, and 43% faster than PS4 Pro

Yes, those are a lot of numbers but how should you interpret them? What do they really mean in terms of the difference I will see on screen with my favorite games compared to the current consoles on the market? The short answer is that games will look marginally sharper (especially on a 4K TV) and will run smoother on Scorpio than on any other console. The difference will be very similar to the difference between a third party game running on PS4 vs Xbox One where PS4 versions typically have a slighter higher resolution, slightly more detail, and a generally smoother frame rate. However, anyone that have seen a game such as Battlefield or Call of Duty running on both consoles will hardly describe the difference as huge. In fact, in most cases the average gamer will not notice a difference at all. Only if seeing them side by side with a trained eye pointing out differences will they become noticeable. Oh, and the power advantage that the PS4 has over Xbox One happens to be almost identical to the advantage Scorpio has over PS4 Pro (~40%). 

Battlefield 1 Platform Comparison: Can you spot the differences between PS4 and XB1?

Of course, if you're coming from an Xbox One (the lowest common denominator in terms of power) then you will be getting a huge raw power boost with Scorpio. However, even though the Scorpio is 4.6x faster than the Xbox One (which is a big difference), you must remember that all games will be based on Xbox One specs and then just upscaled to the specs of Scorpio. In other words, it'll be the same games just with higher resolution, higher framerates, and/or enhanced visuals. Microsoft has said that there will be no games developed exclusively for Scorpio thus relegating Scorpio to a higher spec "PC" with Xbox One as the lower spec "PC" running the same game (Sony has a the same policy for the PS4 Pro). However, an even smaller difference will be seen compared to the PS4 Pro, where the Scorpio advantage is only about 43% in raw horsepower. That is definitely not enough to take a 1440p game on PS4 Pro for examples and suddenly have it running at native 4K on the Scorpio (at least not without lowering the graphics settings). It may be enough to bump an 1800p PS4 Pro game to native 4K (at the same frame rate) or to take an unlocked frame rate on PS4 Pro running at ~45fps (i.e Final Fantasy XV) to run at ~60fps on Scorpio. But generally expect the same frame rate targets on both platforms with the image quality/resolution advantage going in favor of Scorpio. In other words, expect the same difference we've seen over the past 3 years between Xbox One and PS4 which is hardly a "massive" or "night and day" difference by any measure. 

Here is another way to think about the power difference between the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio. The PS4 Pro is roughly 2.25x (225%) faster than the base PS4 which is not insignificant. However the narrative with the PS4 Pro versions of games is that they really don't look that much different than the base PS4 games. Most people struggle to see the difference, even on a 4K TV. That's with over 2 times the raw horsepower! The Scorpio is less than 50% more powerful than the PS4 Pro....how much of a difference do you really think you will see there?

To get more details on what the differences are and why the difference will not be as pronounced as some think check out my video below. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.



Comments

  1. Well for one you have left out a part of Scorpio that's the DX12 Hardware.

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    1. Also N4G deletes Pro XBox profiles and comments . So the world is not as you see it there!

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    2. this article is Spot on!!
      Very right concerning the performance differences.
      Allthough I do appreciate the ps4 pro for psvr reasons. The ps4 was maybe 5 to 10 % underpowerd to maturely show off what the psvr could do. The psvr ps4 pro graphics are enjoyable at a prevered and competable level with the rift and vive concerning price/performance. Many people were complaining at day one about the 1% smaller resolution of the psvr and thought the blurines was caused by the psvr resolution specs. The ps4 pro showed that was not the case.Not patched and patched games all seemed more vibrant an sharper on the pro.

      Sony does not have a DXwhatever driver and still MS could not bypass Uncharted, Horizon or bloodborn graphics...
      Drivers do NOT make hardware better/faster.
      MS made a lot of ill choices and tried to cover it up with dx12 and power of the cloud stories, just like trying to convince everyone that the xbox one could not work without DRM.
      We all know how that lie went..

      SONY is more for the gamers and developers.
      MS is more for the publishers (EA) and big developers (DRM would kill indie developers.)
      star wars battelfront 2 (EA) not having VR is another "EA moneymaking move" instead of a "for the gamers" like SONY allways does.

      All in All : I do not think the hardware will make the difference.
      I think the software and loyalty will impact the success.
      (Will there be AR/VR scorpio exclusive games??.. there will be no ps4 pro only games)

      So that makes the ps4 pro a "nice to have" and not a "need to have "
      Will MS be loyal to xbox one owners when going into AR/VR?
      Or will they drop development of new games for the xbox one on day one when the scorpio arrives??.. Just like they did with the xbox when the xbox 360 arrived.
      The xbox one is great, so I hope they wont ditch the loyal fans/owners
      Keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe microsoft will suprise us this time.

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    3. How can you say that this article is "Spot On" when you have so openly proven that you have no idea what you are talking about. If you continue to seek confirmations of your bias you will continue to be misinformed.

      I will concede that artistry is important, but even the greatest artist can be limited by his pallet.

      Seek the truth. Question everything.

      Delete
  2. There is more than just GFLOPS, DX12 is hardware implemented, 326 GB/s memory speed, the Scorpio is a lot faster.

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  3. DX12 was also built into Xbox One hardware,look at what difference that made...

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    1. yes there's FORZA 1090P/60 ,GEARS OF WAR 1080p/30,FH3 OPEN WORLD 1080P/30,HALO 1080P/60. TR1080p/30, and all use DX12, + AAA and with less hardware than PS4. So where is PS4 = DC 108p/30, KillZONE 900p/30 ,UC ./30 and it's GPU is more powerful than X1

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  4. Hang on... When the one/PS4 were launched, the absolute marginal gain from the PS4 was the only thing commented on. It was big news. It was the ONLY news!! "how much better is the PS4?!" Rolls reversed, and suddenly it's no big deal? So what?
    I presume this site is funded by Sony in some way, shape or form. It baffles me - the so called games media - that they are so quick to forget.
    This new Xbox will be great, with developers catering for it and DOWNSCALING their games to the one, not the other way around. The extra punch of its processor, memory and DX12 implementation will prove that if you play games like CoD, Battlefield, Destiny, FIFA, Madden or whatever, THIS will be the console to play them on.

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  5. Terrible article........ it's like reading a damage control confusion talking points memo. If someone didnt know any better this would confuse the hell out of them.

    The Xbox Scorpio is approximately one Ps4 more powerful than the Ps4 Pro. The differences will be as noticeable as the devs make them and the Xbox Scorpio is basically PC assets so saying Scorpio wont look that much better than Ps4Pro is like saying PC games dont wont look any better than the Ps4Pro.

    I myself have never really felt or seen the difference in power and visuals the gaming community has been pushing for 3 years...... I actually feel the whole resolution talk the Ps4 fabase loved and was perpetuated by the bias gaming media was a placebo..... there was really no practical difference but knowing their system was more powerful made them feel better about it and thus enjoy it more, now its MS turn.

    As for the hardware argument its more than just faster parts. One the reason they can run these parts at such high levels is the vapor chamber which is the new new new in cooling solutions for computers. Another thing the design is way different than the Xbox One standard. Telling people that the Scorpio will be held back because it has to cater to the Xbox One standard is a lie. The reality is that development will be done on Scorpio and then because MS is so smart they created software that then scales the game downward to the regular Xbox One highly optimized. The Xbox One standard was not some cheap weak console like the bias gaming media let people think.It actually had a very clever design but it was not being properly optimized. Thats not to say it would out perform Ps4 but it would have made a small gap even smaller.

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  6. If your are only going by the hardware specs you are only getting half the story.

    First I would like to address the comment that "games will only look marginally better (especially on a 4K tv)". This statement is false. On Scorpio 4K games will super sample 4K assets down to 1080p televisions giving a much higher fidelity than standard 1080p games. As well Scorpio will allow support for Shader Model 6 which is a far improved over the current shader model that has been arround since 2009.

    Power. The team at Microsoft have optimized the CPU power by 50% in eliminating bottlenecks and hard coding DX12 directly to the SOC. This not only dramatically reduces latency but also drastically reduces the tens of thousands of draw calls needed to render down to literally double digits. This is unheard of and quite frankly unprecedented. As well Scorpio's 326gb/s of memory bandwidth is huge on its own over the competition but also exponential with the optimization of the API on the SOC and 12 gb of ddr5. Currently this kind of memory bandwidth is found in high end graphics cards like the GTX 1080.

    Future. Throughout 2018-19 televisions Will be hitting the market that support Freesync and HDMI 2.1 and Scorpio will be compatible out of the box. Why is this huge? Basically it will eliminate screen tearing and dropped frames. Normally the GPU needs to keep pace with the frame rate of the television. With freesync tech, the GPU determines the optimal frame rate and the TV will adjust accordingly. No more dropped frames!

    I could go on all day how articles like these are not well informed and are only telling half the story. They want to down play this information to damage control fanboy confirmation bias for the clicks. A true gamer doesn't care who's logo is on their plastic box and only wants what's best for their games. Theirs is no denying that come this holiday Scorpio will be the best console space to play your games. Don't get me wrong, I'll still have my PS4 to play a couple exclusive titles but other than that, I will be playing most of my games on Scorpio and PC.

    "Think for yourself, question authority"

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    1. Freesync is irrelevant unless mainstream tv manufactures implement it and there is nothing pointing to it will be widely adopted into consumer sets beyond specifically gaming monitors or maybe a flagship consumer set/s.

      That being said I agree that as a gamer I want the best experience possible regardless of the logo on the box, which is also why I build my own custom gaming pc's and own XB1/slims, PS4/Pro as well as do all my gaming on 4K/HDR tv's.

      The point here, which is one I completely agree with, is that there is not going to be a significant difference visually between the PS4Pro and the Scorpio. It has to do with diminishing returns as in if I have a $2500 4K tv and a $5000 4K set, does double the price get me double the perceived picture quality or performance especially the casual viewer or without direct comparison and a trained eye. Probably not in most cases. Same thing here with the greater power of the Scorpio on paper vs the Pro, but there will not be night and day differences in visuals be it checkerboarded on the Pro or Native on the Scorpio. Will the Scorpio run smoother, be slightly sharper, more details, etc, probably but again are these things going to be readily apparent without side by side comparisons pointing out the differences to the average eye.

      With all the "lines on the box" talking points you stated, the reality remains that we're still talking a console that will probably be more expensive, but can't be priced too far out of reach for even the enthusiast gamer. In order to run 4K at high or ultra settings with reasonable frame rates on a pc, a $600-$700 gpu is needed and right now that would be the Nvidia GTX1080/1080Ti. and that's just the price of the GPU, so its hard to believe an estimated $500 console is going to do the same thing without sacrifices somewhere regardless of the "specs" that MS is touting. And full disclosure, I will be ordering my Scorpio on day one of pre-orders, and I am not aligned or a fanboy of any brand, just making the case that we need to wait and see what the real world performance of the Scorpio will be, before digging a pre-mature grave for the PS4Pro.

      Delete
  7. this is a terrible down play xbox Scorpio down play article just awful

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  8. wtf is this article talking about? No big difference it will only have better picture quality and better frame rates which is very important to FPS games!!

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