The video game industry just wouldn’t be the same without rival companies pushing each other to deliver bigger, better experiences. Although Nintendo is certainly causing heads to turn with the early success of Switch, the two main players in today’s console war are Sony and Microsoft. From VR and backwards compatibility to free monthly titles and subscription programs, both are doing whatever it takes to sell consoles.
If we were to go by system sales alone, the winner is clearly the PlayStation 4. But as the saying goes, “competition breeds excellence.” On the ropes, Microsoft is putting everything into giving gamers arguably the most powerful console ever to release— Project Scorpio.
Based on what Microsoft has shared about their newest console so far, here are 5 reasons why you’ll want to have it over the PS4 Pro when it finally launches.
1. True 4K Console Gaming
Although the Xbox One S lets you play 4K Blu-ray movies, it isn’t capable of true 4K gaming. Project Scorpio, however, will have the necessary horsepower capable of playing games in native 4K at 60 FPS without a problem. Your favorite characters and worlds will come alive like never before thanks to superior resolution and frame rate.
The PS4 Pro, on the other hand, only has a handful of titles that can reach native 4K at 60 FPS. Developers can make their games look sharper with upscaling techniques like checkerboard rendering, which involves changing the shape of pixels improve images. However, it only comes close to native 4K while the Xbox Scorpio will be powerful enough to let developers render their games in native 4K at 60 frames per second. If you want the world’s first true 4K gaming console, Xbox Scorpio will be the way to go.
Project Scorpio also couldn’t have come at a better time considering how affordable 4K TVs are becoming. A few years ago you had to drop several thousand bucks for one. Now, the number of UHD-ready TVs are expected to be around the 200 million range across the globe by the end of 2018.
2. All Existing Games Will Run & Look Better
Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been around for a good number of years now. This means a great collection of titles to either revisit or experience for the first time. What’s great about owning a PlayStation 4 Pro is that many existing titles have been patched to make use of its added power, including Fallout 4, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and The Last of Us Remastered.
But notice how we said “many existing titles?” That’s right— not every PS4 game you pop into your PS4 Pro’s drive will actually look any different than if you were using a regular PS4. Only select titles will receive a significant boost in visual performance.
Guess which console has enough gigs of processing power to unlock any game’s maximum frame rate? Whether you’re playing an existing Xbox One title or backwards-compatible 360 game, the Xbox Scorpio will output a superior quality experience. This means less-to-no frame rate drops and slowdowns.
3. Faster Loading Times + Better Frame Rate
Even if you have your smartphone to scroll through while that long loading screen finally goes away, none of us like waiting. Load times are a necessary part of video games but one that can affect our experience. We want to jump into the action as soon as possible, not sit there reading a random gameplay tip or watching a loading icon spin.
Whether you own a 4K TV or not, you can expect all Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles to load faster on Xbox Scorpio. This is because it was designed to have several gigs of space just to allow games using dynamic rendering (toned down visuals for better frame rates) to run better.
This also means you won’t have to worry about suffering the same fate as early PS4 Pro adopters who discovered that many PS4 games actually ran worse on their new console. Although anything can happen, it’s unlikely that the same will happen with the Xbox Scorpio due to how it’s designed to manage the passing of data.
4. The Exclusives Should Be Coming
Project Scorpio is a beast. It will boast an eight-core CPU that can clock at 2.3 GHz and deliver 6 Teraflops of data. While the PlayStation 4 Pro holds 8GB of memory and memory bandwidth of 218/s, the Scorpio features 12GB of GDDR5 RAM along with a memory bandwidth of 326 GB/s.
But the question on everyone’s mind is the same— what games will it have that I can’t play anywhere else? Fortunately, a push for better performance shows that Microsoft is done with putting the spotlight on things like Kinect and entertainment features. A focus on power means they’re no doubt hard at work making sure games are coming that demonstrate the Scorpio’s true capabilities.
So far Microsoft has kept their Scorpio projects secret. Our guess is that this E3 they’ll finally unveil what projects are in the works that are designed to take advantage of the Scorpio. An underwhelming launch lineup for Microsoft’s new console will not look good, especially when Sony has been dominating them when it comes to exclusives
5. It Will Be The Best Console For 3rd Party Devs
Speaking of exclusives, let’s say Microsoft isn’t able to match Sony’s output of PS4-only titles any time soon. The fact is, Sony has done an amazing job of giving PS4 owners superb experiences that Xbox One gamers can’t enjoy. Horizon: Zero Dawn and Nioh are only the start of what’s sure to be another great year for Sony in the exclusives department.
Although we’d never downplay the importance of exclusives, it’s also true that a lot of gamers don’t care as much as we think. Before you call us crazy, think about how many of your friends spend most of the year waiting for the next FIFA or Call of Duty to release.
If you look at the top-selling games of 2016 in America you’ll see Battlefield 1, The Division, Final Fantasy XV, and other multi-platform titles. Microsoft’s intentions are clear: make Project Scorpio the must-own platform if you want to play games the way developers intended. For perhaps the first time in gaming history, 3rd party console developers won’t have to downgrade their projects due to hardware limitations.
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