Xbox One S vs PS4 Pro
There’s never been a better time to buy a console. Both the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro offer an upgrade on their predecessors at roughly the halfway point of their product cycles. Both machines boast upgraded specs as well as all-singing, all-dancing 4K media and HDR. But how do they stack up against each other?
The Xbox One was released back in November 2013 as the third-generation Microsoft console following the original Xbox and Xbox 360. The Xbox One S is something of a mini upgrade to the Xbox One, adding support for HDR gaming as well as an upgraded Ultra HD Blu-ray player. It’s also much trimmer – a whopping 40% smaller than the original.
While the original Xbox One technically supports 4K gaming and video, its HDMI 1.4a port means it can only output 4K at 30Hz, meaning gamers won’t be able to tell too much of a difference. The Xbox One S adds support for HDMI 2.0a which, thanks to its deeper colour space, allows for High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR displays a wider and richer range of colours across the spectrum, from much brighter whites to much deeper, darker blacks, giving the TV picture a more “dynamic” look.
The new Xbox Wireless Controller boasts a textured grip and increased range as well as Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you can hook it up to your PC too.
Sony has launched two new consoles this year: the beastly PS4 Pro, which features the new AMD Polaris architecture GPU, making it more than twice as fast as the first PS4, and the PS4 Slim which, as its name suggests, is a slimline PS4 that replaces the original version. One of the first changes PS4 fans will notice about both the new consoles is the removal of the light bar. This has been replaced by a tiny indicator light near the power button.
Like the Xbox One S, the PS4 Pro will support HDR, and Sony’s latest software update that has introduced support for HDR video, meaning the original PS4 and PS4 Slim users get to enjoy extra detail in their gameplay too.
One of the major new features on the PS4 Pro is the arrival of PS VR to support Sony’s new virtual reality platform. Considered an affordable introduction into quality VR, PS VR offers a near PC-quality experience and a decent selection of games.
When Microsoft first announced the Xbox One S, it revealed there would be three versions of the console with different-sized hard drives: 2TB, 1TB and 500GB. However, there’s bad news if you were holding out for a 2TB Xbox One S: this limited edition console has already sold out. The 1TB and 500GB versions are priced at £299 and £249 respectively. The PS4 Pro, on the other hand, is available with a 1TB hard drive and has a starting price of £349.99. In terms of price and bang for your hard drive-buck, Xbox One S wins this battle.
Comparing each machine’s specs, it becomes clear why there is such a gulf in price between the two. Sony’s PS4 Pro features an eight-core x86-64 AMD “Jaguar” CPU with an AMD Radeon-based graphics card and 8GB of RAM. This is a huge graphics and speed upgrade – and all the more impressive considering the Xbox One S is only a slight improvement on the Xbox One. The PS4 Pro wins on the specs front.
The PS4 Pro undoubtedly out-powers the Xbox One S with its faster processor and enhanced graphics quality. Sony’s machine also offers virtual reality, unlike the Xbox One S. Despite its 4K gaming offerings, one downside of the PS4 is that it doesn’t offer Ultra HD Blu-ray capabilities. It should also be noted that Microsoft are keeping their powder dry until the release of their next generation console next year (working title: Xbox Project Scorpio). Bearing all this in mind – plus the fact the Xbox Project Scorpio is likely to be eye-wateringly expensive – we feel the PS4 Pro is the one to ask Santa nicely for this Christmas. Let’s just hope you’ve been a good boy this year.