Is the Xbox One X a truly greater machine than the PS4 Pro?
Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, the video game console world was dominated by Sega and Nintendo. But when Sony and Microsoft joined the fray, the market was changed forever. Although Nintendo has had continued to be successful, the 21st Century has seen Sony and Microsoft, with their Playstation and Xbox brands, dominate the discussion among gamers about which video game console is the best.
As technology continues to push games to new levels, Microsoft and Sony are launching new versions of their flagship consoles later this year with bold claims about 4k capabilities. However, Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, claims that there is really no comparison. He presented information about the new Xbox One X at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
The One True 4k Console?
In November of this year, both Microsoft and Sony will release updated versions of their benchmark video game consoles, with the Xbox One X and the Playstation 4 Pro respectively. Both new machines claim to bring 4k gaming to the market, but Xbox’s chief, Phil Spencer, told journalists that only the new Microsoft machine is truly 4k capable.
Spencer explained that the Xbox One X’s $100 higher cost was not really an issue as he did not see the Playstation 4 Pro as a direct competitor, saying, “I see more the PS4 Pro as a competitor of the Xbox One S than the Xbox One X. It’s true 4K.”
This higher cost means the Xbox One X launched for a price of $499, but Spencer believes that this is simply providing a certain group of gamers with another option. While most gamers will not opt for the more expensive model, that is because the product is targeted at a specific niche. Spencer explained that, “There’s a clientele looking for a premium experience.” To illustrate this, Microsoft’s $150 Elite controller sold out last year.
The market of serious gamers, a group willing to spend large sums of money for an unparalleled experience, is the target demographic for the One X console. This market is obsessed with specifications and power, and in this area Spencer claims that (unlike the PS4-Pro), “This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it’s in a different league than any other console that’s out there.”
The raw figures certainly support the claim that the One X is the more powerful console, as it has 40% more GPU speed, more RAM (12GB compared to 8GB) and a greater speed of storage. Most significantly in the battle of the next generation claims, the PS4 Pro creates 4K visuals via checkerboard rendering, whereas the One X is capable of creating true native 4K visuals.
The Battle Continues
As things stand, the Playstation still outsells the Xbox, particularly in Japan and Europe. However, Spencer has pointed out that Microsoft is focusing on various aspects of gameplay and certain games that are huge global successes but don’t always capture the headlines.
While first-person “shoot ‘em up” games and sports titles often grab the most attention, games like Minecraft and League of Legends have a vast global fan base. Spencer said, “We showed Minecraft in 4K on our screen…and…more kids play Minecraft than almost any other game in the world.”
Spencer states that Xbox One is in “a healthy spot” before its launch and that Xbox as a brand is showing growth every quarter. As the battle to win new gamers and to change the allegiance of existing gamers intensifies, Spencer feels that Xbox’s dedication to multiplatform games and Xbox Live will help bolster its sales. In regard to multiplatform games, he claims that, “We’ve hit a performance spec with Xbox One X that should make those games the most definitive version of those games.”
Spencer also explained that Xbox One is committed to ensuring that there are games that cater to every demographic, from young to old, male or female.
Recent rumors that the launch date could be delayed caused concern among gamers excited about the new technology, but Spencer told one fan that they were “still on track for November 7th”. With the PS4 Pro due to be released in the same month, the struggle for console supremacy is set to take another intriguing turn.