Opinion: Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro Paves The Way For Project Scorpio

Opinion: Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro Paves The Way For Project Scorpio

For a year now, we have been hearing different rumors that Sony and Microsoft will both be planning to release upgraded versions of their consoles. Both gaming giants have finally lifted the curtains on the projects being titled the Playstation 4 Pro and the Project Scorpio. We don’t know much about what the Xbox Scorpio will have, but the weak presentation that Sony held last week paved the way for Microsoft to regain their lead in console sales, at least in the U.S..

Let’s talk about specifics and what we know about both consoles. Project Scorpio will be a stronger machine, no doubt about that. The Playstation 4 Pro was announced to boast 4.2 TFlops of computing power while the Scorpio will sport, at least, 6. Now, this isn’t a caveat to Sony, as a powerful console doesn’t necessarily mean a good one. The truth of the matter is whether or not next-generation titles will be able to use this power to benefit their games further. So far, from what we have heard, barely any titles currently in development for the Playstation 4 Pro will run games in native resolution. Most titles announced during Sony’s Playstation event were games that were running upscaled on the newest hardware. As someone looking at current-generation games, especially those that run on the PC, I feel the first to take advantage of 4K rendering may take a substantial advantage within the gaming industry. I’m talking games that will run natively at a 3840 x 2160 resolution (4K UHD). Huge franchises like Gears of War, Halo, and Forza taking advantage of this hardware.

A picture of Forza Horizon 3 running in 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD). One of the best looking games to be released in sometime.

A picture of Forza Horizon 3 running in 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD). One of the best looking games to be released on the Xbox One and Windows 10.

For reference, Nvidia’s GTX 1080 is capable of pushing 9 TFLOPS of computing power – Dramatically over what the next-generation consoles have been promised to produce. This card can push out the majority of video games today in a stunning 3840 x 2160 resolution, whereas the Playstation 4 Pro may only be able to upscale games to this resolution. While we don’t know the exact system specifications of the Xbox Scorpio, with the added boost in performance over Sony’s product, the Xbox should be able to support these settings natively.

It is hard to say what the Xbox Scorpio can do, but if Microsoft was aiming to support true 4K resolution natively when it is released next fall, the Playstation 4 Pro could fall behind in performance and ultimately in sales – especially if Microsoft prices the consoles around the same price. This is where the article title falls into place; Microsoft has an extra year to prepare for a substantial re-branding of the Xbox One. If they can somehow manage native 4K support, support for UHD Blu-rays, all while still making the Xbox One console relevant regarding software, Microsoft can quickly take the lead in the console races. (Edit: I am referring to North American sales.)

At the end of the day, it depends on the developer support. Developers can aim to use the increase in computing power to advance their games further or by utilizing native 4K rendering. Some games may even be able to do both, but this may be part of the reason that games like Crackdown 3 have seemingly disappeared from Microsoft. Perhaps the developers want to aim to deliver 4K content while making up with the promises shown during Gamescom 2015.


The console’s price point is also critical. The Playstation 4 Pro was given the price point of $399.99 USD ($499.99 CAD) while the Xbox Scorpio has yet to be given an MSRP. At this point, I’d say for Microsoft to be successful, their console would need to be competitively priced, which I am proposing the same price point of $399.99 to remain relevant in the market. If, they were able to match the price – or hell, beat the price of the Playstation 4 Pro and offer up all the specifications noted above – Sony can be in some serious trouble going into 2017.

We have to keep in mind that we still know next to nothing about Nintendo’s next console, the Nintendo NX. For all we know, Nintendo could be working towards a massive 4K reveal themselves, which could be more on par with what we see with next-generation specifications. Nintendo is rumored to be announcing details about the Nintendo NX in October, so hopefully we hear more information about this then.

Sony has been dominating console sales ever since the next-generation debut of 2013. According to numbers reported back in February, the Xbox One has sold more than 20 Million consoles which pale in comparison to Sony’s 40 Million Playstation 4’s said back in May. This is worldwide. In certain parts of the world, the Playstation 4 is wildly outselling the Xbox One, where Xbox One sales figures are in double-digits, at least in Japan.

You raise your pitchforks high in the air, “The Playstation 4 Pro isn’t what it is cracked up to be?!” You exclaim. “How dare you, Skyler, for shame.” However, considering the facts that I mentioned above, the Playstation 4 Pro’s placement is weird… especially considering not all of the Playstation 4 Pro’s titles will support native 4K rendering. Microsoft will have a year longer to work on Project Scorpio which could mean a great leap for Microsoft as they peer into 2017. Of course, this opinion relies solely on the fact that 4K Gaming is indeed the next best thing – which may or may not be true depending on who you are and what display you own.

We want to hear your thoughts on the matter. Comment below and let us know what you think about the subject.

  • Alex Proctor

    The article is wrong on a couple of fronts. Even the 9teraflop 1080 cannot run today’s games in 4k. It takes 2 1080s in SLI to actually run 4k 60fps. Also the assumption that console sales are driven by system power alone is clearly false. The truth is that with the large stable of studios and exclusives the PlayStation is it for consoles. If Scorpio launches at $499 then your money is better spent getting a gaming PC since all the games will be available in PC format anyway.

    • Hey there, first of all, thanks for the read and the comment!

      The GTX 1080 has already been confirmed to run games in 4K at 60 frames per second. Our recent article, Titanfall 2 PC requirements piece, Titanfall 2 was announced to run in 4K at 60 frames per second on PC. You can see that article here: http://informedpixel.com/titanfall-2-pc-requirements-listed-runs-in-4k/

      I mean, at the end of the day, your mileage will vary depending on the hardware you use, whether that be the Playstation 4 PRO, Project Scorpio, or an enthusiast grade PC. Different developers will need to design their games to run in 4K on the separate hardware. Whether or not that is the Playstation 4 Pro, Project Scorpio, or PC is ultimately in the decision of the game developers.

    • Matthews John

      A 1080 can run 4k at 30fps just fine.

      • Alex Proctor

        There are always single game exceptions but overall the 1080 cannot run 4k 60fps consistently.

        We are truly at the point where the Xbox value proposition has come to an end, a mid range gaming PC is just as powerful and the only exclusives to speak of are Forza and Gears are now on PC. So why does the world need another Xbox?

        PlayStation continues to offer huge gaming value and countless exclusives at less than the cost of entry of a mid range PC.

        • Yeah, that is the key word, consistency. It really depends how well optimized the game is for 4K gaming as well. RockPaperShotgun made a good article about that.

          Personally, I would prefer a game to run at 1080P at 60 frames per second, rather than have a “4K” machine, because it seems we struggle to even maintain that with the consoles of today.

        • ShowanW

          “xbox value proposition is coming to an end”…. WHAT?!!!!

          you think millions of parents are going to all of a sudden buy their kids gaming PC’s?

          parents and casuals make up a BULK of gaming (not enthusiast)

          and another thing you are completely forgetting is $$$… as long as MS throws $$$ at it, xbox will always have value.

          people go where their family and friends are

          i use to build my own gaming rigs… but all of my family are on xbox not PC, not playstation

          as long as xbox is still owned by a mega billion dollar goliath, it’s value will always be there

  • Ucouldntbemorewrong

    PS has a huge flood of diversified games coming out about the same time Scorpio hits. Should be interesting.

    • It will be an interesting outcome either way! Looking forward to it.

  • ShowanW

    project scorpio isn’t targeted for everyone. this was made clear by phil spencer.
    sure he would like for everyone to buy one, but project scorpio will be in the same lines as the elite wireless controller. this if for those who want more, but everyone is welcomed to buy one if they desire.

    premium product aimed at enthusiast (who don’t game on pc)

    people keep thinking xbox is going to die all of a sudden is in for a rude awakening.

    you don’t introduce, elite wireless controller, one s, design lab custom controllers, and project scorpio to consumers if you planned on shutting doors on the brand. it’s not like r&d for each of these products is a dollar a pop.

    ms would not spend on BILLIONS on r&d and production in such a short time if they don’t plan on being in it for the long haul…

    and phil spencer wouldn’t have gotten a bigger budget from satya nadella if xbox were in dire straits…

  • Ryuken13

    Sony and Nintendo are global brands an Microsoft is primarily confined to the West.. A high end console will not change that.

  • andy

    Every point falls flat. You compare the price of PS4 this year to the price of Scorpio next year and think Scorpio can have some sort of edge??? You don’t know what the price of PS4 Pro will be next year.
    You talk about the potential of Scorpio games running at 4K when most current gen games on Xbone can’t even run at standard native 1080p resolution, Halo being a great example you used.
    Microsoft will have a year longer to work on Scorpio. So what? They had 3 months to beat PS4’s “crappy” console reveal, as so many called it at the time, and they somehow put together the worse games console reveal ever.
    You mention power doesn’t mean anything to sales, yet you contradict yourself with “the PlayStation 4 Pro could fall behind in performance and ultimately in sales”. Nobody cares if you mean only US or not, if we are talking sales we are talking globally and that’s that (If not, title the article “Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro Paves The Way For Project Scorpio in the US only”).
    And the biggest thing you missed, PS4 Pro isn’t being held back by a last gen ddr3, eSRAM bottlenecked console….. not in 2016 or even late 2017 either ………….like Scorpio currently confirmed to be.

    So yeah, “pitchforks high in the air” even with those amazing “facts that you mentioned above”.

  • Barry Harden

    Looking at Scorpio’s specs tells me this console isn’t going to be bargain priced. Expect a starting price point of $499-$599US.

  • Marty8370

    All about price/specs now, and PS4 Pro will have sold millions by the time Scorpio is out. Sony is content with this gen as it’s got a huge lead.

    Microsoft is the one trying to start a new gen, as Xbox one has flopped badly.

    Also what too stop PS5 be out by 2018, with specs better than Scorpio