The latest PS4 release news has come through as underwhelming. Sony’s lead in the PS4 vs. Xbox One console war looks like it’s about to go back to Microsoft for the first time since the Xbox 360. The only bright side is that the Xbox One Scorpio release date is still about a year away, and Sony has that time to come up with an upgrade that actually competes again.
When news first arrived regarding the PS4 upgrade’s release, Sony gamers were excited at the possibility of getting the ultimate upgrade to the current standard in entertainment resolution. We were finally going to be able to stream Netflix and other hosting services in Ultra HD using apps already on the console. We could finally enhance the games we already had with the “Neo Mode,” improving the frame rate and reducing lag, at least in single player.
The problem with this latter part is that people are willingly paying for a subscription to PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold so they can keep playing with others. In some cases, always-online games like The Crew allow you to interact with other gamers, but there are certain features you can’t access without the additional subscription. The Crew will be one of those games that the PS4 Pro won’t enhance at all due to its need to be online to work.
Others like Mad Max and Fallout 4 might see less frame rate drops and reduced loading times.
— THE RED DRAGON (@TWTHEREDDRAGON) September 9, 2016
Unfortunately, the PS4 Pro fails to perform the way the Xbox One Scorpio is expected to. The Scorpio will outperform its rival by nearly half unless another PS4 release date happens next year with native 4K visuals and an added 4K Blu-ray player.
It’s unknown yet if Scorpio will actually perform on that level, though, as the difference between 4K visuals and 1800p isn’t that noticeable, according to Venture Beat. The Xbox One probably won’t be playing native 4K games due to the fact that newer Xbox One titles will still need to work on the original model. The closest possibility is the use of different scales built into the game that will raise or drop certain details depending on the hardware capabilities. PC games do this a lot.
Sony has had plenty of time to consider more options that will help the PS4 Pro actually deliver 4K visuals natively, such as swapping out a core chip like the Scorpio is doing. The lack of proverbial horsepower is going to hurt Sony for the next year if they persist in believing that the PS4 Pro release is all you need.
PlayStation 2 introduced the world to DVD playback and made it the standard, while PlayStation 3 did the same with Blu-ray. This will be the first console that falls behind while Xbox One takes the next step, starting with their smaller midway model.
— Ultra HD Blu-ray (@UltraHDBluray) September 9, 2016
It’s unfortunate that Sony believes gamers are going to be happy with a “half measure” for 4K visuals because many Xbox One Scorpio owners are going to take full advantage of the fact and get their revenge online. Probably the only good news for most gamers is that the Scorpio is thinning the line between consoles and PC, potentially eliminating the “PC master race” label. The downside for PlayStation 4 gamers is that unless there is perhaps a PS4 Pro 2 release before Scorpio hits, the teasing is going to be relentless.
For now, it seems PlayStation 4 still has a few exclusives which gamers prefer, and the introduction of folders to the UI will be a welcome addition to a packed and potentially confusing menu.
For this round of PS4 vs. Xbox One, the PS4 Pro release announcement gives this round to Microsoft.
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