The Xbox One X is coming in November but what will it mean for gaming and where will Sony’s PS4 Pro be placed after the Xbox One X enters the market? There are a few things the Xbox One X will be better at than Sony’s PS4 Pro, but at the same time, both of them mean that 4K gaming will be a thing across the board. Whether or not the PS4 Pro uses dynamic scaling to reach 4K or the XBox One X uses native 4K to output its games. Wait, what? What is native 4K and dynamic 4K you ask? Well, let’s take a look at what each console is capable of, and what all these terms mean when they come down to putting it all on paper.
Xbox One X versus PS4 Pro
In short, the Xbox One X is Microsoft’s much more powerful Xbox One console. Coming in November, the Xbox One X will be almost 4 times as powerful as the original Xbox One which means higher frame rates, smoother games, and of a much higher resolution in gaming. The PS4 Pro, on the other hand, is not as powerful as the Xbox One X in terms of specs, but it too can output greater visuals and higher resolutions than the standard PS4.
While all this seems fair, it comes down to the devices’ hardware, especially their graphical processing power when determining what and how the games will play on both consoles.
- PS4 Pro CPU: 2.13GHZ
- Xbox One X CPU: 2.3GHZ
- PS4 Pro: 4.12 Teraflops, 218GB/s, 8GB GDDR5 RAM
- Xbox One X: 6 Teraflops, 326GB/s, 12GB GDDR5 RAM
Those are the top two factors that will determine the overall experience that the two consoles offer compared to each other. As you can see Sony’s PS4 Pro lacks the extra RAM and graphical power compared to the Xbox One X, which gives the console less power to output the games at the resolutions as the Xbox One X will be able to.
Don’t let that fool you, however, the PS4 Pro is still a powerful device that is capable of higher resolutions such as 2160p and 1800p across various games, but it means that games will not run at 60FPS on it as they will on the Xbox One X. That is what Microsoft promises us. The Xbox One X has the extra power in it to make sure that games truly get the boost they need such as native 4K resolutions and higher frame rates.
So with all this power, how will it all benefit each console and what can we expect from them when they finally battle each other out? There are a few methods used in gaming that will truly put the consoles’ power to the test.
Dynamic 4K Versus Native 4K
Resolution is the main reason why these two consoles exist in the world right now. Gamers demanded that their experiences surpass the standard 1080p and thus these two consoles were developed with extra power to do so. But if Sony’s PS4 Pro cannot reach the power of the Xbox One X, is all else failed? Not at all.
There are two ways of achieving 4K in gaming – dynamically, and natively.
Dynamic 4K: This is also known as upscaling, and checkerboard rendering. This is when an image is post-processed by boosting up the pixels and doubling them to reach a higher resolution. It is basically taking each pixel and duplicating it four times in order to stretch the image to a higher resolution.
While there is really no downfall to this process, it does lose some quality at times and you may get some jagged edges on images and other visual flaws. This is the easiest way to reach 4K without needing a powerhouse of hardware and this is the way that most games have been reached 4K on the PS4 Pro to date.
Native 4K: Native 4K is the true 4K of gaming. This is where textures and overall imagery is completely rendered in 4K to the display with no upscaling of any sort. There is no gimmick here, rather the game’s assets are all rendered at the highest quality possible, at the highest resolution.
This sort of 4K requires a great deal of hardware to pull off, more notably extra RAM which the Xbox One X has.
The PS4 Pro mainly uses dynamic 4K techniques to output its games, but there have been times where native has been used. Overall the experience has been fantastic with games like Horizon Zero Dawn hitting full 4K, and although it uses checkerboard rendering, it is almost flawless.
The XBox One X will try to enter the market with the ability to output games in native 4K which is one of the biggest selling points of the console. Native 4K and 60FPS is almost impossible to achieve these days on budget hardware, and that is now where the Xbox One X is going to attempt to fill the gap.
Xbox One X Will Do More
But the Xbox One X will do more than just being more powerful. Microsoft has promised that all Xbox games will play better on the console and this includes older Xbox One games and Xbox 360 titles too. With the extra power of the Xbox One X, Microsoft is able to boost the performance of its games both old and new and increase resolution, and frame rate.
It is also the only console compared to the PS4 Pro that has a UHD Blu-Ray drive included in it. This is important as due to the console’s native 4K power, the assets and textures of these games are bigger and need more space to fill in the disc. Reports have already claimed that true native 4K games on the Xbox One X will reach the +100GB mark. Again this goes to show the difference between upscaling 4K dynamically, and the use of true native 4K.
Wrap It All Up
At the end of the day it is all about the games, and sure, Microsoft is working hard to make sure that it’s finally on top of these resolutions issues which have been plaguing the Xbox One since launch, but the games are all that matter. We will soon see 4K being the norm in gaming, be it by upscaling or rendering it all natively. In the end, the Xbox One X is more powerful than the PS4 Pro, but they are both 4K machines, one just does things differently compared to the other. We are excited to get our hands on the Xbox One X when it launches in November and we will (hopefully) finally be able to put all Microsoft’s resolution issues behind us.