Microsoft Respond To The PlayStation 4 Pro Reveal

Who doesn’t love a little corporate tete-a-tete now and again? After the PlayStation 4 Pro reveal yesterday, Microsoft have bitten back, extolling the virtues of the Xbox One S and the upcoming Project Scorpio, their own mid-generation hardware update that is planned for release at the end of 2017.

In a statement, Microsoft said, “At Xbox, our goal is to put gamers at the centre of everything we do. The new hardware available now and next year was designed with that in mind to give gamers a choice in how they play.

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“Starting at £249, Xbox One S is the only console available today with built-in 4K Blu-ray – a value price compared to 4K Blu-ray players. It also offers 4K video streaming plus HDR for video and gaming.

“Launching holiday 2017, Project Scorpio is the next member of the Xbox One family and will be the most powerful console ever created with 6TFLOPS capable of delivering true 4K gaming.”

That’s all nice, and pushes the virtues of their own hardware, but Aaron Greenberg, Head of Xbox Games Marketing, got a little more fiery on Twitter:


The emphasis is on the “true” here, as the PlayStation 4 Pro has to employ an advanced post-processing technique called checkerboarding in order to reach the heady heights of 4K. Microsoft may be able to avoid that thanks to a much more powerful GPU, which is what helps the Scorpio have 6TFLOPS of processing power, versus the PS4 Pro’s 4.2TFLOPS. While checkboarding is a powerful process, having truly native 4K resolutions would obviously provide a better image.

The same is true of the UHD Blu-ray drive in the Xbox One S, which both PS4 models lack. Their media playback is limited to the heavily compressed 4K streams from the likes of Netflix and YouTube, as a consequence.

Speaking to Polygon, Microsoft’s Albert Penello said, “I feel pretty good about the decisions we’ve made,” later adding that “We announced this year to give developers more time to familiarize themselves with the hardware,” and that “It’s interesting that we’ve arrived in a similar place.”

The console war looks like it’s getting a little bit hotter again. This should be fun.

Via Polygon, Eurogamer

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29 Comments

  1. MS might have (eventually) the most powerful console but by the time it comes to market there are going to be miles behind in the sales war.
    If I was a xbox fan I wouldn’t bother with the slim, i would wait until Scorpio’s release.

    • But by the time of Scorpio (still wanting to make some comment about hammocks) you’ll have an even more powerful PS4 a year or 2 away, and Sony could well be so far ahead that any XBox might seem like a poor investment.

  2. Good luck to them. But if Scorpio sells more units than PS4 Pro, does that mean we wont get regular updates on how many goals were scored in Fifa last week or how many hours were spent browsing the xbox game store? Colour me disappointed.

  3. “Starting at £249”, which is the 500GB One S, not the £299 1TB version, which is then only £10 cheaper than the PS4 Slim (assuming we totally ignore the 500GB versions of both, because they’re just a bit useless).

    Or just £50 cheaper than the PS4 Pro.

    I didn’t realise they were both still making 500GB models. I guess that gets you a nice under £300 price.

    So a sensible sized PS4 is just £40 less than the Pro? It’ll be interesting to see what people do. Go cheap? (Which probably means the same as the past 3 years – PS4 Slim beating the One S). Pay the extra £40 for the PS4 Pro? (The £349 launch price for the PS4 didn’t hurt Sony). Or wait an extra year for Scorpio, with the potential for a PS5 or whatever being a year or 2 away?

    Yeah, it’s going to be fun.

    Also, did 4K Blu-rays ever really become a thing? Amazon seems to list a handful for sale, half of which are pre-orders. With 4K TVs not having sold much yet, and streaming, it’s going to struggle to be a success. Could end up like that time MS went with HD-DVD instead of Blu-ray (an obvious bad choice) or Sony pushed 3D so hard (again, a bad choice), although I guess there’s no downside to supporting it (except extra cost in hardware and probably licensing?)

  4. Xbox One has come on leaps and bounds since 2013 with Phil Spencer leading the team. I am really excited about the Scorpio and that will only increase as the release gets closer. But I am really excited about the games Xbox is putting out right now. Recore, Dead Rising 4, Sea of Thieves, Scalebound, Forza Horizon 3, State of Decay 2 and Gears 4. Four of those I’ll be playing before Xmas with release dates as they stand. As far as my PS4 goes it is pretty much 3rd party games and potentially the PS4 Pro. I was really looking forward to GT Sport and the delay was only really softened by the fact i’ll still be able to play Forza Horizon 3 and still have Forza 6 keeping me on the virtual tarmac.

    MS new direction in play anywhere, more focus on games, a powerful console in project Scorpio and constant updates based on feedback that just make achievements, DVR, social gaming that much better really has me confident their old ways are long gone.

    Sony on the other hand, with the exception of VR (at £350) haven’t really done much imo. Bloodborne, TLoU and Uncharted I have loved, but right now I am left deflated with nothing new anytime soon that interests me. I started with getting pretty much all 3rd party games on PS4 as I enjoyed the extra polish thanks to it being more powerful. But as MS have added feature after feature to the Xbox One and with little things like Xbox Weekly, the preview program, back compat etc it has just made me feel as though MS are listening to the gamers more and working the console/games around them.

    Project Scorpio “the we heard you console” seems to built on what gamers and developers have asked for, much like the PS4 3 years ago. PS4 Pro seems to have been built on what Sony thinks you want or will stop you buying a gaming Rig.

    Ironically, MS wouldn’t have been so eager to cater for gamers if Sony didn’t show them up with the PS4 #4TheGamers reveal. So the more these two battle, the more we all win. But I feel Sony need to throw more weight behind PlayStation, not just think that 40m console sales must mean they are doing something right. Over 100m people bought a Wii

    • As far as it goes PS4 is pretty much third party? Their line up of exclusive is just a strong as the Xbox, Days gone, God of war, Horizon, hellblade, drawn to death, gravity rush, that’s all I can think of on top of my head cause I pre ordered all lol anyway considering I can pretty much play all the games you listed on a much better platform than the Xbone says it all really

      • “As far as MY PS4 goes”, my console, my preference of games.

        “I am left deflated with nothing new anytime soon that interests me”, I’m not writing it off and anticipate 2017/18 having more I am interested.

        You can play all the games I listed on a much better platform – EXACTLY! Which is why I feel MS are heading in a great direction. You can play it best on Windows, Play it great on Scorpio or play it good on Xbox One. They’ve even opened up play anywhere and play cross network if others are open to it too

  5. It’s all banter really, later down the line they will congrats each other, laughs it off while they walk to the bank. I’m more interested in the Scorpio than the neo but the fact that PS4 exclusive choice is much more my preference is the downfall.

    • I don’t really care much for the blu Ray player than everyone is making a big deal out of, to this day I have never seen a blu Ray DVD so I couldn’t tell you the difference between blu ray & a standard DVD

      • I agree there has been to much emphasis put on the 4k Blu-ray drive. I have bought Blu-rays in the past but I don’t buy them anymore though I can guarantee you there is a big difference between Blu-ray and DVD. I think physical film media is dead, to me it is anyway.

  6. Fact: Sales of blu-rays dropped 11% in 2015 in the USA.
    Fact: Sales of blu-rays dropped another 12% in 2016 in the USA.
    Fact: Amazon UK has just 50 movies available on 4K Blu Ray. They cost £30+
    Fact: Netflix, Amazon, et all, are killing the sales of physical media for movies.

    4K Blu-ray is DOA.

    • Yep, just like I can no longer buy CD’s from my local supermarket thanks to iTunes and Spotify. Surprised DAB radio didn’t kill CD’s too tbh.
      There are certainly far fewer sales, but many will always want hard copies for collecting or because no connection is required.
      4K Blu-Ray is not DOA, no more than physical game discs, but sales will never match the days of DVD for sure.
      I am surprised Sony haven’t included the drive, but then I buy a console for gaming yet understand some use them as their main entertainment for all media

      • Sony not putting a 4K drive in the PS Pro is a huge problem for sales of 4K Blu Ray. Blu ray only took off due to the PS3 having it, same with DVD and PS2.

        It will be niche at best. Kids arnt that fussed about quality – they watch and listen to YouTube and spotify – and they are the consumers of the future.

      • I agree with you Tuff. 4K wont even come close to the success of Bluray never mind DVD.

        I don’t know for sure but I would guess that DVD is still more popular than Bluray today.

        4K or Faux-K streaming on the PS4 Pro is the future.

        Bluray will the last popular/semi-popular physical media I recon. 4K is a non-starter.

      • Interesting aside, Steam recently released their hardware figures (where Steam members are happy to divulge their hardware specs). Obviously, Steam/Valve has millions of hardware details. Want to know what percentage banding 4K PC gamers were in? They weren’t. They were in the “insignificant” column.

        4K is a hardware fuss that we’ll arrive at naturally and no amount of chest-thumping from the industry looks to suggest otherwise. The pace might pick up a smidge but this is no revolution, that’s for sure.

      • Was that the same Steam hardware thing that gave some wonderful misunderstandings about how percentages work when it comes to VR? The HTC thing has stopped selling (after reaching 0.18% of users), but the Oculus Rift grew from 0.09% to 0.1%.

        Or, according to some places, a growth of just 0.01%, and not the 11% growth since the previous month that it actually is. (Or 17% if you count the earlier versions of it)

        Those numbers are probably bad enough as it is, without making them sound worse like that. (And does that mean PSVR will be on sale cheaply this time next year? With no new games for it once it stops selling quite quickly?)

      • I used to rent dvd’s and I own 90+ of em
        I own 7 Blu-ray Discs
        I have 0 intention of buying UHD bluray whatchamacallit one I get my hands on a 4K tv. To me optical discs are dead (for movies)

      • It may well be, Mr Yd. Doesn’t change the cold hard facts that 4K gaming is way, WAY off. Not sure what you’re point is. :-\

  7. Loving the fanboy reaction.

    • Hey now, Avenger. You enjoy it. It’s about as polite as it gets on the Internet. ;-)

      • Ha, true. But the dirtier the better :P

  8. Well if you have a product that’s better than your competition then you should draw attention to it. Much better than the meek way Microsoft have acted recently.

    • Yeah, it’s about time they went for it on the marketing side of things. They’ve been sitting like lemons for the past year or so.

  9. Did he just say… “Holiday 2017”
    I’m expecting Sony to announce the ps4pro will replace the slim and there will be a new ps4ultra (aka pro2 aka PlayStationNG) before ms releases the Scorpio. A 2TerraFlop boost over Pro is great for MS but that boost will arrive a bit late if they indeed release holiday 2017.
    Upgrading hardware has become child’s play now that they use pc like architecture.

    • I don’t think Sony would announce their next console in a year’s time. But you might be right on the Pro replacing the Slim. Maybe a price drop on the Pro and just stop making the Slim, although I can’t see them doing that just before christmas.

      Get the next 15 months of Slim/Pro sales out of the way, start the rumours up, announce some event for early 2018, and then just make the Pro at a new, lower price, and announce an upgraded model coming late 2018. Give MS a couple of months of decent sales and then quickly put a stop to that with a new PS4 (or PS5 or whatever) which should be significantly more powerful than Scorpio for a similar price. Then watch MS drop the price of Scorpio just a year after release when Sony start selling it.

      Actually, it’s not going to get exciting, it’s just going to be a mess and expensive for everyone involved. And MS have more money to be able to afford an advantage over Sony.

  10. Meh!

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