What we currently do in our free time is certainly very different than it was 20 years ago, with the major difference being that we statistically have more screen time now than ever before. According to the U.S. Labor Bureau, people of all ages are still huge consumers of TV, and that is what most of our leisure time is spent doing. We still read books; we still exercise and play sports, but in the U.S. at least, both of those activities have been overshadowed by playing games on computers. According to gaming research conducted in 2015, 155 million Americans played games regularly, with the franchises Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and FIFA all being popular. The average player was 35 years old and four out of every five households had a games console. Today we’ll discuss the kings of the consoles, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Playstation 4 Pro vs Xbox One X.
The war of the consoles has been going on for some time, a battle that has mostly raged between Sony’s Playstation, Microsoft’s Xbox, and various consoles made by Nintendo. You have to go all the way back to 1988 until you see another contender, and that was Sega’s Genesis console. Sega took its spot in the limelight in part due to the success of Sonic the Hedgehog One and Two, which together sold over 21 million copies. But Genesis is only the 15th best-selling console of all time. The most popular ever was Playstation2, which sold around 155 million units. Next is Nintendo DS, which sold 154 million units, and after that is Nintendo’s Game Boy. Microsoft’s best entry on the list is the Xbox 360, which in 6th place sold around 84 million units. The most recent battle has been between Playstation 4 and the Xbox One.
According to Business Insider in 2017, Playstation 4 has almost sold 60 million units, compared to the 26 million units Xbox One had sold as of January 2017. “Put simply: Sony has a ridiculous lead over Microsoft when it comes to the video game business,” said the article. But why is that, and is it about to change?
Well, one of the major factors has been price. When the two consoles were released in 2013, the Xbox One was $499 and Playstation 4 was $399, enough to sway anyone with a small budget. If you check out various online stores today, the Xbox One S is still around 250 bucks, while the PS4 is listed in various online stores for around $299.
We should add that another thing that has shaped how many units are sold is the price war, such as various deals and bundles we might see on Black Friday.
Another thing we should point out is that Microsoft’s Xbox One was always intended to be much more than just a device for gaming. It was also supposed to be an entertainment system for the home. Playstation 4 has always been more dedicated to gaming in itself. But now we have the Playstation 4 Pro (at $399), 100 bucks less than the Xbox One X (at $499), what decision should we make? It could all depend on what your needs are, as some pundits have said while the consoles are similar, they are not “exact side-by-side rivals”.
First let’s have a look under the hood, so to speak. The Playstation 4 Pro has a 4K resolution, high dynamic range (HDR) – basically technology that gives you spectacular viewing quality – and according to Sony it has twice the graphics power of its predecessor. Sony also said in a demonstration it could “reach resolutions not thought to be possible on consoles in 2016”. The console contains an 8-core, 2.13GHz processor. It has 8GB of GDDR5 and an additional 1GB of RAM which will handle background processes. It boasts Integrated AMD Polaris graphics with 4.2 teraflops of performance. You can also buy a virtual reality headset for this console, while right now the Xbox One X doesn’t have such a thing. This will cost you over $400, though. You cannot play 4K Blu-ray discs on this console, but can stream 4K content. As you cannot use a 4K disc, you’d have to spend quite a bit of money on a standalone player.
The Xbox One X claims to have 40 percent more power than any other console, calling itself the most powerful of its kind in the world. It also has 4k resolution and HDR. It will run a little faster with its 8-core, 2.3GHz processor. The Xbox One X will have 12GB of GDDR5. As for GPU, it boasts Integrated AMD graphics with 6 teraflops of performance. As you can see, Microsoft is correct in saying it is the most powerful console out there, and so in terms of playability, you should get a more realistic feel within the game environment.
Both consoles will play original 4K games, and also what Microsoft calls “X optimized” games and Playstation 4 Pro calls “enhanced games”. A bonus for Xbox buyers is that you can play 4K Blu-ray discs.
If all the jargon is a tad too difficult to understand, the magazine Wired was nice enough to explain it all in laymen’s terms. First of all, Wired points out that if you want to play 4K games on your 4K console, then you better have a 4K TV or monitor. If you don’t, it could be compared to buying a Hugo Boss suit and only wearing it to eat at McDonalds. 4K TVs are not too expensive, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
But where the price differential makes all the difference is in the extra teraflops in the Xbox. This means with that console you’ll be able to play 4K games and not lose the frame rate. The Xbox stands more chance at keeping 4K quality because of the added teraflops. This is why Xbox chief Phil Spencer proudly called the Xbox One X the “only true 4K console”. We can also give some more credit to the Xbox One X for actually being smaller in size than its foe. This is because it uses a pretty high-tech liquid cooling system compared to the Playstation’s regular fan system.
Let’s go through the main differences again. Xbox One X has more power and so your 4K experience will be purer. It has a Blu-ray 4k drive and is smaller. For 100 dollars less, with the Playstaion 4 Pro, you get slightly inferior game quality, but do have the opportunity to buy a VR headset for games.
In terms of games, both consoles will allow you to play your older games on these new consoles, and some of those games have now been enhanced. According to some pundits, if you buy the Playstation and want 4K quality, you should get your hands on Horizon: Zero Dawn, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. If you go with Xbox and want the same quality, the games to buy are Forza Motorsport 7, Madden NFL 18, and the upgraded Gears of War 4. These are just a handful of games from many more available with 4K quality.
So, do you own one of these consoles? Which one would you say is superior, and why? Let us know in the comments!