The Xbox One X got announced a couple of months ago during Microsoft’s pre-E3 press conference, and the company is boasting it as the most powerful console it’s ever made. We’re tempted to agree, even though the price and lack of fundamental features have us on the fence a little bit. Still, from what we’ve been hearing (and seen from game demos), it definitely has the potential to be great.
And some even feel that it could surpass the PlayStation 4 Pro in terms of power and performance. In a recent interview with Trusted Reviews, Stephen Vilijoen, the game director for the forthcoming racing game Project Cars 2, noted that the gameplay may be the same on both platforms, but he feels that the Xbox One X offers a “significant” performance increase over the PlayStation 4 Pro.
He noted, “Obviously we can’t go everything ultra, because on PC you can run it on three 4K monitors, and everything set to absolutely incredible detail, which is simply not possible on [this] generation of consoles. The Xbox One X is a great piece of hardware and we’re very excited for it and we’re making the most of it, so when you run the game on it, it will certainly look better than if you’re running it on anything else, other than a high end PC. But even so you can only do so much.”
And there have been complaints about the PlayStation 4 Pro running certain games, despite the fact that a number of third-party publishers have uploaded patches to increase performance on that system. So now the real question is this – is the PlayStation 4 Pro worth leaving behind in favor of the Xbox One X? There are a few factors to consider.
While some people have managed to see how the Xbox One X has performed with certain games like Crackdown 3 and Forza Motorsport 7, the truth is that we haven’t seen it too much in action yet. For that matter, we haven’t seen how it will be able to perform with older games, or if it will give them a boost in terms of frame rate and details. The PlayStation 4 Pro was supposed to do this at the start, but had to wait for a “boost” option to be thrown in through a recent patch to get there – and even then, it’s still not perfect.
As the system gets closer to release, we’ll likely get more demonstrations from Microsoft that feature the Xbox One X in action, as well as what developers may have in mind with it when it comes to getting peak performance out of the machine. For now, though, we’ve got a lot of great specs, but still need a little bit of convincing.
And speaking of older games, there’s the question of whether they’ll perform up to the same standard that they are on Xbox One now, rather than stuttering like a few known titles have managed to do on the PlayStation 4 Pro. That’s not to say the hardware is obsolete by any means, but the architecture is forcing the developers to set up patches so the games could be running normal again, at the very least. Who’s to say that the Xbox One X can’t suffer from the same setback? It’s more advanced hardware than the Xbox One X, and, as a result, could be a little different for it. And if you need an example of one piece of hardware running games meant for another type, look at the Xbox One Backward Compatible program. There’s actually a team making sure that the titles are running up to speed before they’re officially added, and even then, they’re not without their problems.
People like fast game experiences. Not to say that the game itself necessarily has to be moving fast in terms of a character running around, but rather it moving at peak performance instead of running into slowdown, glitches and what have you. The Xbox One X won’t be free of this, as we’ll likely see games that require patches in order to run at peak performance – something we’ve seen on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for a while. So what Microsoft needs to do to prove that the Xbox One X is greater than the PlayStation 4 is set up demos that show just how certain games pick up in said performance. And we don’t just mean the first-party titles – those are obvious. Pick some third party games that really make the hardware shine, like Star Wars: Battlefront II running at 60 frames per second (we can dream, can’t we?) and maybe even Call of Duty: WWII, even though the game has more ties to Sony’s side of things. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, so we can use a taste of what the hardware is truly capable of.
The price. We just can’t overlook that when it comes to this comparison. Yes, the PlayStation 4 Pro isn’t perfect when it comes to taking advantage of every game on the market. But the truth is, it’s $100 cheaper than the Xbox One X is going to be at launch, and that’s going to turn a lot of heads for those that are just getting into the 4K market. What Microsoft needs to do is validate that price, or perhaps even offer an incentive for those looking to get on board, like a demo disc loaded with titles, or maybe even a game itself, like Crackdown 3 or Forza Motorsport 7, so that they can see the differences right out of the gate, instead of leaning so much on an older game library. If Microsoft can introduce that kind of incentive, it’d give them an advantage – especially if Sony follows through with its rumored price cut of the PS4 Pro.
While some developers believe the Xbox One X has a major advantage with its power under the hood, there’s still some question of whether it can compete with Sony in terms of pricing and offering some real differences with a majority of its library. Obviously, closer to the console’s release, we’ll get a better idea of what it’s truly made of, either with hands-on tests or other demonstrations, and we’ll see if those teraflops truly shake things up. For now, we’re tempted to jump, but even with its issues, the PlayStation 4 Pro still looks pretty ideal for those looking for a decent 4K machine. Not that the Xbox One S’ emulated 4K is a bad thing, mind you – Forza Horizon 3 is a dream in motion. But here’s hoping Microsoft really pushes its game to the next level, and gives us a console that really shows what all the hype is about.