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Microsoft: Xbox 'Scorpio' will support true 4K gaming, unlike PS4 Pro

28 Sep 2016 | Rasmus Larsen |

Microsoft is taking shots at Sony, saying that the GPU in the new PlayStation 4 Pro is “not enough to do true 4K”. Next year’s Xbox “Scorpio” on the other hand will, Microsoft told Eurogamer.

Console games in true 4K

Sony and Microsoft have both updated console hardware mid-generation, and the console war is heating up again. Microsoft decided to launch the Xbox One S, which remains more or less as powerful as the original, whereas Sony decided to introduce a new, significantly more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro.

Graphics performance on consoles:

Xbox One
1.3 tflops
Xbox One S
1.4 tflops
1.8 tflops
PS4 Pro
4.2 tflops
Xbox ”Scorpio”
6 tflops
PlayStation 4 Pro boasts a graphics performance of 4.2 teraflops, more than twice as much as the original PS4 that can push 1.843 teraflops. However, it is still “not enough to do true 4K” in games despite Sony’s claims, argues Microsoft

To enjoy console games in true 4K you will instead have to wait for the Xbox Scorpio, which will deliver 6 teraflops, argues Microsoft. With its 6 teraflops of graphics performance, it is 40% more powerful than PS4 Pro. Of course, Scorpio will not be available until late 2017.

- "I think there are a lot of caveats they’re (Sony) giving customers right now around 4K," aid Albert Penello, senior director of product planning at Xbox to Eurogamer. "They’re talking about checkerboard rendering and up-scaling and things like that. There are just a lot of asterisks in their marketing around 4K, which is interesting because when we thought about what spec we wanted for Scorpio, we were very clear we wanted developers to take their Xbox One engines and render them in native, true 4K."

Microsoft also confirms that all first-party titles for Scorpio will run in native 4K. However, outside studios are not required to do the same.

Xbox 4K

Upscaled games on PS4 Pro?

Microsoft’s point here is of course that while PS4 Pro will always output signals in 4K resolution, it does not necessarily render games in native 4K resolution internally. PS4 Pro will – like previous console generations – upscale many games or some parts of a game.

The site Polygon has spoken with game developers to find out more about their plans. The only game confirmed to run in native 4K on PS4 Pro so far is The Elder Scrolls Online. Other studios are planning to render in resolutions between 1080p and 4K, and then upscale to 4K.

Also read why PS4 Pro should have UHD Blu-ray

With a more powerful Xbox coming out next year, Microsoft will soon find itself on the other side of the fence. When the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles were launched three years ago, it was Xbox One that was criticized for not being able to render games at full 1080p HD resolution. Although Microsoft has a point, it is of course worth remembering that Xbox Scorpio will not launch until late 2017. PS4 Pro will launch on November 10 this year.

- Source: Eurogamer & Polygon

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