Although Microsoft announced its 4K games console during E3 2016 last June, it was Sony that beat it to the punch, releasing its mid-generation upgrade a full year before the Xbox equivalent.
The PS4 Pro has been available since the end of last year and provides 4K gaming – sometimes natively – so it holds the mantel of the most powerful console on the market. Until the Xbox One X is available next week, that is.
The One X (formerly known as Project Scorpio) will be released on Tuesday 7 November and, with the benefit of hindsight, is even more powerful and fast that its PlayStation equivalent.
So here’s a rundown of the two mighty gaming powerhouses to see which would suit you best.
Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Graphics
The Xbox One X offers 4K HDR gaming, like the PS4 Pro.
However, the One X GPU is more powerful, so is better suited to natively run games at 4K 60fps. The Pro less so, with checkerboard upscaling more likely adopted by developers.
The Xbox One X’s system on chip (SoC) has 6 teraflops of computing power just to render 4K graphics – that’s high-end PC graphics card stuff. And it is optimised to ensure they run as smoothly as possible.
The PS4 Pro has 4.20 teraflops of graphics processing power, using an AMD Radeon-based GPU. It looks less powerful on paper, but is capable of rendering games in 4K and with High Dynamic Range (HDR) colour and contrast processing. They just seem to stick to 30fps, however, at least when run in native 2160p.
Both consoles can playback 4K HDR video via streams, although the PS4 Pro does not have a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. The Xbox One X does, and is even capable of playing 4K Blu-rays with Dolby Atmos surround sound.
Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: CPU and memory
Xbox One X has an octa-core processor, with eight custom x86 cores running at 2.3GHz.
The PS4 Pro also has an octa-core CPU, the x86-64 “Jaguar”, but runs slower at 2.1GHz.
An important differentiator is that the One X also offers 12GB of GDDR5 RAM. The PS4 Pro has 8GB.
In addition, the memory sported by the Xbox One X has a bandwidth of 326GB/s. The Pro, in comparison, is restricted to 218GB/s.
This might not make much difference to the games you can play initially, but as developers get more to grips with the extra power, the more they will be able to eek out of it and the better the overall console experience will be.
Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Virtual reality
Although Microsoft has talked about virtual reality during its E3 press conferences in the past, we’re still waiting for actual confirmation of its plans for Mixed Reality headset support. In comparison, Sony already has a headset out there and doing well.
The PlayStation VR uses a single 1920 x 1080 OLED panel to serve 960 x 1080 to each eye, and while Mixed Reality devices are capable of better, until the One X officially supports them the PSVR wins hands-down.
There are also plenty of VR games now available for the PS4 Pro, and many of them are enhanced for the machine.
Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Price
Sony also wins hands-down when it comes to price.
The PS4 Pro costs around £350/$462 with a game. The Xbox One X, on the other hand, is a full £100 more expensive, costing around £450/$594 without any included title.
It is more powerful sure, but you have to pay a premium for the extra oomph.
Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Backward compatibility
One of the things current-gen console owners will be most worried about is what the two high-end consoles mean for their existing machines.
Thankfully, both manufacturers have taken strides to ensure that all games both existing and released going forward will be compatible across all PS4 and Xbox One models respectively.
Think of it like a PC. Some people have the ability to play games at 4K, others in Full HD, and others still are capped at lower resolutions depending on their graphics card. They can still all buy the same games though, which scale at a software level to offer the best experience possible per computer.
The PS4 Pro is able to play many archive games in higher resolutions and with HDR, thanks to a swathe of patches either applied now or coming soon.
And the Xbox One X has a mighty list of “enhanced” games, which come with similar improvements.
To be honest, at this stage it is hard to judge which of the two consoles is “the most powerful ever” as there aren’t enough enhanced games on Xbox One X yet to compare directly.
The Xbox One X spec list certainly suggests the new console will be in future though, although the price might put you off.
One thing’s for sure; it’s an exciting time to be a gamer.