The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are more powerful versions of the PS4 and Xbox One respectively. Despite promising to run games at 4K resolution with higher frame rates, they’re not based on new architecture. Instead, they come with bumps in areas like clock speed, memory, and video processing. It’s why they’re not called the PS5 and Xbox 2.
So, should you consider them if you already own a PS4 or an Xbox One? What if you don’t own either console and are jumping in for the first time - which one should you go for? We tell you.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X build quality
Released a year ago, the PS4 Pro sports an all-matte finish, unlike to the original PS4’s glossy and matte hybrid. There’s a USB port on the back that the PS4 Slim does not have. Despite resembling a PS4 Slim placed on top of an original PS4, it doesn’t look out of place with its rhombus-like dimensions. In our use of the PS4 Pro since its launch, we’ve come to notice that it scratches easily. More so if you end up moving it between rooms, which we’ve done several times over the year.
The design of the Xbox One X is a lot less complicated. It’s simply a black Xbox One S with a smaller footprint. Despite the lack of oomph and looking downright plain next to the PS4 Pro, this is far from a bad thing, as it doesn't stand out and looks unobtrusive in your house. With the ports and buttons layout identical to the Xbox One S, the familiar look and feel is rather comforting.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X specifications
The PS4 Pro CPU is around 31 percent faster than what it was on the PS4, while the GPU has a 2.3x more power. The Xbox One X has a 31 percent hike in terms of CPU, with a 4.6x spike in GPU performance.
Xbox One X Specifications
PS4 Pro specifications
As you can tell, the internals tell a different story with the Xbox One X having a new cooling system, 12 gigs of RAM, a 2.3GHz AMD Jaguar processor, and a 1TB hard drive that has around 780GB of usable space. The PS4 Pro on the other hand has a similar processor and hard drive, 8GB of RAM, and 4.2 teraflops of computing versus the Xbox One X’s 6 teraflops. You can use external hard drives on both, and in the Pro’s case, you can even replace the internal hard drive. Theoretically, this difference in hardware should result in the Xbox One X trouncing the PS4 Pro in every situation. Is this truly the case? It’s complicated.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X games
Some games like Final Fantasy XV show the Xbox One X performing better - holding a steady frame rate and better effects in a host of sequences. The PS4 Pro version of FFXV suffers from frame pacing - what this means is that the image does not look smooth even if the frame rate is what it should be. The Xbox One X does not suffer from any such issue.
Moving on to Assassin’s Creed Origins, the Xbox One X exhibited gorgeous detail at 4K with HDR and looked sharper than the PS4 Pro version. It didn’t have the fluid 60fps that can be achieved on PC, but it looked great regardless. Others like Mafia 3 and Homefront Revolution were a treat to see on the Xbox One X, sporting clear visuals and an improved frame rate that made it more enjoyable to play.
This is the case on both a 4K HDR TV and a regular 1080p. The benefit of a sharper 4K resolution translated well even on a full-HD screen in titles like Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of War.
That said, HDR proves to be a bigger incentive to upgrade. Star Wars Battlefront 2’s scenes and Assassin’s Creed Origins’ take on ancient Egypt really benefit from this. Of course, it varies from game to game, though those that have implemented HDR seem to have done a good enough job to justify splurging for a 4K HDR TV.
However the gains weren’t as apparent in other titles like LA Noire, Titanfall 2, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Skyrim, and Fallout 4. They looked a tad better on the Xbox One X and played smoother too versus the PS4 Pro but not by enough to warrant the premium for the console. This might change as more Xbox One X updates roll out.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X exclusives
While the situation isn’t exactly as cut and dry as it should be with games available on both consoles, titles exclusive to either platform tell a different story.
Horizon Zero Dawn on PS4 Pro is a treat to behold on the right 4K HDR TV, as are Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and GT Sport. Granted, the PS4 Pro might not have as much as horsepower as the Xbox One X, but Sony’s first-party games take full advantage of what’s available. This augurs well if you’re looking beyond the current roster of PS4 exclusives what with Spider-Man, Days Gone, The Last of Us Part 2, and God of War slated for 2018 release.
On the Xbox One X, Gears of War 4 spearheads Microsoft’s exclusive output. HDR implementation is superb allowing for scenery that’s even more pleasing to look at compared to an already stunning Xbox One S release. The option to toggle between 60fps at 1080p or 4K at 30fps is welcome, and something we wish more games would implement. Even the likes of Halo 5: Guardians gets the Xbox One X treatment, sporting a 4K resolution that makes returning to this game on the right display an experience that’s near transformative. Though mercenary with its micro-transactions, Forza 7 is an equally competent effort, side by side next to the PC version at 4K with all bells and whistles turned on, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
All of this bodes well for upcoming Xbox One X titles like Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) to name a few. Hopefully Microsoft announces more Xbox One exclusives to justify the Xbox One X, but we’ll have to wait closer to E3 2018 to see what the company has in store for us.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X bandwidth usage
It goes without saying that before even considering either console, you will need a fast Internet connection. Reason being, you'll need to download patches for games and system updates too. Throw in an increasing number of games having online and multiplayer components, ensures that you’ll need a fast and reliable Internet connection.
This is further necessitated by updates to existing games to enable 4K and HDR support. A month with the Xbox One X saw us download close to 1.3TB data. Titles like Gears of War 4 and Halo 5 — while receiving 27GB and 15GB updates respectively- forced us to download them in their entirety, clocking in around 100GB each. Games available on both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro like Hitman and Skyrim were a lot more forgiving at 4GB and 8GB respectively.
Sony doesn’t treat the PS4 and PS4 Pro as different consoles with both downloading the same set of updates and patches. Having said that, we never used more than 300GB a month downloading games and updates on the PS4 Pro.
All of this results in a situation that demands a generous data cap (or FUP as it’s known as in India). As for speed, in our experience, 5Mbps at the very least is what you’d need.
PS4 Pro pros and cons
Sony’s lack of transparency in communicating what the benefits of the PS4 Pro are is a major failing. At a glance, every title hides its specific upgrades like a higher frame rate or 4K resolution under the blanket term ‘PS4 Pro Enhanced’.
The rest of the PS4 Pro plus and minus points extend to the PS4 as well. For one, the sheer wealth of exclusive games alone makes the PS4 Pro worth a purchase. This doesn’t even count PS VR. Sure virtual reality hasn’t had its Mario moment yet but Sony’s implementation is surprisingly good in certain titles like Resident Evil 7 and GT Sport.
On the other hand, there’s no backwards compatibility. Aside from select PS1 and PS2 titles, you can’t play your PS3 games on the PS4 or PS4 Pro.
Also, PlayStation Network (PSN) — Sony’s online gaming and digital distribution service - isn’t the most reliable. It’s prone to suffering from downtime and connectivity issues during busy periods of the year like Christmas.
Furthermore, Indian users are never sure if their debit or credit cards work on PSN as Sony India still hasn’t rolled out support for all payment options, and you can’t buy prepaid cards for India yet either. It makes creating a US account necessary.
Xbox One X pros and cons
As we’ve stated earlier in this piece, you will need a solid Internet connection to make use of what the Xbox One X has to offer in way of patches and updates. This aside, game performance in third-party games ranges from superlative to sub-par, though on the whole, it deserves its ‘most powerful console ever’ billing. This is further helped by the fact that Microsoft’s messaging on Xbox One X is a whole lot more detailed, to the point where intricacies like the method of 4K rendering are explained.
Much like the PS4 and PS4 Pro, the following positives and negatives extend to the Xbox One, Xbox One S as well as the Xbox One X. Original Xbox and Xbox 360 backwards compatibility is welcome. It’s nice to be able to dip into classics like Knights of the Old Republic and Gears of War 2 before going back to current hits like Halo 5.
After the high-profile cancellation of Scalebound and delays to anticipated games like Crackdown 3, the Xbox One X has a glaring lack of exclusive content. Even last generation stalwarts like Halo and Gears of War haven’t had as many new entries as you’d expect. This might change with Sea of Thieves and PUBG making their way to the console, and hopefully Microsoft has a few exclusives that are secretly in development that ensure the Xbox One X isn’t a $499 paperweight.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X - price, availability, and warranty
The PS4 Pro retails for $399 in the US and Rs. 38,990 in India. It launched in India earlier this year but has been out of stock after its initial shipment. In the grey market, the console is available at around Rs. 32,000. It’s a similar situation for the Xbox One X in the sense that you can’t buy it India officially with Microsoft India not having a release date pegged for the console. In the US it’s priced at $499 and its price in various cities in India ranges between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 45,000. Bear in mind that neither console has international warranty, something to note depending where you plan to use either.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X - what to buy?
If you already own a PS4 or Xbox One, we wouldn’t recommend either unless you’re sensitive about having a better frame rate or have a 4K HDR TV to make full use of the visuals they have to offer. If you’re just jumping in, it depends what you can get your hands on. Internationally, both are easy to get. In India, neither is available officially (despite Sony India officially having the PS4 Pro at stores for awhile, you can’t find one right now). The Xbox One X doesn’t have an India release date just yet either. Which means you’ll have to import or buy via the grey market. If you’re looking to play PS4 exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted The Lost Legacy and upcoming titles like God of War, stick with the PS4 Pro. But if third-party games like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Rise of the Tomb Raider are what you want to play, get the Xbox One X.