Microsoft and Sony are head to head again in the console wars, and this time it is Microsoft’s Xbox One X vs Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro in the battle for the top spot for HDR / 4K gaming supremacy.
What we have done below is taken a look at both machines, and analysed the pros and cons of each to hopefully help you decide which platform is best for you and your gaming requirements.
We have compared games, cross-platform gaming, exclusive games, backwards compatibility, online communities, and subscription services amongst other things, and we hope you enjoy the read.
True 4K Gaming: Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro
The main difference that you will find between the two consoles here is that while the Xbox One X will offer true native 4K gaming for Xbox One Games, the PS4 Pro doesn’t have the same facility for its PS4 games. Only a few titles are actually native 4K on the PS4 Pro, the rest are upscaled with clever techniques that give the impression of 4K high-resolution gaming.
Backwards compatibility is a big thing for a lot of gamers, especially when there are games that are close to your heart, and you want to replay again in the future.
This isn’t really a viable option with the PlayStation ecosystem, as Sony hasn’t offered any true backwards compatibility between systems. By backwards compatibility, I mean putting in a PS3 game or even PS2 into the system and playing it on the console. Sony just hasn’t added that kind of emulator support and they likely never will in my honest opinion.
On the other hand, Sony does actually provide a paid service by the name of PlayStation Now, which is now offering more and more of their older titles to be able to play that were originally made for the older PlayStation consoles. However, you’ll need a decent internet connection because these games are rendered in the cloud somewhere and streamed back to your system. You cannot download them and play later.
When you consider the huge amount of work Xbox has put into backwards compatibility over the past few years to get itself back on top after it’s rocky Xbox One launch, the comparison between Xbox and PlayStation are quite frankly laughable.
Xbox One X & PS4 Pro Enhanced Games List
Xbox are very transparent here, readily providing a detailed list of Xbox One X enhanced titles for both current gen and much older titles like Fallout 3 and Halo 3.
I must admit I never thought I’d see Halo 3 – a title so close to my heart – available in its original form with HDR support.
PlayStation on the other hand…
Well, the systems been out a full year longer than the Xbox One X and there is no list on PlayStations official webpage. I did, however, manage to dig this list up after a quick search.
As you can see, there is a vast difference in supported games that get a benefit from the extra horsepower these systems provide. Microsoft recently announced that Xbox One X now supports 100 games, whereas PlayStation might be sitting pretty around the 30 mark of titles that benefit from this added power.
Not a good showing for the PS4 Pro here then.
I also want to note here that the Xbox One X launched with nearly all Xbox first party titles receiving Xbox One X enhanced support, with the final game Forza Horizon 3 receiving its patch in January.
Online multiplayer is now very popular across both platforms, with fans of both sides claiming their machines are better online than the others. So, on that note, let’s dive into the online subscription services for both, and the costs associated with them.
Looking at Xbox Live first. Xbox Live Golds subscription is currently £39.99 per annum if paid upfront on an annual basis, meaning you’ll have full access to online gaming and cross platform-play gaming across your gaming library on an unlimited basis within that 12-month period from the date of purchase.
Purchasing an Xbox Live Gold package also provides you with exclusive gold member discounts and games to play. Membership certainly has its perks then, as you can also receive up to £500 worth of games for free during a year’s worth of membership. These also include backwards compatible Xbox 360 games.
Games currently available to with Xbox Games for Gold in February 2018 are:
- Shadow Warrior (February 1-28)
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India (February 16-March 15)
- Split/Second (February 1-15)
- Crazy Taxi (February 16-28)
Moving Along to the PS4, the online subscription for PlayStation has now changed almost forcing you to purchase a subscription to PlayStation Plus to get the most from the system, which now costs £49.99 per annum after the recent £10 price increase. This will also give you full access to the online multiplayer facility, along with monthly games available for you to download at no extra cost and, of course, exclusive discounts on other items within the network.
Games currently available to with PlayStation Plus games in February 2018 include:
- Grand Kingdom
- Spelunker HD
- Mugen Souls Z
- Grand Kingdom
- Exile’s End
Again, similar to the Xbox subscription, these free games change monthly (and sometimes sooner), giving you the best chance of playing a wider variety of games, including those you may have never considered playing.
As mentioned above, both the Xbox and PlayStation subscription services also give you exclusive discounts on the purchasing of new games. In all fairness, they can offer a fair bit of money off in comparison to the RRP, as an incentive to keep paying for membership.
What you need to consider here is that Xbox Live membership has been going strong since 2002 with the Xbox’s original release, whereas PS Plus is a relatively new service launching in 2010. The price for Xbox live has also stayed the same, at £39.99 since initial conception. Is PlayStation really being competitive here by increasing their membership cost this late in the game?
It’s also worth considering that PlayStations servers have been hacked on numerous occasions by different hacker groups over the years, affecting both the online service and putting its member’s private details at risk. The same cannot be said for Xbox, likely due to Xbox being a part of Microsoft, who are of course responsible for the most used operating system in the world Microsoft Windows.
The so company probably know a thing or two about security, right?
Rounding off the online memberships for both systems, both platforms offer cloud storage for your game saves. If the worst were to happen to your system, your save data would at least be safe. PS Plus offers 10gbs of cloud storage with its membership, which is plenty given the size of modern game saves, Xbox Live, on the other hand, handles things a little differently.
I myself have never seen a size on my Xbox One for cloud storage space, so I had to look this one up for you guys, Xbox.com states:
“On Xbox One, each game is provided storage. As a user’s game library grows, so does their cloud storage, and an Xbox Live Gold subscription isn’t required. This gives Xbox One users unlimited cloud storage based on their library size.”
Unlimited cloud storage even if you aren’t a subscriber? Top showing here from Xbox.
Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Console Breakdown
Now, let us take a look at both consoles separately, in order to understand more about which one could be best suited for your requirements.
I’ve also scouted around the web to gather collective information from the gaming community and added their thoughts to this comparison:
PlayStation 4 Pro
The PlayStation 4 Pro is very similar in its design to the original PS4. It does, however, bring an updated edge to its aesthetic, by losing the rounded edges in favour on a more striking and sharp design.
The initial start-up of the console is still rapid due to it’s minimalistic GUI dashboard that’s been largely the same as it has been for years. However, after this is things start to slow down a bit.
If you’re coming from another PS4, you’ll need to start the data transfer to move all of your game saves/game data from your previous system. This can take some time depending on what you’re transferring over.
Overall on the performance side, notable points are:
- There is a simple but slow data transfer process
- There are limited benefits for those who own a 1080p TV
- If you have a 4K TV, the picture looks great and will blow you away
- There has been a substantial improvement in quality for virtual reality titles, so if this is your thing then be prepared to notice a significant positive difference.
The Gaming Community – Likes
Based on other independent reviews and sources, collectively the community has following likes from the new PlayStation 4 Pro:
- 4k resolution gaming – makes some of your favourite gaming titles look absolutely unreal.
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) capabilities giving you one of the best visual experiences across any console (providing your TV has this facility).
- Larger 1TB hard drive in comparison to the PS4.
- Upgraded 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna.
- Faster download speeds when it comes to games
- Across the board 1080p gaming supersampling (introduced in PS4 system update 5.50)
- The Last of Us remastered in beautiful HDR/4K
The Gaming Community – Dislikes
Based on other independent reviews and sources, collectively the community has the following dislikes from the new PlayStation 4 Pro:
- Lack of a 4K UHD Blu-ray player
- Extra processing power only benefits certain games that have been coded by the developer to support the extra power
- Only 30 games have initially been allocated to receive the extra processing power
- No plans for upcoming Dolby Atmos support
PlayStation 4 Pro Overall
Overall, if you are already immersed in the world of 4K HDR TV’s, then this could be a great investment for you. If you have yet to make the crossover into the world of HDR/4K, or VR, then you may want to hold off purchasing a console at the moment and see what else comes up in the near future – as rumour has it that the PS5 is only a few years away!
Xbox One X
Games look incredible across the board, no matter whether you are using a 1080p TV or playing the games in HDR/4K.
This new console is touted as the worlds most powerful console. Games are designed to run at a native 4K resolution and are also sporting 60 frames per second which leaves you with an outstanding picture and gaming experience. Most of these right now are first-party titles, with most third-party titles still supporting 4K native textures but capped to a 30fps frame rate. However, many of these titles offer a super crisp highly textured 1080p option that boasts the 60fps frame rate, given gamers their choice of preference over the two.
The Gaming Community – Likes
Based on other independent reviews and sources, collectively the community has following likes from the new Xbox One X:
- It is a premium console through and through
- When hooked up to a decent 4K HDR screen, the console plays games at an incredibly high level of detail.
- If you watch a 4K Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos sound, you will have a truly wonderful cinematic experience, up there with anything you’ve ever experienced.
- It is the pinnacle of console gaming in its present form.
The Gaming Community – Dislikes
Based on other independent reviews and sources, collectively the community has following dislikes when it comes to the new Xbox One X:
- Slightly overpriced given that the PlayStation 4 Pro isn’t far behind.
- The 1tb hard drive can be filled up quite quickly given that several games have 100GB + downloads (incl. Gears of War 4, Forza Motorsport 7, and Quantum Break).
Xbox One X Overall
This machine has been dubbed as the pinnacle of console gaming, but the main question to ask yourself when it comes to deciding if you want to purchase one should be – ‘Will I appreciate the extra horsepower it provides?’
If you are the type of person to sit back and appreciate the picture quality in various games, then this console would be a sound investment for you.
On the other hand, if you are the type of person that just enjoys playing games that are good looking on a screen, maybe hold off buying this console and look at the much cheaper Xbox One S (that we reviewed here) as it will do exactly what you are looking for with no added bells and whistles.
Our Honest Summary of the Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro
So, there you have it.
Two reviews, two different consoles.
As you can see, there are pros and cons, positives and negatives to each one, so read through carefully before you make any purchase decisions to make sure that you know exactly what you are getting for your money.
For now, that is it from us. However, we have also compiled a neat little table below which gives you the system specs for both consoles side by side so that you can compare and contrast with ease.
|XBOX ONE X||PS4 PRO|
|UK RELEASE PRICE||£450||£349|
|RELEASE DATE (UK)||Out Now||Out Now|
|CPU||Eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz||2.1GHz 8-core AMD custom “Jaguar” CPU|
|GPU||Integrated AMD graphics with 6 teraflops of performance||Integrated AMD Polaris graphics with 4.2 teraflops of performance|
|RAM||12GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
|STORAGE||1TB 2.5 inch||1TB 2.5 inch|
|MEMORY BANDWITH||326GB / sec||218GB / sec|
|DIMENSIONS||11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4 inches, the “smallest Xbox ever”||12.8 x 11.6 x 2.1 inches|
|WEIGHT||8.4 pounds||7.2 pounds|
|OPTICAL DRIVE||4K / HDR Blu-ray drive||Blu-ray / DVD|
|Dolby Atmos Support||Yes (with app)||No|
We hope you’ve enjoyed our comparison between the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X consoles here, and we hope you stick around to see more from us in the coming weeks, months and years.