On September 7 the world finally got to see the PlayStation 4 Neo, now called the PlayStation 4 Pro, and the PlayStation 4 Slim, the worst kept secret by any company in recent memory. Along with the reveals came pricing and release date. Aside from that, not a whole lot happened. The conference itself was a snooze-fest. It was set up for informative purposes rather than entertainment but man, was it dry. I don’t know if it was the speakers or the information, but it was overall lackluster. If you haven’t seen it; just read the cliff notes of it. The only thing Sony was really trying to sell everyone on is how much prettier the games are going to look on the PS4 Pro. With double the power the games should look better. This of course is dependent on the type of TV you have. As for me, I think I will stick with my original PS4 “Amateur”.
I’m sure Microsoft was watching the conference and took notes on what not to do as far as the presentation is concerned. Mostly that it should be entertaining as well as informative. How Microsoft conveys the benefits of the Xbox Scorpio is going to be interesting to see and I’m sure they will be able to explain things a whole lot more clearly. However, as I was watching the PlayStation Press Conference I was wondering if Microsoft was going to have just as much trouble selling me on the Xbox Scorpio.
The biggest problem Microsoft faces is that the PS4 Pro and the Xbox Scorpio are essentially the same thing. Consoles that are much more powerful than the originals, but since they are part of the same ecosystem as the ones that came before. That power can’t be fully utilized when building a new game. The graphical leap like the PS1 had to the PS2 isn’t going to be there because the game has to work on the original Xbox one. It will be the same as playing a game on PC instead of console. Yes, the games will look better. The texture, the lighting, ETC., but the games are going to be essentially the same.
For example: If you think playing a game on the original Xbox one is like playing Resident Evil on PS1, and playing the same game is going to be like the Resident Evil: REmake on GameCube when it’s played on the Xbox Scorpio. You’re going to have a bad time. The actual difference is going to be like playing Gears of War: Ultimate on Xbox One versus playing Gears on PC at 4K maxed out. At least for the foreseeable future developers are going to be handcuffed into having to make games that work on the lowest common denominator, the original Xbox One. After the game works on the Xbox One, that’s when they start stacking the bells and whistles. That’s when the Xbox Scorpio development begins; same goes for the PS4 Pro.
This is more speculation on my part than anything else, but I think the original Xbox One support isn’t going to last for very long. The only reason I say that is the Xbox Scorpio is going to have a 4K UHD player. I’m sure we can all agree on that. How long before Microsoft starts using the UHD Blu-rays instead of regular ones? If all the 4K updates are going to be on the disk, storage space is going to be running short. Yes, they can have updates installed via Internet or just have multiple discs, but i think Microsoft will adopt UHD Blu-rays sooner rather than later. It might be a big factor as to why the Xbox One S came with a UHD drive in the first place. Aside from the obvious of coming out with something the PS4 (and PS4 Pro for an odd reason) doesn’t have and adding incentive to joining the Xbox brand.
The added headache that Microsoft has that Sony doesn’t is their Play Anywhere Program. Sony can sell some people on the PS4 Pro because you can’t play their exclusives on PC (first party PS4 at least). So it’s easier to say to someone if they want to play Sony games as close to PC specs as possible. They need to get a PS4 Pro. Microsoft can use that line on people that don’t care to ever play on PC (everyone saying they’re going to build a PC, yet they have only ever played on console; pipe down because I doubt it), but what about the people with PCs that also play on console? As someone that has a capable gaming rig I could care less about the Xbox Scorpio because I’ll be able to play all those first party games the same way.
I guess If anything I’m not sold on Sony’s or Microsoft’s console update because it’s only about power for looks. If the Xbox Scorpio was going to take full advantage of all that power and ignore the Xbox One, then I’d be looking at it seriously. With more power comes more ways to play games. Granted it’s up to the developers in regards to creativity and gameplay. Grand Theft Auto 3 could have never existed on the PS1, and most likely not the PS2 if the game had to work on the PS1 also. Power is important, but not in the way Sony and Microsoft are using it. If this is all that extra power is going to be used for; you’re better off investing in a PC.