For the first time since the dawn of gaming, we’re getting mid-cycle consoles that change the baseline performance and features within a single generation. The PS4 Pro and the Xbox One S go beyond simple “slim” models, and instead offer a different experience within the same cycle.
Simply put, Xbox One S isn’t Xbox 2, and PS4 Pro isn’t PS5. These are mid-generation refreshes. Now that we know the specs of both machines and their features, it’s time to put them to the test. Xbox One S vs PS4 Pro: which one is better? Time to find out!
Round One: Hardware and Specs
We’ll start by looking under the hood. Let’s look at the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One S hardware specifications:
1. The Xbox One S
Functionally speaking, the Xbox One S is almost identical to the standard Xbox One model. That being said, it does bring some new features to the table, and the option for larger hard drives. For starters, the Xbox One S has support for High Dynamic Range or HDR. This is a feature specific to newer (and very expensive) televisions.
It allows colors to be displayed in a much wider spectrum, which offers greater contrast and quality for your images. Paired with 4K, it’s truly a spectacular view. While the Xbox One S doesn’t have support for 4K gaming, it does support 4K output for your streaming services, and 4K Blu-Ray discs.
You can find models with hard drives up to 2TB in size, which is the largest we’ve seen yet from Microsoft’s console. Finally, the system is 40% smaller than the Xbox One.
2. The PS4 Pro
The PS4 Pro immediately makes a statement in terms of hardware. The system boasts some impressive specs over the PS4. For starters, the processor has received a boost, and the GPU has been almost doubled in terms of power. It went from 1.84 Teraflops to 4.20 Teraflops of power.
The standard hard drive has been doubled from 500GB to 1TB in capacity, and of course the option is still there to upgrade it further. In terms of power, the PS4 Pro is the clear winner here.
Round Two: 4K Support
In terms of 4K support, Xbox One S can display streaming video at 4K and also supports 4K UHD Blu-Rays. It does not have the horsepower for 4K gaming, so that’s off the table. As mentioned earlier, it does support HDR, which is a feature many 4K televisions have.
Looking at the PS4 Pro, the system supports 4K gaming, but it is an upscaled version of the resolution as opposed to a native 4K picture. It also supports 4K streaming content.
However, it’s worth noting that the Xbox One S has support for 4K UHD Blu-Rays, and the PS4 Pro does not. It’s a decision that Sony has justified by saying that their user base is more interested in streaming content, but it’s still a baffling decision given that Sony owns the patents for 4K Blu-Ray.
In the end, though, the price is lower on the PS4 Pro because of this missing feature, but we’ll get to that in the next round.
Round Three: Price
The lack of 4K Blu-Ray support in the PS4 Pro is most likely the reason behind its attractive $399 price point. This is also the launch price of the standard PS4, so Sony managed to avoid sticker shock by using a familiar pricing model.
There’s only one model of the PS4 Pro, but if we look at the Xbox One S, there’s a few options. There are 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB models of the system. The 2TB model was a launch edition for $399, but it has since been sold out at most retailers.
That being said, it’s coming back as a limited edition console for Gears of War 4, with several colors and a Gears of War system to choose from that start at $299. Otherwise, the standard 500GB is $299 and the 1TB model is $349.
So, with PS4 Pro, you’re getting just one model and price point to choose from, while Xbox One S offers several different price points and storage options.
The Winner is Declared!
Now that we’ve broken everything down, there are some clear winners in each category. In terms of hardware, PS4 Pro wins by a longshot because Xbox One S isn’t that much different than the standard model.
In terms of 4K support, both have decent offerings, but the PS4 Pro has the edge in terms of 4K gaming support. Microsoft pushes back with their support for 4K UHD Blu-Ray, so while the PS4 Pro probably wins here, it depends on if you’re looking for 4K game support, or if you’re looking for maximum 4K video support.
Finally, when it comes to pricing, Xbox One S offers several different tiers, but they only differ by about $100. PS4 Pro only offers one price point, but it’s no more than what we paid for the PS4 when it released, which is a great deal considering the increase in horsepower.
In the end, the PS4 Pro comes out on top for those who want the most power and the most 4K options. If you’re a 4K enthusiast who values streaming support and 4K Blu-Ray support over gaming, then the Xbox One S has what you need.
What do you think? Which system is best for your needs? Let us know in the comments!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 10/3/16