By the end of next year, the video game landscape will look pretty different than it does today. For one thing, Microsoft will have the most powerful game console on the market. That’s thanks to the Xbox One Scorpio, which is slated for release by the end of 2017. Sony’s top-end product will be the PlayStation 4 Pro, which is more powerful than a standard PS4, but significantly less powerful than the Scorpio. Confusing matters further, the NX will be out, so unlike the Wii U era, Nintendo could actually make a difference in the console war.
So we’re looking at Xbox One Scorpio, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Nintendo NX. By power alone, Microsoft certainly has the upper hand. But that doesn’t mean the Xbox One Scorpio is destined to come out on top, and here’s why.
Power isn’t everything
The Xbox One Scorpio and PlayStation 4 Plus are both designed to take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies most people’s TVs don’t even support. Unless you have a new 4K resolution TV that supports High Dynamic Range (HDR), you’re not going to get the full benefits of these consoles.
There are plenty of reasons not to get rid of your current TV until it stops working, too. In terms of display technologies, we’re reaching a point of diminishing returns. Sure, TVs that support 4K and HDR are likely to look better than the 1080 televisions most of us have, but the jump isn’t enormous. It’s not nearly as striking as the leap from standard definition to HD. And because 4K and HDR are new technologies, televisions that support them are still pretty pricy, and the cheaper 4K TVs aren’t worth it.
But even putting all of that aside, if you really care about power and graphics, you probably already have a gaming PC. High-end gaming PCs can run circles around the consoles available today. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One Scorpio will narrow the gap a little, but the days of consoles outpacing gaming PCs in terms of power are over. If you want to run games at native 4K resolution while maintaining a silky smooth frame rate, a PC is your best bet — not the Xbox One Scorpio.