Hot on the heels of me explaining the reasons Microsoft’s new-fangled Xbox One X isn’t a “true 4K” system, Xbox chief Phil Spencer fires shots at Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro, claiming the same thing. In my post, I surmised that it requires about 12 TFLOPS of GPU horsepower to earn the designation of “true 4K gaming”, based on my experience with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (direct examples here). The Xbox One X’s 6 TFLOPS means that 4K gaming is possible, but to call it “true 4K” is misleading. True 4K to me would involve 60 FPS framerates; higher resolutions at the same meager 30 FPS is not attractive.
A direct quote from Spencer in Eurogamer‘s interview:
“I look at Pro as more of a competitor to S than I do to Xbox One X. This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it’s in a different league than any other console that’s out there.”
It’s humorous that Spencer, a man who two months before Project Scorpio’s reveal said that he didn’t see a point in an “Xbox one and a half”, thinks that the performance delta between the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X is so grand, that they’re each in a different league. In reality, that logic would mean that the OG Xbox One was never a competitor to the OG PS4, despite that obviously being the case.
|Xbox One S||Xbox One X||PS4||PS4 Pro|
The best measurement of performance we have with these consoles (and discrete graphics cards, for that matter) is their floating point operations per second (FLOPS) rating, which, for the most part, does translate well into real-world performance.
Based on those specs, the GPU in the original PlayStation 4 was 42% faster than the one in the Xbox One (1.84 vs. 1.3 TFLOPS). Clearly, for reasons even beyond this, both of these consoles have been direct competitors to one another, and few would argue otherwise.
The Xbox One X sports a 6 TFLOPS graphics solution, which is 43% better than the 4.2 TFLOPS in the PS4 Pro. It stands to reason, then, that with these similar performance deltas, the PS4 Pro is indeed a competitor to the Xbox One X, not the Xbox One S.
Microsoft’s Xbox One X (left) and Xbox One S (right)
To reiterate, the Xbox One X has a GPU 43% better than the PS4 Pro, and Spencer deems that it’s not a competitor. Meanwhile, the PS4 Pro has a GPU 323% better than the one belonging in the Xbox One S. It doesn’t add up.
All the while, neither solution deserves to be called “true 4K” in relation to gaming. In fact, that’s a marketing term at best, and can be fulfilled simply by running that resolution in general, even if it’s at 1 frame-per-second. If you want an actual “true 4K” experience, you want a PC (and a wallet not afraid of opening inside-out).
That assumes that 4K should even be a target. On the PC, you could get better views in games with 21:9 monitors, and save on performance at the same time. For that reason, I consider it to be the ultimate gaming solution on any platform (but since it’s only available for one…)