Let’s go head to head, spec to spec
Xbox tipped its hand the earliest, but Sony was the first to fully show it. Scorpio versus Pro. In this age of incremental console improvements, which of the two biggest platform-holders has the most impressive new trump card?
We can gander a guess from a technical standpoint. Today, Sony sent out a press release that details all the inner-workings of the Pro. For the Scorpio, we have to go by the E3 announcement video. There’s information there, but not the nitty gritty that Sony gave us.
Let’s get started:
With regard to CPU power, both systems have eight cores. The Pro has eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar cores. The Scorpio was just said to have “eight CPU cores.” This category’s a toss-up for now.
The GPU is the first area where one console has a decided advantage. The Pro features 4.20 teraflops from an AMD Radeon processor. Meanwhile, the Scorpio sports 6.0 teraflops of computing capability. Decided advantage to the Scorpio.
In terms of memory, we don’t quite know what to expect. The Pro has 8GB of GDDR5. The problem is that Xbox never made any mention of memory in the Scorpio video. The Xbox One S has 8GB of DDR3, if that means anything. It seems likely that Scorpio will probably match this, but we can’t say for sure. Let’s just call it undecided for now. (Correction: The Pro’s 8GB of GDDR5 memory is only video RAM. So, it’s an unfair comparison to Xbox One S’ system RAM. Right now, we don’t know what the Pro’s system RAM is. Which console does it better is still up in the air, though.)
As far as resolution goes, both systems are capable of supporting 4K. Sony made a big point to emphasize everything 4K and HDR; Xbox simply said “true 4K resolution.” However, the Pro is actually more limited at 4K, as it doesn’t support UHD Blu-ray. That’s something even Xbox One S does. It seems like Scorpio probably wins this one.
The rest of the categories are things that Xbox touched on but PlayStation didn’t. Scorpio will be able to render at 60Hz, and it’ll have access to 320 GB/s of memory bandwidth. These weren’t topics that were broached either during the PlayStation Meeting or in the press release Sony sent out.
Keeping aware of the fact that this is mostly still conjecture, it seems like the Scorpio will probably be the more powerful machine, even if just slightly. The edge in GPU is the most obvious factor. We haven’t gotten our hands on either yet, so who really knows? But, these are the known specs of both, thus far.
That being said, Sony holds a huge advantage that has nothing to do with the insides of these machines: It’s launching the Pro a full year earlier than Xbox is releasing the Scorpio. It’s reminiscent of the Xbox 360/PS3 launches. PS3 was the better machine, but 360 held a commanding share of the market for much of the generation simply because it was the first on the shelves. That could be the case for Pro and Scorpio. It’s not always about what’s better; sometimes it’s just about what you can buy first.