Home / Opinions / PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S: Which console is the best?

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S: Which console should you buy?

by

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S: Which console should you get?

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S: We take an in-depth look at Sony and Microsoft's current flagship consoles and see how the specs, features, games and more stack up to help you decide which machine is right for you.

As well as comparing the two consoles, we’ll also answer plenty of common questions such as:

  • Which console is more powerful?
  • Will my existing games work on the console?
  • Can I use 4K Blu-rays?
  • Do I need a 4K HDR TV?

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S: Console Performance

The difference in performance between PS4 Pro and Xbox One S is pretty major, with the former having significantly higher specs while the latter represents a relatively modest upgrade over its predecessor.

Xbox One S is essentially the same machine as the 2013 launch model in terms of internal specs. There are minor differences when it comes to performance, although you’re unlikely to notice any discernible changes. PS4 Pro has received minor CPU improvements that have allowed for better performance in some kinds. Project Cars, for example, sees a 38 percent increase in performance with the PS4 Pro Boost Mode enabled. Unfortunately, visual quality remains unchanged.

We’ve compiled all of the specs below:

PS4 Pro Xbox One S
CPU 2.1GHz 8-Core AMD Jaguar 1.75 GHz 8-Core AMD Custom CPU
GPU 4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon Integrated AMD Graphics clocked at 914MHz
Memory 8GB GDDR5 + 1GB 8GB DDR3
HDR Yes Yes
4K Yes Streaming content only, gaming upscaled
Storage 1TB Hard Drive 500GB/1TB/2TB
USB 3 x USB 3.1 3 x USB 3.0
Wi-FI 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5.0GHz) Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi A/B/G/N/AC 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0

However, the Xbox One S is still the best Xbox One on the market. That is, until Project Scorpio comes onto the scene in winter 2017.

Related: Nintendo Switch Review

The PS4 Pro is a different beast when compared to the Xbox One S. Its internal components are a big improvement over the original model, as you can see in the above spec list. The newly implemented Boost Mode also allows players to gain extra benefits such as higher framerates across significantly more games, even those lacking a PS4 Pro-specific patch.

Related: Xbox One S vs Xbox One

Xbox One S

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Dimensions

The PS4 Pro is quite a bit wider than the Xbox One S, measuring in at 295 x 327 x 55mm where the One S is 229 x 292 x 63.5mm. It's also longer, but ever so slightly thinner.

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Resolution and HDR gaming

Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S support HDR (High Dynamic Range). For more on this colourful new feature you can check out our HDR article. The standard PS4 and PS4 Slim also now supports HDR thanks to a post-launch patch.

The core difference here isn’t HDR, but instead resolution: the PS4 Pro has the ability to output games at a resolution higher than Full HD. Since release we have seen certain titles render at a native 4K resolution while others settle for an upscaled alternative. Several developers are aiming for something “close to 4K resolution” with all future projects.

Whatever the elevated resolution is then be upscaled to 4K. If you’re playing in Full HD, you’ll end up with smoother anti-aliasing, meaning the divisions between objects on screen will be much smoother than on the regular PS4. Many of the PS4 Pro supported titles use a 4K “checkerboard” rendering technique that subsequently improves textures and specular effects, making for a cleaner, crisper overall image without putting out a native 4K resolution.

Developers are also free to take advantage of the additional power of the Pro however they see fit. In the instance of the recent, excellent Nioh, players were given the choice whether to play the game with a higher resolution or framerate with multiple settings, much like PC players enjoy.

The Xbox One S only upscales games to 4K with no enhancements aside from HDR, as mentioned above.

Related: Upcoming PS4 Games 2017

PS4 controller

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Boost Mode vs Ultra HD Blu-Ray

Features-wise, the two are very similar, but there’s one key differentiator that gives the Xbox One S a massive boost, and that’s its Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Incredibly, despite owning the UHD Blu-ray standard, Sony has chosen not to include the technology in its flagship console.

4K streaming is supported on YouTube and Netflix for both consoles, with more services on the way.

See also: Everything you need to know about 4K Blu-ray

ps4 pro

When it first launched the PS4 Pro was only capable of improving visuals and performance on titles officially patched by developers. However, this all changed with the arrival of Boost Mode, a new feature introduced in the PS4’s 4.50 firmware update.

When activated from the settings menu, this feature will improve performance of all PS4 titles, regardless if they’ve been patched or not. Of course, the results are mixed.

We’ll discover more about this new feature as it emerges from beta testing in the near future, along with which games best benefit from the rewards of Boost Mode.

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – What games can I play on it?

Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S support all existing games, whether they be physical or digital. Those wishing to upgrade don’t need to worry about re-purchasing their entire library.

In terms of games with visual benefits, specific games have been upgraded for both systems to support HDR content, with PS4 Pro being the only one to benefit from higher resolutions at the time of writing. We’ve compiled some specific games for each system below, including some of the things you can expect.

Best Games for PS4 Pro

Resident Evil 7 – Capcom’s latest survival horror masterpiece benefits hugely from HDR. The virtual reality experience is also enhanced by PS4 Pro with enhanced visuals on PlayStation VR.

The Last Guardian – Having launched with support for 4K and 1080p performance modes, Team Ico’s latest effort is a sight to behold. HDR is also supported on the standard PS4.

The Last of Us Remastered – Naughty Dog’s modern classic is a great showpiece for HDR. It also supports 4K at 60fps, which is nothing to sniff at.

Hitman – HDR support is absent, although both performance and textures are boosted on PS4 Pro.

Rise of the Tomb Raider – One of the shining examples of PS4 Pro upgrades. Crystal Dynamics has implemented visual improvements in both 4K and 1080p for Pro owners.

Battlefield 1 – The framerate across epic multiplayer battles receives a huge boost thanks to PS4 Pro, helped further by additional terrain detail on each map.

Best Xbox One S Games

Gears of War 4 – Acting as the pioneering example of HDR on Xbox One S, Gears of War 4 was the first of a few select titles to support the feature.

Forza Horizon 3 – Heralded as one of 2016’s best racers, Horizon 3 looks even better with a healthy dose of HDR on Xbox One S.

Final Fantasy 15 – It turns out HDR is just what Noctis and friends needed, adding an extra helping of colour to the JRPG’s gorgeous open world.

ReCore – It may have felt somewhat unfinished and underwhelming, but ReCore was a gorgeous sight to behold at times. The sandy environments are made even better with HDR enabled.

We’ll be updating this list as new titles are added, so be sure to check back.

See also: Upcoming Xbox One Games 2017

Xbox One S

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Conclusion

The Xbox One S and PS4 Pro are two very different consoles. It’s clear Microsoft has focused on delivering 4K video content, while Sony has tried its best to produce a more powerful console designed with gaming in mind. The upcoming Boost Mode feature is bound to sway a lot of consumers looking for a genuine difference between the Pro and original PS4.

Which of these consoles is best for you can differ depending on your love for fancy visuals, top notch games or 4K video content. If you haven’t found yourself wishing for higher framerates and crisper visuals on your current console than upgrading might not be the right choice, especially if you’re yet to invest in a 4K display.

You could also wait for Project Scorpio, which is promised to be the most powerful console yet.

Which console will you be buying? Let us know in the comments below.

JasonAcura

September 8, 2016, 12:37 am

Stunned that the PS4 Pro doesn't support 4k Blu-Rays, Might have to consider the Scorpio or S from Microsoft since I already have a PS4.

Nick

September 8, 2016, 1:13 am

You're comparing ps4 pro to xbox one s.... which is just a slim version of the xbox one? That's retarded. You should be comparing the ps4 slim to to the xbox one s.

dankgamer

September 8, 2016, 1:22 am

Well from a gamers perspective the PS4 Pro is great, great price, more powerful than the console that has sold 40 million and still has great 1st party games, i don't really give a toss about 4k blu ray, i have the Xbox One S and have only watched one blu ray on it so far, my only fear is the direction console gaming is going, the lines continue to be blurred with PC especially with Microsoft going full PC mode now as well, Nintendo and Sony to an extent are still going strong with the console formula and if PlayStation had a better controller id never have bought a 360 or X1, the games on PS4 appeal to me more, i still think Xbox is a great brand though, just that i am getting bored of Forza, Dead Rising, Halo and Gears now, i am a deep narrative deep story kinda guy

Chris Metea

September 8, 2016, 3:23 am

I think that's a pretty honest assessment. I agree, although I'll have to admit a slight twinge of jealousy because the new Forza really does look stunning.

F J

September 8, 2016, 5:03 am

Your essentially comparing a whole different brand. The competitor is the Xbox Scorpio or Project Scorpio. The One S should be compared to the PS4 Slim in which the One S comes out on top overall.

Jmac

September 8, 2016, 7:12 am

I think the comparison is a valid one - given what is available now (or will be in November, at least), what are the pros and cons of Microsoft's most powerful console vs Sony's. Of course Scorpio will be a whole different analysis, but if you're trying to decide which one is the best option for this holiday season, your choices are PS4 Pro or XB One S.

Jmac

September 8, 2016, 7:13 am

Why? It's a comparison of the best console on offer from each company in time for holiday season 2016.

Jmac

September 8, 2016, 7:15 am

I'm surprised too. I wonder if that is something they can add via a firmware update, since the hardware is clearly capable of decoding 4K streams, outputting 4K to HDMI with HDCP 2.2, and reading Blu-Ray discs. Seems very odd not to link all that together and enable 4K BR output.

fried_egg

September 8, 2016, 9:14 am

4K blueray really that important?

Fred Dinage

September 8, 2016, 10:00 am

Review nonsense purposely to get traffic

efnet

September 8, 2016, 10:34 am

Why is this but job putting the ps4 pro aginst the Xbox one s ? Lol it's ps4 slim vs Xbox one s and ps4 pro vs Xbox scorpio

sea rime

September 8, 2016, 10:46 am

and ps4 pro doesnt upscale it renders game at 4k ,who cares about movies go to the cinema if you wanna watch movies so go research before putting up a video

Hany Ribeiro

September 8, 2016, 10:58 am

of course, if your dam buying a ps4 for 4k delight with a 4k tv and your not going to watch blu ray movies in 4k?! DUh!!!

Eric Marr

September 8, 2016, 11:28 am

Its an upscale. They are sub 2160 so they are not 4K.

Michael Passingham

September 8, 2016, 11:37 am

@Fred Dinage @F J @Nick --Thanks all for your comments. I appreciate that these are two different machines, but it's a question that many people -- especially those who aren't following the market closely -- will be (and are) asking.

It's important for people to understand that these are two completely different interpretations of the mid-life console upgrade cycle. It's not really a case of winning or losing, but more a way to explain to our readers what they'll be getting if they choose to buy one or the other.

As I say in the final section:

"The Xbox One S and PS4 Pro are two very
different devices. Where Microsoft has focused on 4K video content,
Sony has gone all-out to produce a more powerful console specifically
for games.

Which of these things you prioritise is entirely up to
you. Or, if you prefer, you could wait until next year for the
super-powerful Xbox Scorpio, whatever that ends up being."

Michael Passingham

September 8, 2016, 11:41 am

Hi FJ, I've replied to your comment elsewhere in this thread. Thanks for reading!

Michael Passingham

September 8, 2016, 11:41 am

Hi Nick, I've replied to your comment elsewhere in this thread. Thanks for reading!

Michael Passingham

September 8, 2016, 11:41 am

Hi efnet, I've replied to your comment elsewhere in this thread. Thanks for reading!

Michael Passingham

September 8, 2016, 11:41 am

Hi Fred, I've replied to your comment elsewhere in this thread. Thanks for reading!

L'intelligent

September 8, 2016, 12:14 pm

For real... could have said it better.

dankgamer

September 8, 2016, 12:22 pm

Oh yeah of course, the Forza franchise is solid, i just think it's time for me to give PlayStation a chance again, i have always been Xbox pretty much since the OG Xbox came out of course i have had the PS1 PS2 PS3 but i have mainly gamed on Xbox due to the controller

JimboDeadite

September 8, 2016, 12:39 pm

Sony = Shit! Dead exclusives, and copies off of Nintendo and Microsoft. "Motion control" and "trophies" for examples....Certainly NOT original. If you want a High Powered Machine for games, PC is the way to go. Want good Consoles with great games, Nintendo and Xbox is the way to go. I've traded in my ps4, since uncharted 4 was the only exclusive worth playing!

Evil_Annie_2015

September 8, 2016, 2:44 pm

If Sony does not include an extra feature in their Console...WHO CARES!....go to the cinema...

If Sony increases PS plus price, WHO CARES!.....get a second job...

It seems that PS fanboys see Sony as a religion more than just their favorite console maker. In their minds "Sony can do no WRONG". :)

Jmac

September 8, 2016, 2:52 pm

Not necessarily true. It just needs to be able to read the higher density triple layer discs. There's no magic to a "4K BR Player" beyond that. The reason standalone BR decks can't be updated to 4K is (a) they don't have the processing hardware to decode H.265 video streams; or (b) they can't output 4K video with HDCP 2.2. Neither of these is a limitation of the PS4 Pro, so the only question is whether its BR drive is capable of reading 100GB triple layer discs. If it is (and there's really no reason why it shouldn't be), then 4K BR should be just a firmware update away.

Evil_Annie_2015

September 8, 2016, 2:56 pm

If you want to explain to your readers you should have at least included the PS slim in the comparisson. So do not be surprised that some readers will call you out for that since the Slim and S are escencially the smaller versions of the PS4 and XB1 with the excepcion that MS added more features to the S.

I suspect that you ignored the PS slim because it does not fare well (feature wise) vs the S. You want to promote the PS pro as mid-life cycle interpretation since it will look very weak vs what the Scorpio is targetting.

comments powered by Disqus