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

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PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S: We compare the two latest consoles from Sony and Microsoft and see how their specs and key features stack up to help you decide which console to buy this Christmas.

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Performance

The performance difference between the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S is pretty huge, and this directly affects what the two are capable of.

The Xbox One S is essentially the same machine as the Xbox One in terms of internal specs. There are very minor performance differences in specific circumstances, but for all intents and purposes it’s the same machine. This makes life easier for developers.

Related: Xbox Scorpio latest news

The PS4 Pro, meanwhile, has had some significant performance boosts and what looks like entirely new hardware – it’s twice as powerful as the PS4 at certain tasks. There’s better processing performance and what sounds like an entirely new graphics chip from AMD, using the firm’s Polaris architecture that made the Radeon RX 480 PC graphics card such an amazing piece of kit.

In terms of raw power, the PS4 Pro's graphics chip is rated at 4 TFLOPS (trillion floating point operations per second), where the Xbox One is at around 1.4TFLOPS.

As a result, the PS4 Pro is able to deliver higher-resolution content, which we’ll get to in our next section…

Related: Xbox One VS Xbox One S

Watch: Everything you need to know about the PS4 Pro

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Resolution and HDR gaming

Both the Xbox One S and the PS4 Pro support HDR. For more on that check out our HDR explainer article.

The difference between the two here is that the PS4 is able to output games at a higher resolution than Full HD. Unfortunately, Sony hasn’t said exactly what that resolution is, but on the company’s follow-up stream after its “PlayStation Meeting” event, several game developers spoke of “close to 4K resolution”.

It looks like whatever the elevated resolution is will 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.

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

For raw gaming performance, then, the PS4 Pro looks like a clear winner here, although we’ll obviously have to get one in for testing before we say that conclusively.

Related: Best PS4 Deals

PS4 Pro – No 4K 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 new flagship console.

This is quite a stunning omission and points towards two things: a future console that actually includes a 4K Blu-ray player, and the fact that Sony is desperate to undercut Microsoft’s competitively priced Xbox One S.

Either way, anybody who was hoping to watch the latest movies in Ultra HD in disc form will have to shell out upwards of £400 for a separate 4K Blu-ray player.

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

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – HDR and 4K content

If you were never planning on buying 4K Blu-rays, you won’t miss the Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

Related: PS4 Pro vs PS4: Which one should you buy?

PS4 Pro

Both the Xbox One and PS4 Pro support streaming 4K and HDR content from the likes of YouTube and Netflix, with more services on the way to both.

Of course, you’ll need a 4K HDR TV to enjoy any of this stuff.

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Games

Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S support all the games designed for the PS4 and Xbox One S respectively. Some new PS4 games, including Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, will support PS4 Pro out of the box, while any that don’t will still work just fine, but will just be upscaled to 4K without any extra graphical enhancements.

The same applies to the Xbox One S – some new games will get HDR support, but those that don’t will still work.

Related: Best Xbox Deals

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Dimensions

The PS4 pro is significantly 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 - Best Deals

Buy Now: PS4 Pro at Amazon.com from $399.99

Best Deals for Sony PS4 Pro

  • amazon
  • ebay

Buy Now: 500GB Xbox One S with Battlefield 1 at Amazon.com from $299

Buy Now: 1TB Xbox One S with Madden 17 at Amazon.com from $327

Buy Now: 2TB Xbox One S at Amazon.com from $399

Best Deals for Microsoft Xbox One S

  • amazon
  • ebay

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One S – Conclusion

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.

Which console will you be buying? Let us know

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.

NoUseForAName2016

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.

NoUseForAName2016

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.

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