When comparing all four consoles there are plenty of differences to take into account. To make things easier, we’ve compiled them into a single table:
||Xbox One S|
|CPU||1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar||1.75GHz 8-core AMD custom CPU||2.1GHz 8-Core AMD Jaguar||1.75 GHz 8-Core AMD Custom CPU|
|GPU||1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon||Integrated AMD graphics clocked at 853MHz||4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon||Integrated AMD Graphics clocked at 914MHz|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5||8GB DDR3||8GB GDDR5 1GB||8GB DDR3|
|4K||No||No||Yes||Streaming content only, gaming upscaled|
|Storage||500GB & 1TB (upgradeable)||500GB & 1TB (supports external)||1TB Hard Drive||500GB/1TB/2TB|
|USB||2 x USB 3.1||3 x USB 3.0||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 2.4GHz and 5GHz||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|
As you can see, they all share a lot of similarities. They are mid-generational upgrades that are capable of making games look and perform better than their respective predecessors. They are also newer flagship consoles that are geared (and priced) towards enthusiasts with 4K TVs. But which one should you get?
Here are six reasons why the PS4 Pro is a great buy instead.
- The PS4 Pro is more than three times as powerful as the Xbox One S.
Probably the number one reason anyone should consider buying the PS4 Pro is horsepower.
From a purely power-minded perspective, the PS4 Pro is the beastlier machine. It boasts 4.14 teraflops.
Teraflops are a unit of computing speed equal to one trillion floating-point operations per second and, essentially, tell us how fast a computer is in very raw terms.
The PS4 Pro outstrips the Xbox One S by a wide margin, leaving Microsoft’s little console in the proverbial dust.
- Its 4K gaming is more robust.
Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S are billed as 4K-gaming machines. Neither console truly is, but both make their own attempt at 4K. Both also take advantage of HDR (or high-dynamic range) technology which vastly expands the color palette and richness of color in games and TV.
The Xbox One S attempts 4K gaming by upscaling in a fashion very similar to a 4K TV. This is the most rudimentary sort of upscaling available, and doesn’t fundamentally change the games in question.
The PlayStation 4 Pro, on the other hand, allows for much more in-depth upscaling that requires software-side programming in order to achieve. This means older PS4 games will need to be patched to work in the PS4 Pro’s 4K environment, and new games will operate in multiple game modes that will either take advantage of 4K television sets, or add greater detail and performance to 1080p gaming.
The PS4 Pro’s solution is more advanced, and promises much better results, which makes sense given how much more powerful its GPU is.
- Sony has better exclusives.
Sure, this is a subjective claim. So what? I’m of the mind that Sony has had in the past, and still does to this day, the better lineup of exclusive games from both first and third party developers. From Uncharted 4 to Bloodborne, the games out on PS4 right now beat Microsoft’s lineup, though I have to give Microsoft credit where it’s due: They are nipping at Sony’s heels in this regard, with more unique exclusives than I’ve ever seen before.
Still, the upcoming PS4 games look more exciting than what’s on offer from Microsoft. Whether that’s Horizon Zero Dawn or the new God of War.
Complicating matters, Microsoft has begun its “Play Anywhere” initiative. So long as you have a good gaming PC running Windows 10 Anniversary, you’ll be able to get most Xbox One exclusives in two-for-one deals and play them on your PC or Xbox One. That means you won’t even need an Xbox One S for a lot of Microsoft’s offerings. You can just play on your PC. In other words, if you care about exclusives, PS4 Pro is the way to go — especially if you already have a gaming PC.
- It’s more future-proof.
Longevity matters, and the PS4 Pro isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Your purchase will be good for at least a few years, until whatever Sony has next up its sleeve comes out.
- There are more people playing PS4 games.
Finally, the numbers matter. Over 40 million people have already purchased a PS4, and the number continues to grow. Xbox One is way behind, with just over 20 million units sold. That means the PS4 has more robust, active servers on all its online games.
And while Microsoft has a more reliable network, the PSN is going to be the place where most cross-platform titles launch first and with the most exclusive content, whether we’re talking about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or Destiny: Rise of Iron.
In the current generation of console wars, the PS4 is winning, and that has benefits for PlayStation users.
Here are six reasons why it makes more sense to buy an Xbox One S instead.
- Ultra-HD Blu-Ray
Both the Xbox One S and the PS4 Pro are taking advantage of 4K resolution and HDR (high-dynamic range) technology. But while the PS4 Pro boasts a more powerful processor and graphics chip, the Xbox One S is the only console available with a built-in Ultra-HD Blu-Ray player. This is important.
First, let’s get some definitions out of the way.
Most HD television sets right now boast a 1080p resolution. That’s “HD” and that’s also the resolution that a standard Blu-Ray disc plays at.
But now we have a new generation of TV technology called Ultra-HD. This displays at 4K resolution—essentially four times the pixel count of 1080p. It’s much more high-fidelity, and is mostly noticeable on bigger screens.
The only way to properly take advantage of this resolution is with Ultra-HD media. Ultra-HD Blu-Ray plays at 4K, basically four times that of regular Blu-Ray. While some websites like Netflix and YouTube and Amazon Prime all have 4K streaming options, streaming is always limited by internet speeds and compression.
This means that to truly take advantage of 4K media, the Xbox One S is your best option, since it’s the only gaming system that has an Ultra-HD Blu-Ray player. If you get a PS4 Pro and still want that feature, you’ll also need to buy an Ultra-HD Blu-Ray player.
- The Xbox One S is cheaper.
With all the above in mind, it’s important that we talk price. The PS4 Pro costs $399, which isn’t a bad price at all considering it’s a very powerful system.
However, the Xbox One S is just $299. That hundred dollars could go toward a new game and a second controller.
To be fair, the PS4 Pro is a more powerful console. If price isn’t an issue, then the PS4 Pro has the horsepower advantage. But the Xbox One S is absolutely the budget-friendly winner in this fight.
- The Xbox One S is bundled with five games.
There are various Xbox One S bundles you can buy, but by far the best deal out the gates is the standard Xbox One S that is also bundled with Halo 5 and the Halo Master Chief Collection.
That collection includes four games: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4.
That’s five Halo games and a brand new console, one of the best bundle deals I’ve seen pretty much ever. Of course, if you already have all those Halo games, one of the other bundles might make more sense.
- The Xbox One S will have mod support for games like Skyrim Remastered.
One of the exciting things about this generation of consoles, is just how similar the Xbox One and PS4 are to gaming computers. Sure, they’re not as powerful as the beefiest gaming PC, but they were closer, and they were going to offer us new features like mod support.
Leading that charge was publisher and developer Bethesda, the maker of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4. These are games that have a ton of support for user-generated content (mods) on PC. Soon, that feature was supposed to roll out on PS4.
- Backwards compatibility
If you’re upgrading from a last-gen console, your library of games may be an important determining factor in which new console to buy.
Unfortunately, the PlayStation 4 is not backwards compatible with PlayStation 3 games. Sony does offer a great subscription service—PlayStation Now—that lets you play PS3 and PS2 games on your PS4 (as well as other devices like your PC) and there’s also a number of top-notch remasters available on PlayStation 4. However, you can’t simply pop a PS3 disc into your PS4 and play it.
Not all Xbox 360 games are backwards compatible on Xbox One either. This isn’t an important feature to everybody, but it is nice to be able to trade in your old system, but still keep some of your favorite games.
- Xbox Live is still better than PSN
I was hoping that in 2018 I could happily report that Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network were both equally safe and secure and free from long stretches of downtime. Sadly, the fact remains that the PSN goes down more often than its Xbox counterpart. We report on PSN outages far more often than Xbox Live outages, and that’s still true in 2018.
And now that Xbox also offers Games with Gold, the free monthly games advantage that came with subscribing to PS+ has evaporated. The only remaining advantage to PlayStation’s network is the fact that you don’t need to pay for a subscription to use each and every online service, such as game demos and betas.
Still, at the end of the day if security and reliability are a concern, Xbox Live is the way to go, adding just one more reason to buy an Xbox One S over a PS4 Pro this holiday season.
These are some of the reasons that should help you decide, which one should you get?