Head-To-Head: Xbox One X VS PS4 Pro
The Xbox One X and the PlayStation 4 Pro share a lot of similarities. Both are mid-generational upgrades that are capable of making games look and perform better than their respective predecessors. Both are also newer flagship consoles that are geared (and priced) towards enthusiasts with 4KTVs. But which one should you get? In this head-to-head article, we’ll break down winners across five categories: specs, design, game library, operating system, and value/features.
|Xbox One X||PlayStation 4 Pro|
|CPU||2.3GHz 8-core AMD custom CPU||2.1GHz 8-core AMD custom “Jaguar” CPU|
|GPU||Integrated AMD graphics with 6 teraflops of performance||Integrated AMD graphics with 4.2 teraflops of performance|
|RAM||12GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
|Storage||1TB HDD||1TB HDD|
|Optical Drive||4K HDR Blu-ray/DVD||Blu-ray/DVD|
Just looking at the comparative spec chart above, it’s hard to see how the PS4 Pro can win here. The Xbox One X essentially has more of almost everything.
Both consoles use a custom 8-core AMD CPU, but the Xbox One X’s processor is clocked 200MHz faster at 2.3GHz. In the GPU department, the Xbox One X has an even bigger advantage. Microsoft’s recently-released console offers six teraflops of graphics performance. This is 1.4 times as much as the PS4 Pro.
The Xbox One X also offers 12GB of GDDR5 RAM. Microsoft says that 3GB of it is reserved for operating-system tasks, with the rest of the 9GB going towards games. This, alone, is more than the entirety of the PS4 Pro’s 8GB GDDR5 allotment.
In terms of storage, both consoles offer a 1TB hard drive and allow you to use external USB drives for additional storage. One advantage that the PS4 Pro offers is that it allows you to swap the HDD out for an SSD or bigger drive.
While the PS4 Pro has a Blu-ray player, only the Xbox One X has one that’s capable of playing 4K HDR media.
Ultimately, real-world performance is going to come down to how developers can leverage either console’s hardware, but on paper, the Xbox One X has better overall specs.
Winner: Xbox One X
Both consoles sport a matte black finish. Arguably the biggest difference between them is that the Xbox One X is significantly smaller at 11.8×9.5×2.4 inches (29.9×24.1×6 cm), which makes it Microsoft’s smallest console yet. In comparison, the PS4 Pro measures a much larger 12.8×11.6×2.1 inches (32.5×29.4×5.3 cm). Despite its smaller size, the Xbox One X is 1.2 pounds heavier than the PS4 Pro, weighing 8.4 pounds.
In terms of ports, both consoles offer three USB 3.0 ports, SPDIF, and Ethernet connections. The PS4 Pro does have a port for its PlayStation Camera, however, whereas the Xbox One X features an extra HDMI-in and an IR-out.
Both consoles run very quiet, but the Xbox One X does run warmer and consumes more power. In our testing, we clocked the Xbox One X consuming over 170 watts during gameplay. At the same time, temperatures rose past 61 degrees Celcius. Conversely, we clocked the PS4 Pro consuming around 150 watts with temperatures hovering in the mid 40 degrees C during similar tests.
Despite this, we’re going to give the nod to the Xbox One X for its smaller footprint and its clean, minimalist design.
Winner: Xbox One X
To make this comparison as objective as possible, we counted all the games that scored 70 and above on our sister site Metacritic to see which console offered more compelling games.
At the time of this writing, the PS4’s library comes ahead with 796 games. It’s exclusives consists of notable games like Persona 5, Uncharted 4, Bloodborne, and Horizon Zero Dawn.
The Xbox One’s library consists of 563 games that have scored a 70 and above. It’s anchored by console exclusives such as Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Ori and the Blind Forest, Cuphead, and Killer Instinct. It’s important to note that if you missed the Xbox 360 generation, Microsoft has enabled backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games, too; some of which will get Xbox One X enhancements.
This category should ultimately come down to your personal preference, but when you look at the raw numbers comparing this generation’s games, Sony’s console currently comes out ahead here.
Winner: PS4 Pro
While the user interface for PlayStation’s operating system is simpler than Microsoft’s, the Xbox One’s UI has undergone numerous overhauls. Its newest dashboard, released last month, is its most responsive and arguably best iteration yet.
It still has a deeper learning curve than the comparatively minimalistic PlayStation equivalent, but it offers more features like 4K video capture, Cortana voice support, and integrates Microsoft’s Mixer streaming app into the OS, which provides lower latency video streams than Twitch.
While Xbox’s new dashboard offers slightly more features, it is less intuitive than Sony’s solution. Whereas the PlayStation UI pushes a simpler design that puts a greater emphasis on your games, Microsoft’s UI is more cluttered and highlights news, deals, games, apps, and entertainment. The Xbox One operating system does allow you to simplify navigating by allowing to you pin your favorite apps and games to the home menu, however.
Both Microsoft and Sony’s UI have their strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of the day, owners will mostly use their consoles to play games and stream movies/TV shows. Both systems support your standard array of popular video streaming apps that include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video and more. Considering both consoles do good jobs of getting you to your most-played games and apps, we’re calling this one a draw.
Value and Features
The Xbox One X comes with AA batteries to supplement its included controller, whereas Sony bundles in a supplemental USB charging cable with its peripheral. We prefer Sony’s solution a bit better here since it saves users the trouble of purchasing additional batteries. The PS4 Pro also includes a mono headset, whereas the Xbox One X does not.
While you can stream 4K HDR videos on the PS4 Pro, Sony’s console doesn’t come with a physical 4K HDR Blu-ray player like the Xbox One X. Microsoft’s console does cost $100 more at $500, however. Another advantage that the PS4 Pro offers is that it supports virtual reality through its PlayStation VR headset. Microsoft’s console currently does not support VR.
When we take into consideration its cheaper price tag, included goodies, and VR support, we’re going to give the PS4 Pro the nod when it comes to value and features.
Winner: PS4 Pro
Coming into the conclusion, we have two wins for the Xbox One X and two wins for the PlayStation 4 Pro. As we’ve highlighted in this story, both consoles have their strengths and weaknesses.
Perhaps the biggest advantage that the PS4 Pro offers is its bigger, arguably more compelling game library. At the same time, however, the Xbox One X has its own exclusives, will likely play third-party games better, and comes with a 4K HDR Blu-ray player.
It’s a good idea to base your choice on what exclusives you prefer and what system your friends game on. Do you prefer franchises like Halo and Gears of War? Or are you more of an Uncharted and The Last of Us fan? The good news is that both high-end consoles are great and you can’t go wrong choosing either one.