PS4 Pro Vs. Xbox Scorpio: 5 Things Microsoft Must Learn From The High-Spec PlayStation Release

The Xbox Scorpio will feature Xbox 360 Backward Compatibility Microsoft

PS4 Pro will compete with the Xbox Scorpio this fall, and the semi-rocky release of Sony’s high-spec console refresh has the potential to be very informative for Microsoft. Here are five areas Xbox must improve to have a better launch.

1) Ensure Compatibility: One of the biggest shocks on PS4 Pro’s launch day was its occasional incompatibility with many 4K displays from prominent manufacturers, even including those made by Sony. New buyers had to trial a range of fixes like swapping USB ports, downloading firmware updates or changing HDCP settings. In rare cases, none of that helped at all.

Simply put, Microsoft needs to design the Scorpio in such a way that those foibles don’t happen. Yes, it’s intended to be a premium machine for tech-savvy folks, but it also comes from a very mainstream brand. Within reason, testing must be done to ensure everything works right the first time.

2) Make Patch Support More Standardized: Lots of games are getting PS4 Pro patches, but they don’t all have the same benefits. Some, like NBA 2K17’s, just shoot for 4K and HDR, while others (like Rise Of The Tomb Raider’s) offer a bevy of graphics modes. Overwatch got a PlayStation 4 Pro patch that pretty much does nothing.

With this disparity in mind, Scorpio patches must all come with the same perks. With the PS4 Pro, the benefits are so scattered that it's hard to explain what the advantages of the hardware truly are. As the platform holder, Microsoft should say “all Scorpio patches must support 4K and these specific graphics options.” That way, when when a supported game gets updated, we know exactly what to expect.

3) Provide Uses Beyond 4K: In that same vein, Microsoft needs to make sure the Scorpio is marketed as a useful product even for those who don’t have a 4K TV. Especially during the Pro’s reveal, Sony was very focused on 4K, and very little of that visual jump could be conveyed in a 1080p stream. Many viewers without the next-gen display left with a feeling that this system wasn’t for them.

Oculus Rift may have removed some crucial DRM Photo: Oculus

For Scorpio, there must be something akin to a 1080p/60 fps mode for every single supported game. Beyond that, make whatever VR that’s rumored to be cooking feel like an essential part of the Xbox ecosystem. Don’t recoil from it like Sony seems to be doing right now. Make the Scorpio a premium console, but let it offer a premium experience everyone can see value in.

4) Optimize The Best You Can: One of the most shocking revelations of the PS4 Pro’s launch is that some games, including first-party titles, actually ran a little bit worse on Pro hardware when compared to the standard model. Many of those problems have since been improved, but that doesn’t undo the perception damage that’s already been done.

Especially for the first-party efforts Microsoft can control, it should be certain that Scorpio games run noticeably better than their standard counterparts. There should be absolutely no framerate dips, no bizarre screen artifacts and no stuttering. With its oft-discussed high specs, every game should run perfectly on Scorpio.

5) Maybe Some Kind Of Trade In: Lots of PS4 owners were hoping Sony would allow an even swap for a Pro console once the hardware became available. You could obviously do something like that at retailers, but, ultimately, the hardware maker declined to partake.

Especially in the Phil Spencer era, however, Xbox has been all about doing things that showcase goodwill to gamers. Backwards compatibility is provided at no extra charge, Kinect is very optional and free game selections have never been better. With that in mind, we’d love to see Microsoft bite the bullet and at least allow first-gen Xbox One consoles to be swapped. The folks with those systems stuck by the brand in its darkest times and should be rewarded.

PS4 Pro is available now and Xbox One is planned for release this fall.What do you think Microsoft can learn from the iffy launch of the PS4 Pro? Will Xbox Scorpio be the better console? Tell us in the comments section!

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