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Microsoft views PS4 Pro as an Xbox One S competitor

Xbox One X Logo Button
Xbox One X Logo Button (Image credit: Microsoft)

The new Xbox One X finally made its debut at E3 2017 this week, and it's been one of the biggest highlights of the conference so far. Given the console's position as a much more powerful version of the Xbox One, many are comparing it to the PS4 Pro — Sony's own take on a more powerful version of its flagship console. In a new interview with Eurogamer, however, box chief Phil Spencer says that Microsoft sees things a little differently.

Given the sheer power of the Xbox One X, Spencer says, Microsoft views the Xbox One S as a more apt competitor to the PS4 Pro. From Spencer:

I look at Pro as more of a competitor to S than I do to Xbox One X. This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it's in a different league than any other console that's out there. When I think about techniques to somehow manufacture a 4K screen like what some other consoles try to do, this is different than that. This is 40 per cent more GPU. The amount of RAM we have in this, the speed of the RAM, the speed of the harddrive, the reaction we're getting from developers.

On the topic of the lack of first-party triple-A announcements on stage, Spencer says the focus was on deliver a look at games that are going to be playable within the next year.

The focus I had on this show was games you're going to get to play in the next year. We're focusing on Xbox One S and Xbox One X and the games you're going to play. We showed Crackdown, which looks fantastic. It's going to be there at launch day for Xbox One X, which will be a great showcase for the box. Obviously Sea of Thieves. I thought State of Decay showed up really well. Some people played State of Decay 1, but a lot of people missed it. Now we're giving that game time to really hit what we want State of Decay to do, because that will be an important franchise for us. We showed Forza.

Rounding things out, Spencer confirms that Microsoft has signed some things that haven't been announced, but it seems as if the team is conscious of announcing things too early. Within the last year, both Scalebound and Fable Legends — two highly anticipated titles — ended up being canceled, so that stance makes sense.

The full interview is worth a read, so head over to Eurogamer to give it a look.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

76 Comments
  • I agree to that statement. PS4 Pro is a basic gaming device now. XBOX One X is just awesome. Enough said.
    .
    It'll be ever cooler IF older games can automatically run at 4K60 without any updates from developers.
  • If you have a 4K TV, scaling will be done by the TV or the Xbox just fine. Even the one S does this for videos. Unless the publisher releases a remastered 4K version of the same game, don't expect anything but scaling to happen.
  • I have no idea why any idiot would vote your comment down. It is literally the exact, factual truth.
  • Because some of the trolls here are idiots, @jason
  • Yeah, but everyone just have a ps4 pro now, because microsoft is too late as usual.
  • Hmmm I know many people especially working retail that only have the standard PS4 so the statement you give is based off an assumption. I recall PS being a year late to the PS3 launch then released for $600
  • How can a console be late for it's own launch?
  • You live in the US, though. Which is the only market where Xbox has any significant presence. Around the world though, not so much.
  • Not really. The PS4 pro isn't selling even CLOSE to as well as the PS4 or even the Xbox One / S. Literally 80% of all PS4 family consoles sold is a regular PS4, according to Sony's own numbers. That's not a knock, by the way. PS4 is a great system, there's no reason to complain about it, and the PS4 Pro is just more of the same good thing.
  • You're right, But it's also selling a lot more than Sony had estimated. So...for Sony, that's good news.
  • Oh I'm not saying it's bad in any way, just noting that most people are still buying a regular PS4. Which honestly makes sense: most people still are rocking 1080p or lower TV's. 4K hasn't yet hit critical mass, though I do think it will within the next two or three years.
  • That's true. Heck, I do have transitioned all my TVs to 4K OLED panels and I still bought the PS4 instead of the 4 "Pro". My reasoning though was simple: the 4 "Pro" lacks a UHD player and only upscales most things...and that, LG TVs already do wonderfully. So it'd be a waste of money, I'd rather wait for the PS5. And I wouldn't be surprised if I wasn't alone in this sort of reasoning.
  • That wouldn't really be possible. If you don't have 4k textures, you can't run in native 4k. Also some games are coded to be locked at a certain frame rate or resolution, developers will need to get around that.
  • Textures and render resolution have nothing to do with each other.
  • *facepalm*
  • He is right, and also "4K" textures are as old as the hills, they have nothing to do with modern games, but textures and resolution are completely seperate things. The second half of Axmantim's comment is correct though.
  • Again, people voting down factual comments. Wtf, people?
  • I like that Xbox uses the 2017 E3 to focus on what's going to happen in 2017 rather than announcing stuff for next year.
  • Yeah!! Really
  • While I agree it's best to have/show games up through the holidays of the same year, I noticed a lot of 2018 titles during the MS E3 briefing.
  • I guess you didn't watch a lot of the MS conference. Lot of announcements of games in 2018. Sea of Thieves announced in E2015 coming in 2018. Crackdown 3 was announced in E3 2014. State of decay 2 announced E32016 coming in 2018. 
  • Can't wait to play Crackdown on day 1, assuming I can beat the rush to pre-order
  • Digital downloads :) then you can use it on PC if you don't have a gaming PC when you do its already there at no extra charge
  • Hope before launch xox they announce halo 3 remaster
  • They won't
  • Someone should tell Microsoft that, unfortunately, the market decides which console compares to what.
    Not them.
  • I agree! Consumers will likely compare all console options, but will focus on Sony's best vs. Microsoft's best. Much like blogs compare the best Surface Studio and the best iMac Pro.
  • Not about views but about games at the end of the day. So much power with nothing to play, doesn't make sense.
  • Nothing? Have you not been watching E3??? Tons of games coming
  • Yeah, Ms is going to launch the most powerful console and just let it sit there with no software.....that makes sense
  • looks like missed the e3 presentation...
  • People will walk into a store and see 2 consoles from both companies that claim to do 4K gaming, video and streaming. Thats going to be their basis for comparison along with price. Unless Phil intends to be in every store to tell people what to compare to the XOX, thats going to be the way the console is going to be assessed.
  • And those people will pay for their foolishness
  • Because people buy things without reading anything or asking anybody about their opinion...? Then I agree with SeeVuPlay. You can downvote as much as you want, but clueless people falling for deceitful marketing might learn a thing or two in the process. If Sony wants to lie to their users, so be it.
  • Is there a reason for all the post E3 briefing articles discussing MS E3 and Xbox One X price, name, design, games? Would you say the reception of the briefing, xb1x, and games has been overall positive? It almost feels like MS knew what consumer pushback they would get on specific topics and were ready for those topics with responses. Instead of being prepped for negative responses, why not proactively address/change/resolve those issues/questions before the briefing?
  • The media seems predisposed to being negative about MS. Just check out any Verge article. MS launch the most powerful console, announce 42 games, 22 of which will be either exclusive to or first on Xbox, original Xbox backwards compatibility, a focus on indie content, turn all XB1s into Dev kits and delivered 4k/60fps games.
    What did the verge article focus on? Why no Gears or Halo and what's with not chasing exclusive DLC from third party developers!?!?
  • I think it was VERY smart for Microsoft to keep their mouth shut on early projects. While it's nice to hype over stuff, it will ultimately end badly if those projects are cancelled. Besides, there is plenty to be excited about for this year already =)
  • Microsoft crushed it at E3 this year. The One X, the games lineup, the fact that it's happening THIS year. Microsoft definitely hit it out of the ballpark. And I think this is hilarious, but true. Sony doesn't have anything that can really compete.
  • Sony is sitting in that high chair that is good enough for them to avoid the xbox One X. not sure if that is a wise thing to do since 3rd party games will have better versions on the new Xbox. not to forget non 4k TV owners also get better games thanks to the Xbox One X. i wished Sony reacted to it in some way but they dont seem bothered at all.
  • Oh you can be sure that Sony's execs are already looking at their existing time schedules for the PS5 and at how better than the One X they can make it and how soon can they bring it to market.
    The PlayStation Experience event will be held at the end of year, before Christmas. I think we might hear something from Sony then.
  • Not a chance for PS5 unless they announce something for holiday 2019... Cause you won't see anything before then at the very very very earliest.... Sony's finances are in a dire situation... They don't have the money to afford too much losses on PS4 pro and fork R&D again.. And invest on new games for a launch of 1st party games for a PS5...they might announce the end of the experia branch though.... That wouldn't be a surprise at all....
  • Two things: 1 - The PlayStation division is making massive profits. In fact, it's what has been keeping other divisions like the mobile division alive; 2 - The Xperia line - and Sony Mobile - have apparently also gotten themselves out of the red. They're almost dead but they're not making losses anymore.   So yeah, Sony is definitely working on the PS5 already and the success - or not - of the One X will definitely play into the release date of the PS5.
  • I agree, but you do have to agree that even including the unarguable success and profitability of PlayStation Sony has been walking a relatively fine line financially for the last few years. If PlayStation profits begin to dip Sony looses out on money that would've been used pushing out a newly updated, more advanced PlayStation.
    The PS5 is coming, without a doubt, but right now Sony has to play carefully and not let Microsoft get any farther ahead than they already have.
  • I mostly agree with what you've been saying here DJCBS, but I do think Sony has to be very careful with regards to how soon they release another console. They may be able to get people to buy into a "mid console refresh", but if they release another new one so soon they may burn the loyalty they have earned so far. I think Sony undershot a bit on the specs this time, just as MS did with the One. But they have sales numbers on their side coming into this fight, and the spec differences may be hard for people to notice, so they may still be able to overcome a somewhat less powerful system, as long as they pump out great exclusive games. But I think they may have to wait a couple years on PS5.
  • That's not possible let alone likely, but I understand your point. Sony will react to this. But now Microsoft has leap-frogged ahead for the first time in a long time. The "console wars" haven't been so interesting since ever.
  • No but that's how Sony has always been they've always been ahead and they've always been arrogant. It's not that PlayStation doesn't deserve praise, it's just tiring to deal with Sony's almost negative attitude towards Microsoft and gaming in general. They refuse to open up to new ideas and are stuck chasing the same old ideas. Right now, they're falling behind, and it's up to Sony to protect what they've built, because if PlayStation goes down Sony as a whole starts going downm
  • Before the modern Apple (reincarnation) was around, to me, Sony was the Apple, with its arrogant attitude and annoying fanboys.
  • Spider-Man, maybe? *not really :)
  • The one s can't even compete with basic ps4 and can't even compare to the pro
  • I still wish they had something new in first party lineup this year. Crackdown 3, Cuphead, State of Decay 2 all of these games were shown (as a sneak peak at least) in last E3. Other than that, there were some Japanese games, which frankly is not my taste. Rest was third party and ID@XBOX. And of course Forza 7. There was no surprise there. It was totally expected to be there on console launch.
  • i don't see any points for PS4 pro to be put in the same line with Xbox one X. PS4 pro is based on trickery to get close or emulate to 4k, while Xbox X delivers True Native 4k. since Sony is happy with saying "Native'' when things are not is misleading and tell people u wont see a difference.. ya u can. luckily the Xbox One X has and will show that difference, specially with 3rd party games. for one game as an Example.. Anthem is a beast of a game and i just cannot see Ps4 pro getting an equal version to that of Xbox One X. As a PC gamer first i am happy to pick the new Xbox up without any doubts.
  • If I wanted the best console for games. You wouldn't even look at a PS. It's just so underpowered. Abd won't take any advantage of my 4K TV at all.
  • Best is subjective. As far as popularity and history goes it's always been more about the games than power: The NES (bigger library) beat the Master System (more powerful)
    The GB (bigger library) beat the Game gear (more powerful)
    The SNES (bigger library) beat the Genesis
    The PS1 (bigger library) beat the N64 (more powerful)
    The PS2 (bigger library) beat the Gamecube (more powerful) and XBox (more powerful) 
    The DS (bigger library) beat the PSP (more powerful)
    The Wii (bigger library) beat the PS3 (more powerful) and XBox360 (more powerful)
    The 3DS (bigger library) beat PS Vita (more powerful)
  • Lol it's funny I got the master system, game gear, genesis, dreamcast, xbox,, 360, one...
    at least I'm consistent 😊 got the nes and Gameboy too after and borrowed the snes.... But my all time favorite was the neogeo and Atari...
  • Also alas Sega Gamegear you were to good for this world.
  • I'd agree with all of that except the Wii bit. I think Wii sold a motherlode of hardware but in the end lacked hardly any third party support. By the end of that generation PS3 and 360 were pretty much neck and neck.
  • Look it up, the wii had a lot of software mainly thanks to how popular the console was.
  • But literally most of it was shovelware, and the software attachment rate suffered greatly for it.
  • So then you currently own a PS4 and not an Xbox One? Because the current XBO is underpowered compared to the PS4, so you obviously own the more powerful console, right? You're not just using that as an excuse to rag on another system now that Microsoft are releasing a more powerful machine? Because that would be really stupid.
  • Phil Spencer needs to take his medicine, then.
    It's a MASSIVE mistake to see it that way. For one simple reason: whilst most PS4 "Pro" games run at 1440p and upscale to 4K, the PS4 "Pro" DOES run native 4K games.
    They're just a handful of them BUT the console does run them. The Xbox One S does NOT run ANY game in 4K. Heck, it doesn't even upscale them (and if it does...it does a sh*t job at it to be honest). Of course the PS4 "Pro" won't run as many as the One X. But it runs some. Against none of the One S. And if the One X turns out to not run that many games at 4K60fps (or even at 30fps) as Microsoft hopes when it launches, you can bet Sony will absolutely make the public aware of that fact, just like they destroyed the original Xbox One DRM policies with a simple 2 minute video on YouTube. And let's be clear here: Sony will answer to the One X. It may be in 2018 or 2019, but they will. And when the PlayStation 5 comes out, I'm pretty sure it will crush the One X to bits...unless of course Sony makes another blunder like skipping a UHD player. So Microsoft should NOT minorise the 4 Pro and the audience it's building for the PS5. Microsoft might wish that console generations die out but that's not happening anytime soon.
    The PS4 "Pro" is apparently doing a hell of a lot better than Sony itself expected (and I'm absolutely surprised myself by its adoption seeing as I don't think it's good value-for-money either). If Microsoft goes all arrogant with the One X and doesn't admit the 4 Pro is its current competitor, they will turn what will likely be a DOA console for the normal gamer because of the price tag into an even more niche console which might actually do nothing but lose them money.
  • If microsoft gets some software on the XOX that shows the difference, it could show why the PS4 isn't in the same league.....as far as how the public views it, MS can't help fanboyism and media bias.....I mean, tech journalists claiming Xox must be 399$ or it will be dead on arrival, the predication mind you, made before the release of hard information....arrogant much?? Just show what the xbox OneX can do and leave the Ps4Pro in the dust.....MS will have have the last Mic Drop. As far as MS being arrogant, I don't see where pointing out the xboxonex kills the PS4Pro in hardware is anything but the truth. That is a fact. everything else, like developers, perception, etc. has moving parts.
  • Except the article, and Spencer's words, are NOT about the One X. It's about Microsoft saying idiotic things like "we think the PS4 "Pro" is a competitor to the One S, not this console". THAT is the arrogant part. The One X competitor, currently, is the PS4 "Pro". Whether Microsoft and some fanboys like it or not.   As for the media and consumer bias, you're absolutely right. However, again, Microsoft is entirely to blame. Have you ever wondered why the PlayStation rules supreme in Europe, for example, whilst no one really cares about the Xbox around here? I'll give you a hint: it's not because the Xbox is a worse console. Because it isn't (although the UI is complete sh*t).   "If microsoft gets some software on the XOX that shows the difference" Yes. Unfortunately, every single update to the Xbox One software has made it a worse console, not a better one. And also unfortunately - and I was rather hoping they did that - there was no announcement of a major overhaul to the Xbox One software. Which means Microsoft will likely keep "building" on the absolutely horrible Frankenstein version of software they now have.
  • I agree that the XB gui ain't the prettiest thing, but I'd argue it's a damn site faster than it was and accessing stuff is becoming easier. I'd just wish it wouldn't have bits n bobs sliding in or popping up from all different angles. Although I've also never been a fan of the PS3 to 4 gui which just seemed to be a series of horizontal and vertical lists with hidden menus. I did like the vita though, nice level of customisation and quite user friendly.
  • I'd also agree that Spencer is trippin here. XB1S with it's UHD drive and HDR is a competitor to the graphically more powerful PS4Slim. XB1X is going toe to toe with the cheaper and less powerful PS4Pro, which still has a stake in the 4k gaming arena. Its also worth considering that Sony not only has a larger install base and diverse game library, they also have a launched vr solution with gaming content. MS has to show that the extra power will translate into better gaming experiences. Hopefully interesting times ahead.
  • wow now that a mic drop
  • This is a gaming. The PS4's GPU is 50% more powerful that the Xbox One. That didn't really make such a big difference in games. But it's still the better console graphically. So, you can't compare the PS4PRO to Xbox One S unless you're comparing video quality, which on paper, the One S is the winner. Sony had a more powerful console and still priced it cheaper than the less powerful Xbox One. This was 50% more powerful on paper vs 40% of the Xbox One X to the PS4 PRO. This, as a consumer tells me all I need to know.  
  • HAHAHAH Spencer is losing it!! That's ridiculous.
    The XB1s is less powerful than the original PS4. The guy had the conference that was misleading gamers and lying to gamers. ofc he can think whatever he wants but how about bringing actual numbers?
    XB1s is 1.3TF the pro is 4.2TF. 3 times less
    PS4pro is 4.2TF the scorpio is 6TF. 0.7 times less. His excuse for the lack of new AAA exclusive is pathetic. He is talking about Crackdown announced in 2014!! Sea of thieves in 2015!  State of decay 2? A INDIE GAME!!! 
    And the YEARLY Forza game. With all that misleading timed exclusives and lack of 1st party games after talking of the importance of major first party games. And even after 3 years in charge. I've lost all respect to the guy. For me, he is just a company puppet.
  • 4.2/1.3 = 3.2x faster 6.0/4.2 = 1.4x faster Numbers are wonderful, and I can also calculate numbers to speak in my favour.
  • Pre E3 - Waa waa waa all Xbox has is Gears, Halo and Forza waa waa waa No way they will have games running at 4k/60fps!
    Post E3 - waa waa waa Where's Gears and Halo? Such a fail!! waa waa waa Who cares about 42 new games and Forza running at 4k/60fps!?!?!?
  • It's easy to make up stuff on the internet. When did I say it can't have games running at 4K/60fps? Did I ask for gears and Halo? I don't care of 42 multiplats, I want to know how much MS are investing into making new games. I've been saying this before E3 and keep saying it.
  • "I look at Pro as more of a competitor to S" can't you read?
  • If XB1X vs. nothing, and XB1S vs. PS4Pro, who vs. PS4 / Switch? The discontinued XB1? I'm pretty sure the largest part of the market share will still be the PS4 / Switch tier for the following 2 years, and if what discribed in the article is really how the comparision made, that means the largest market is toally given away. XB1S will surely win PS4Pro, and XB1X will surely win nothing, but rest of the world only cares who win the overall.
  • I really wish people would stop saying it does "True 4K", it's UHD, and that's fine there is absolutely nothing wrong with that (it's the same resolution as 4K TV's), but it isn't "True 4K".
  • I get your point and to be honest its not my forte, but I think the 'true' label is more to distinguish between upscaling techniques and running at a native resolution.
  • Doesn't the PS4 Pro have 8GB of RAM?
  • I'm happy with E3 lots for me too look forward and enjoy on my X box.