PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio Are Jumping the Gun, Aren’t They?

Two upgrades that seem utterly superfluous right now.

Two upgrades that seem utterly superfluous right now.

A while back, we ran an article that talked about console gaming’s increasing similarity to PC gaming, especially in regards to hardware upgrading, a new phenomenon this generation. For the first time, not one but two console manufacturers are going to issue an upgraded system halfway through a console life cycle. And frankly, for those of us who have always liked console gaming precisely because we don’t have to worry about such things, it’s exceedingly frustrating.

Now that PS4 Pro and Xbox One Scorpio have been fully revealed, another question comes to light: What exactly is the point of these things?

No, I don't care about a "new" console when 4K gaming is nowhere close.

No, I don’t care about a “new” console when 4K gaming is nowhere close.

As I understand it, both are supposedly designed for the future of entertainment media; i.e., 4K HD. Scorpio has the option of native 4K while PS4 Pro will only upscale but the latter machine is apparently much more powerful strictly from a processing perspective. People are a little miffed at Sony’s refusal to include a UHD player in the PS4 Pro (and I am as well), but we’re hearing that the “next model” will likely include one. This could be the PS5 – which Sony says may not even happen – or just another PlayStation model of some kind. But this leads me to my point.

As noted in the previous article linked above, this has always felt like Sony and Microsoft are turning this into a PC culture, in that we will continually and perhaps frequently receive these new “upgrades.” We won’t be able to go more than a couple years without pondering a new purchase, which isn’t really any different than a PC gamer pondering an upgrade, now is it? The time gap has become about the same. On top of which, neither the PS4 Pro nor Xbox One Scorpio seem like necessities. It’s all supposed to be about 4K, correct?

Okay. How many games and movies are produced in 4K HD? How many for native 4K?

If 4K gaming is a LONG ways off and 4K movies are a long way from common, what's the point?

If 4K gaming is a LONG ways off and 4K movies are a long way from common, what’s the point?

These are gaming consoles, correct? How far away are we from video games actually supporting true 4K? PS4 Pro comes out this year and while Scorpio arrives next year, I seriously doubt we’ll see any 4K games in 2017. Maybe a few more movies but again, how many? If 99 percent of all our media remains incapable of this elite 4K threshold, why am I paying hundreds of dollars for a system whose primary appeal is support of that threshold? Yes, I’m aware of the increase in frame rate and the upscaling resolution but again, what percentage of consumers should really care at this point?

What percentage of consumers have a 4K TV right now? This article says 15% of U.S. households will have 4K by the end of 2016, and this one says 1/3 of households will have a 4K TV by the end of 2019. These are not especially high numbers. And again, what good are these fancy 4K TVs if the media is lagging behind? The next step, the next true step in terms of entertainment technology, is to have a native 4K game or movie playing on a system that can support native 4K on a TV that portrays native 4K…correct? In the meantime, all we’ll do, all PS4 Pro will do and all Xbox Scorpio will do, is upscale and give us better frame rate. Right?

Well, yay.

Just...no.

Just…no.

And what happens when 4K movies start becoming more common and developers actually start producing 4K games? Oh, I’m one hundred percent certain there will be another PlayStation or Xbox machine on the market, or on the horizon that is yet another upgrade. In the meantime, I fail to see the great benefit of having either of these systems and frankly, I fail to see the benefit in even owning 4K TV at this point. What am I even going to see in 4K? How’s about letting me know when it’s even a possibility in gaming and when it’s a common practice in movies? You think I’m going back to play The Last Of Us because of the upscale?

I’m sorry but I don’t blindly worship at the technology altar, buying every new product simply for…you know, reasons. Give me real reasons and maybe I’ll consider it.

4 thoughts on “PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio Are Jumping the Gun, Aren’t They?”

All I know is I’m not interested at all. I don’t have a 4K TV yet anyway and even if I did, like this article said, true 4K gaming isn’t even close. We’re only talking about upscaling for our games and even then, only certain games.

It’s just not worth the investment cost at this point. I’m waiting until the next PlayStation (whatever it is).

They’re just ahead of the curve, which is fine because they new systems aren’t designed for everyone. If Sony and MS wren’t keeping the older versions of these systems on the market, I’d agree that it’s way ridiculous but really, this is just for that smaller percentage of hardcore gamers that want the absolute best of everything, even if it means shelling out for a somewhat minor upgrade.

I hate to admit it but I think you have a point. 😛

I really think it’s stupid that the PS4 Pro doesn’t have a UHD Blu-Ray player. Doesn’t this also prove that 4K gaming really IS a long ways off? Because if they produced any game in 4K, wouldn’t the system need a UHD Blu-Ray player to play the disc…?

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