Xbox senior director of product management and planning Albert Penello spoke to Eurogamer this week regarding the difference in hardware horsepower between Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio. Penello asserted that the computing speed driving Sony’s refreshed console is “not enough to do true 4K.”
Penello also discussed Project Scorpio’s rumored inclusion of a 4K Blu-ray player, among other key elements that will define Sony’s and Microsoft’s competing consoles in the years ahead.
During the course of the interview, Penello specifically targeted the PlayStation 4 Pro’s announced 4.2 teraflops of computing power, which comes up short in comparison to Project Scorpio’s six teraflops.
“[Developers are] going to be able to decide to take that six teraflops of power and do what they think is best for their game,” Penello stated. “But I know that 4.2 teraflops is not enough to do true 4K. So, I feel like our product aspired a little bit higher, and we will have fewer asterisks around the 4K experiences we deliver on our box.”
Penello claimed that Project Scorpio’s announced hardware specifications directly target the needs of licensed Xbox developers, and notes that the platform’s upgraded processor and GPU are better suited for a future in which 4K resolution is the new standard.
“Why did you choose six teraflops?” Penello asked. “Why did you choose 384Gb/s in memory bandwidth? What’s the point of those numbers? The point of those numbers was to deliver Xbox One-quality games in 4K. That’s the point of those numbers.”
Microsoft’s recently released Xbox One S console features a 4K Blu-ray player, distancing itself from current PlayStation 4 consoles and the upcoming PlayStation 4 Pro. While many assume that Project Scorpio will also include a 4K Blu-ray player, Penello declined to confirm whether this is the case.
“We haven’t announced anything specifically on that,” Penello said, regarding Project Scorpio’s rumored 4K Blu-ray player. “You could assume that would be our intent, but we don’t have anything specific on that.”
Penello is confident, however, that 4K is a standard worth pursuing for the next generation of gaming consoles.
“We don’t sign up for every media format change,” Penello stated. “There has been a lot of SmartTV stuff and 3D, and they didn’t really set the world on fire. I really believe in 4K and HDR. I have one myself. I thought I was going to regret it. I think it’s as meaningful an upgrade as it was going from SD to HD, when you start seeing the native 4K content. And so we were just really bullish on it.”