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Xbox One X vs. PlayStation 4 Pro

More than four years ago, events at E3 marked what many considered to be the beginning of the end for the traditional game console cycle. Both Sony and Microsoft revealed substantially upgraded versions of their flagship consoles, which provide a far greater leap in technical performance than any previous iteration that wasn’t an entirely new console. But when it comes to the Xbox One X versus PS4 Pro, which is superior?

Unlike the jump from the Xbox One to Xbox One S, the X is actually better in several key technical areas. The same goes for the PlayStation 4 Pro when compared to the jump from the PS4 to PS4 Slim.

With that background in mind, let’s compare the two souped-up consoles side by side, considering all major factors. We hope that this guide will help you decide between a PS4 Pro and an Xbox One X.

Further reading

Specs

 

Xbox One X

PlayStation 4 Pro

Dimensions 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4 inches 12.8 x 11.6 x 2.1 inches
Weight  8.4 pounds 7.2 pounds
Color Black Black
CPU 2.3GHz x86 AMD Jaguar eight-core (custom) 2.1GHz x86 AMD Jaguar eight-core
GPU 6 teraflops (TFLOPS), 40 customized compute units @ 1,172MHz 4.2 teraflops (TFLOPS), 36 improved GCN compute units @ 911MHz
Memory 12GB GDDR5 RAM 8GB GDDR5 RAM
Memory bandwidth 326GB/s 218GB/s
Storage 1TB 2.5-inch 1TB 2.5-inch
Optical drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Blu-ray
4K Yes Yes
HDR Yes Yes
Ports HDMI 2.0a in/out, 3x USB 3.0, S/PDIF, IR out HDMI, 3x USB 3.1
Online subscription Xbox Live ($60/yr) PS Plus ($60/yr)
Connectivity Yes Yes
Price
Availability
Digital Trends review 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Hardware and performance

DigitalFoundry

Under the hood, the most striking differences between the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are in their memory and GPUs. Xbox One X’s GPU clocks in at an impressive 6 teraflops, with 40 customized compute units at 1,172MHz, greater than the PS4 Pro’s 4.2 teraflops, with 36 improved GCN compute units at 911MHz. In terms of raw power that makes the Xbox One X more comparable to PC GPUs like the Radeon RX 480. Memory is also significantly boosted at 12GB of GDDR5 RAM versus the PS4 Pro’s 8GB of DDR5, pushing the Xbox One X’s memory bandwidth up to 326GBps over 218GBps on the Pro. The difference in CPU power is much narrower, but the customized Jaguar cores in the Xbox One X may squeeze out better performance in testing.

With such a gap between GPU and memory, the Xbox One X consistently outperforms the PlayStation 4 Pro with third-party games — though there are occasional exceptions.

Winner: Xbox One X

Resolution

Anthem running on Xbox One X Microsoft E3 2017 Press Conference

One of Xbox One X’s best perks is its ability to run games in 4K resolution at a steady 60 frames per second, which we see showcased in many of Microsoft’s first-party titles such as Forza Motorsport 7. Many Xbox One games, including third-party titles, can run at native 4K. The Pro’s record has been spotty, with developers using techniques like checkerboarding to improve visuals, but not consistently hitting 4K in practice — and these games often take a framerate penalty.

Xbox One X also provides better support for users without 4K televisions. Microsoft requires that all games that are natively at higher resolutions use super-sampling with 1080p displays. This means regular HD televisions will get richer images than with a standard Xbox One. Support for this feature has been inconsistent with the PS4 Pro, even in first-party titles, such as The Last Guardian.

Winner: Xbox One X

Home theater support

The Xbox One X features a 4K UHD Blu-ray optical drive, similar to the Xbox One S. Although the PlayStation 4 Pro is built specifically to support 4K gaming, it still only includes a standard Blu-Ray player, which is incapable of playing UHD Blu-Ray discs. The PS4 Pro can stream 4K video through apps such as Netflix and Hulu. Xbox One X also offers the superior home theater experience for audiophiles, thanks to bitstream audio passthrough and Dolby Atmos support.

Winner: Xbox One X

Virtual reality

Providing stronger support for the PlayStation VR was one of the main selling points for the Pro. All versions of the PS4 work with VR, but the Pro is capable of sharper and more detailed rendering. Graphical upgrades don’t come automatically, however, so only games built specifically to take advantage of the Pro can do so.

Microsoft’s extant partnership with Oculus has led to rumors that Xbox One X may pair with the Rift down the line, but it doesn’t appear this is going to come to fruition during the current console generation. Microsoft has said in the past that virtual reality and “mixed reality” work best on PC.

As of now, only the PS4 Pro has a dedicated VR headset, and it’s getting better with age.

Winner: PS4 Pro

Upgraded game support

Both Xbox One X and the PlayStation 4 Pro ostensibly support all of the same titles as their standard counterparts. Developers will need to specifically build in features that take advantage of the more powerful consoles, so all titles are playable on Xbox One X and the Pro, but not all games will benefit. A current list of games known to be upgraded on Xbox One X includes the following and many more:

  • Anthem
  • Ashen
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Code Vein
  • Crackdown 3
  • Darksiders III
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • The Division 2
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Fallout 4
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Fortnite
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Forza Motorsport 7
  • Gears of War 4
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Killer Instinct 
  • Metro: Exodus
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
  • Minecraft
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Rage 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Rocket League
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • State of Decay 2
  • Super Lucky’s Tale
  • Titanfall 2
  • Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

You can check out the current list of titles supported by the PlayStation 4 Pro here. Being first out of the gate, you would think Sony has the clear edge here, but Microsoft quickly narrowed the gap with a hefty lineup of supported third-party games, as well as added support for older Xbox One games.

Naturally, what matters is not just the games that have upgrades, but the number of total games. In recent years, Sony has trounced Microsoft in the exclusive games department. Microsoft is attempting to close the gap and recently purchased several major studios, including Playground Games and Ninja Theory, but Sony’s library of exclusives takes the cake as of now. Microsoft’s commitment to bringing both new and existing games to 4K, however, greatly narrows Sony’s software advantages. Right now, it’s too close to call.

Winner: Tie

Price

The Xbox One X costs around $400, about $50 more than the PS4 Pro. When you look at a detailed breakdown of the specs, it’s easy to see where the difference comes from. At the end of the day, both consoles are made for core gamers, rather than casual fans. Both price points solidify that line of thinking.

While we think that the extra $100 for the Xbox One X is reasonable given what’s in the box, we understand that $500 — given the $300-$350 tag on the Xbox One S and PS4 — may be too much of a leap to play the same games in better fidelity. But if your choice is between the best of the best from either Microsoft or Sony, we think the Xbox One X, when all is said and done, will probably be the better value.

It’s worth noting that you can often find both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro for below their suggested retail prices. The Xbox One X can routinely be found for around $400, while the PS4 Pro can be secured for $350 a lot of the time.

Winner: PS4 Pro

Conclusion

Sony beat Microsoft to the punch with the PS4 Pro, which brought 4K gaming to consoles at a reasonable price point, in addition to giving it that little bit of extra oomph to really make the PlayStation VR sing. Since launch, however, we’ve found that the console stumbled a bit, with inconsistent support for games.

With the Xbox One X, the PS4 Pro has impressive competition in the premium console market. Considering the clear hardware advantages, if you want a 4K console, the Xbox One X may very well be the way to go … unless you want VR support.

Overall winner: Xbox One X

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