Xbox Series S vs PlayStation 4 Pro – Four Teraflops Showdown

It’s been more than two years since the current generation of consoles, but the real current-gen software is thin on the ground. Instead, the vast majority of major games were released on both eighth generation consoles and ninth generation consoles, straddling seven different hardware goals across two generations to increase sales. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S continues to generate controversy. While it’s a current-generation machine, it has major GPU and RAM shortcomings that put it well behind the PS5 and Series X. Results in actual games are a bit of a mixed bag, and some titles suffer from issues unique only to this system due to background specifications.

So we thought we’d take a look at a selection of the biggest releases and game updates of 2022 to see how well the PS4 Pro’s current, more restrictive hardware pricing works. The improved Sony machine offers an interesting point of comparison: it has a very similar GPU configuration on the surface. Both machines have approximately 4 teraflops of GPUs, and both have maximum transfer rates of approximately 220 GB/s in their main memory pools. Architectural and configuration differences muddy the waters here, but broadly speaking, these systems have similarly capable graphics hardware.

However, while the GPU compute is comparable, the Series S is far ahead in many respects. Zen 2-based CPU technology and NVMe storage enable a faster, smoother, and more responsive experience. And of course, the GPU itself hails from a more modern era with more features and an increase in IPC – instructions per clock. However, it is early days for Microsoft’s new console, while Pro benefits from years of experience and more mature development tools.

Here’s how to translate the confrontation discussed on this page into video form.

The tests presented today are a strange counterargument to a similar piece I ran last year, pitting the Series S against the Xbox One X, which is equipped with a solid-state drive. It was an uphill battle at the time — perhaps because last-generation systems still received a lot of focus from developers, while the One X’s GPU had enough horsepower to offer tangible graphical differences. With a year gone by with the Pro as a point of comparison, there has been a profound shift in favor of the new device.

Take Cyberpunk 2077, for example, which launched in infamous form on last-gen machines, mainly because it’s a next-gen game by nature. The official next-gen upgrade has arrived and after its launch, the Series S in particular received a lot of love with the addition of a 60fps mode and FSR2 upgrade support. Basic picture quality between the Pro and S is quite similar, though the S series seems to draw in additional environmental assets, mostly small bits of extra geometry and texture layers.

Performance is also greatly improved—the wobbly 30fps on the Pro becomes a near lock on the Series S, while the 60fps mode (though not perfect) is a day-night upgrade. At normal viewing distances, the image quality isn’t too far off the mark either, especially when you factor in the heavy post-processing characteristic of Cyberpunk. Load times are another game-changing improvement for the Series S. For the record, while the Pro was our last-gen point of comparison, the Series S is also a big upgrade over the Xbox One X as well, a separate resolution.

The Callisto protocol is similar to Cyberpunk 2077 in that it’s clearly designed for the new wave of hardware – and again, the Series S copes better than the PS4 Pro and even the Xbox One X, despite the higher resolution on last-gen hardware (1440p vs. around 1080p). in the S series). The temporary anti-aliasing upgrade — TAAU — effectively bridges the resolution gap in this case, and while the Series S has downgrades versus the PS5 and Series X, it’s a richer, less compromised offering of the game with significantly improved (to say the least) performance. It is said about it) 24fps footage of the last generation, the better). It’s another overall win for the entry-level Xbox.

Similar to Cyberpunk 2077, the Callisto protocol is designed primarily for current-gen hardware — and despite the accuracy advantage, both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X fit into the kind of experience offered by the Xbox Series S.

The Elden Ring is one of this generation’s biggest technical curiosities. Undoubtedly, it is a great game that is very attractive in its own way. However, From Software made very poor choices in terms of the basic visual configuration of the game, targeting unlocked frame rates on optimized last generation consoles and current generation machines. It’s a slightly insane setup made worse by the near-total lack of improvements on consoles since the game launched almost a year ago.

The 1800p rendering of the chess board for the PS4 Pro has an unlocked frame rate which typically falls into the mid-30s. Drops below are possible, but the typical playback rate is 30-35fps – a sloppy, unstable mess. The Series S has basically the same level of performance in 1440p quality mode, but the system offers a frame rate mode that runs at 50-60fps most of the time, though it’s usually, annoyingly, under 60fps, and can It drops in the 40s and 30s, accompanied by a dynamic resolution drop. However, system-wide VRR saves the day, offering smooth rendering on modern screens. This is one of the few ways to salvage reasonable performance from the console versions of the Elden Ring, and it’s effective, though it won’t work for everyone.

The Elden Ring really requires careful setup to produce a smooth gaming experience and neither the Series S or Pro offer a great experience out of the box but at least the Series S can be fixed by a good screen in which case you should be playing on a non-VRR board the overall frame rate is high Respectfully at least, though the ruling is unpleasant. So the Series S takes another win here, too, though neither machine offers a truly satisfying experience in the traditional sense.

A closer look at the remake of The Witcher 3, with the Series S stacked against its current-gen counterparts and – yes – the PlayStation 4 Pro.

The next-gen upgrade of The Witcher 3 once again shows the design advantages of state-of-the-art hardware. If we ran this game a month or two ago, we’d be stuck with the Xbox One’s core code path on the Series S, producing some less-than-ideal results. But the Series S is now home to an original that offers a 1440p target resolution quality mode, against the PS4 Pro’s 4K checkerboard. The S-series looks less detailed overall, but the FSR 2’s use of CDPR handles aliasing more effectively than the rudimentary anti-aliasing available in the Pro, resulting in a more stable image. Performance mode takes it a step further down here as a byproduct of its lower 1080p target, though it still looks reasonably good.

However, every other aspect of the Series S version is significantly improved over the Pro version. Foliage density, cloud distance, and shading quality take a huge jump here, resulting in a more vibrant natural environment. There are also improvements to model quality, NPC density, and shadow resolution – as well as improved, if not perfect, performance. VRR again offers an excellent solution although frame rate issues aren’t very impressive overall, even on an updated traditional display panel. The Series S is ahead of the Pro on basically every meaningful metric here, though advanced ray tracing for the Series X, PS5, and PC versions is sadly absent.

I talked about my Xbox One X and Xbox Series S showdown last year — included in video form on this page — which was more balanced, but in early 2023, it’s a very different situation. Across a variety of multi-generation software, the Series S is in a much stronger position, delivering significantly more performance games than the last generation consoles optimized. With generational improvements in CPU speed and storage, the Series S has significant core advantages that the eighth generation consoles just can’t match. Across a variety of titles, including several that didn’t quite make this video, consoles like the PS4 Pro have been let go.

Looking back at how the Xbox Series S stacked up against the Xbox One X this time last year.

And there’s another major factor that ultimately favors the Series S more than anything else: a handful of games that simply weren’t released on last-gen consoles. In 2023, most major software do not have a planned eighth generation console release. In 2022, the PS4 Pro continued to offer some great first-party exclusives like Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7, and God of War Ragnarök, as well as third-party fare.

Looking to 2023, major games like Spider-Man 2, Dead Space, and Suicide Squad are exclusives to current consoles and PCs. While there are a few key pieces of gaming that straddle generations — most notably Resident Evil 4 and Diablo 4 — the feeling is that older consoles are fast approaching their sell-by date, and even first-party support is slipping away. The past two years have been generous for older hardware, with a massive amount of multigenerational software, but that’s about to come to an end. Even in 2022, titles like A Plague Tale Requiem, Need for Speed ​​Unbound, and Gotham Knights never made their way to last-generation machines.

And this is for good reason. Netbook-class CPUs and slow mechanical storage held back last-gen consoles and essentially limited cross-generational gaming potential. The Series S has the CPU and SSD to hang with current-generation premium consoles — systems like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X don’t. The graphics hardware between the Series S and last-gen machines isn’t worlds apart, but stabilization at the expense of raw graphics is a misstep, it’s just one aspect of console design, and it’s arguably the most scalable. There’s no doubt that developers may be challenged by its limitations, but comparisons across generations as well as UE5 deployments like The Matrix Awakens and Fortnite prove that the machine is capable enough as we move away from this intergenerational transition into the next era of gaming.

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