Given the huge sales lead that the PlayStation 4 has over the Xbox One in the current generation console race, Microsoft is looking for just about any way to gain an advantage over its rival Sony. Microsoft saw a clear chance to pounce when it was announced that the PlayStation 4 Pro would amazingly not ship with a 4K UHD Blu-ray disc drive (something that the new Xbox One S does include).
And while Microsoft won’t be supporting native 4K gaming with the recently released Xbox One S, the upcoming powerhouse Project Scorpio gaming console will be a completely different story. Rather than relying primarily on 4K upscaling, Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis says that "Any games we're making that we're launching in the Scorpio time frame, we're making sure they can natively render at 4K."
But of course, Microsoft can say that as it will likely have more powerful hardware under the hood than the PlayStation 4 Pro, and Project Scorpio is still over a year away from release. That gives Microsoft plenty of time to tweak its hardware and gives developers enough time to ensure that their games can pass muster when rendered in 4K.
This is a stark contrast to the PlayStation 4 Pro, which Sony admits will won’t be able to run most games in true 4K and will instead upscale them. In an interview with Digital Spy late last week, Sony’s Andrew House stated, “I would say the majority will be upscaled – at least based on the game portfolio I have seen to date.”
When asked if using the term “4K Gaming” as a bullet point for the PlayStation 4 Pro without a wealth of native 4K titles incoming was misleading, House added, “No, I don't think so. I think that whatever the term is, it's a question of whether people see a demonstrable difference in the game experience or not, rather than the term we use to apply to it.”
With that being said, we’ll just have to wait until fall 2017 to see if Microsoft’s 4K promises hold true. Until then, gamers will have to get their quasi-4K fix on the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Pro.