Xbox One Marketing Chief Impressed And Surprised By Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro

We often see in sports mutual respect by the world's top athletes, even ones that are bitter rivals. Case in point, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson fought tooth and nail on the basketball court for many years, but each respected the other's game, and they eventually became friends. In a similar vein, Albert Penello, Microsoft's head of marketing, said Sony deserves "a lot of credit" for what the company did in putting together the PlayStation 4 Pro.

Microsoft is getting ready to release the world's most powerful game console, the Xbox One X. The company's aim is to enable 4K resolution gameplay at 60 frames per second. Sony's PS4 Pro is a direct competitor to the Xbox One X, which came out nearly a year ago, in November 2016.

PlayStation 4 Pro

"I give them a lot of credit for what they did there," Penello told MCV. "But for me, the most interesting observation is that we both arrived at a similar idea even if the execution is slightly different. This business tends to diverge and converge in interesting ways, and obviously we don't know what they're doing. We don't have insight into what their plans are, so when they announced the Pro, I was a surprised as anybody else was."

Like the Xbox One X, the PS4 Pro is an upgraded version of its predecessor and is intended for 4K resolution gameplay. However, as Penello notes the two consoles approach things differently. While Sony has said the PS4 Pro is technically capable of native 4K gaming, the console renders most games at a lower resolution and then upconverts to 4K. Sony calls this "dynamic 4K."

"They had a different idea in mind for what they wanted to build, so in retrospect it may seem like we were reacting to what they were doing. But people in the business know that this has been in the works for years, and we have to lock the specs years in advance," Penello added.

Microsoft's big marketing pitch is that the Xbox One X delivers "true 4K" gaming, in that it has the hardware necessary to render a native 3840x2160 resolution experience, rather than rendering at a lower resolution and outputting at 4K. That is a point that Microsoft will make again and again when promoting the Xbox One X, though at the same time, there appears to be some level of mutual respect between Microsoft and Sony.