Now that Sony and Microsoft have both confirmed they’re releasing 4K video-capable versions of their respective PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, the big question (aside from more details about specs) is when the actual release dates for these devices are coming.
Sony’s revelation that the PlayStation Neo 4K game console is indeed coming did not come accompanied by any details on a specific release date or exact price tag. Shortly after, Microsoft also officially stated that their also 4K capable Xbox One S game console is on the way in three versions, differentiated by their storage capacity. Microsoft also explained that the Xbox One S would go on sale as of August for the same price as the current Xbox One model, or at least the 2TB version, followed shortly thereafter by the 1TB and 500GB models.
The Xbox One S, which supports 4K Blu-ray and 4K streaming media shown on left
Around the same time, Microsoft also went into some detail about their even more powerful 2017 gaming console, which is currently known simply as “Project Scorpio”. This next-generation replacement for the Xbox One goes well beyond the capacities of the Xbox One S or even the PlayStation Neo –as far as we can tell so far– to offer what Microsoft promises to be a true 4K gaming platform. Or, as Xbox development boss Phil Spencer recently stated in an interview with Eurogamer.net:
But I’ll say, having an Xbox One at $299 is going to be really important for us. It’s the only $299 console on the market right now, and it supports 4K video with the S, that’s going to be a really good selling feature for us, and we’ve got our biggest lineup of games coming this year in 2016.
So, Scorpio is for the person who’s got a 4K television, who’s really focused on 4K gaming. It’s going to be a premium price over what we’re selling this one for, and both of them will exist in the market at the same time. Scorpio is for your 4K gamer. And that’s what we designed it for.
In this regard, Sony’s 4K PlayStation Neo plans are distinct from those of Microsoft’s since the former company is releasing only one specific console as far as we know and though it will definitely have 4K video playback and 4K Blu-ray capacity, we don’t yet know how powerful its 4K gaming chops will be. We do know that the Neo will offer enhanced power, superior graphics performance that may go as high as 4 to 5 teraflops and support for enhance virtual reality visuals but if the Neo will be like the Scorpio in terms of confirmed 4K game support is not yet quite clear.
concept design for the 4K PlayStation Neo
All this aside, the question of which of these two advanced 4K consoles will hit the market first is what really has a lot of console gaming fans curious.
Microsoft has alluded to a “Holiday” 2017 release for the Scorpio console while a new report from a French consumer electronics distributor on the Sony PlayStation Neo suggests a late 2016 release in October.
According to the report, Sony will release the PS 4 Neo before the end of the year in October, allowing the new console’s release to coincide with Sony’s release of their PlayStation VR platform, which will obviously be compatible with the Neo and the current Play Station 4.
Thus, since Microsoft seems to be sure about NOT releasing their Project Scorpio 4K gaming console before 2017, Sony looks like it’s going to be the winner in getting their 4K gaming and video playback model out first.
This apparent victory for Sony could however also work to Microsoft’s benefit, since it will let the Redmond, Washington company see how developers adapt to the competitor’s similar console and how well 4K gaming pans out as a focus for the Neo device.
All this said, we must mention that Sony has been quiet about the release date of its Neo console. At E3 2016, the company only revealed that the 4K console was on the way but said nothing about an October 2016 release or a 2017 release. Sony has also not yet mentioned the price at which they would be selling the Neo. Neither has Microsoft for its Scorpio console.
On a final note, several major electronic gaming conventions are taking place in the coming weeks. These include the Tokyo Game Show, Gamescom and the Paris Games Week. Sony or Microsoft for that matter might both reveal more details about their upcoming 4K consoles at any of these events. We’ll keep you posted as details emerge.
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