Microsoft's Xbox Scorpio console will enjoy a significant performance advantage over Sony's PS4 Neo.
That's according to Digital Foundry, which says that Neo is now too far down the line for Sony to possibly hope to try and change its plans and stop the new Xbox outperforming its machine by a large margin.
The site says that Scorpio will best Neo's GPU performance by around 40 per cent, reversing the similar lead that PS4 currently boasts over Xbox One. It also speculates that Scorpio will use 12GB of GDDR5 memory, which beats Neo's 8GB.
The flip side to this, however, is that to achieve these specs, Xbox Scorpio is likely to cost a lot more to manufacture than Neo. Some rough calculations suggest that Scorpio will need to retail for about $100 more than its rival.
It's a remarkable turnabout. A good portion of PlayStation 4's success has been down to its spec advantage over Xbox One, combined with a focus on the hardcore player. Sony's technological advantage will be gone with the next wave of hardware,” the site said.
We already know that it cannot support true 4K resolution on cutting-edge games, because we've seen the internal documents that outline Sony's upscaling strategies for 4K display support (more on that soon). It's also unfeasible for Sony to produce a radically revised Neo - the silicon has been designed, developer kits have gone out. Matching Scorpio would require scrapping Neo's existing processor completely.”
PS4 was arguably faster out of the gates than Xbox One for two simple reasons – it was more powerful, and it was cheaper. A win-win.
The Neo vs Scorpio battle looks to be more complicated, with Microsoft having the power advantage and Sony the price advantage. Beyond that there are a hundred other factors to consider, of course – software, PlayStation VR, Microsoft's still mysterious VR solution, marketing etc.
Regardless, there are certainly reasons for Microsoft to start feeling confident.