Updated: Apr 30
4K, it's been around for a couple of years but up until now truly only in a limited number of respects. As 4K TV's become more affordable an increasing amount of content becomes more available. The latest of these to be unveiled is support from our gaming consoles. The major players in the game console industry are all throwing their hats in the ring to get a bite of the 4K pie. Is it worth the buy or which console is the better purchase is really up to the consumer at this point.
The Microsoft XBOX One S recently released will provide 4K UHD Blu-Ray playback and 4K streaming but only 4K upconversion of existing game titles. The new XBOX will also support the up and coming HDR technology. HDR meaning (High Dynamic Range) boasts a wider range of contrast and color. It will soon be another looked for acronym stamped on every high end TV box. In addition Microsoft will also will also be releasing an even newer system next year during the 2017 holiday season named XBOX One Project Scorpio. The new to be released system claims true 4K gaming which leads one to think why purchase the lacking XBOX One S system at $299 with the real deal soon around the corner.
Next up is Sony entering the 4K arena with it's contender the Playstation 4 Pro which launches November 10th. The system will be available for $399 on it's release date. The Pro offers all the 4K support that the new XBOX provides plus 4K enhanced game titles. The Pro delivers significantly upgraded hardware for improved game performance. Currently the Pro has about 40 titles supporting 4K to be available. The one thing physical media lovers will miss on the Pro is the support 4K UHD Blu-Ray playback something Microsoft made sure not to drop from it's feature list. Another thing to keep in mind is Sony PS5 is expected to launch sometime the second half of 2018.
Last but not least is Nintendo's new Switch system. The Switch is slated to launch March of 2017. Details regarding 4K and HDR support are still speculative but one would assume for video streaming these will be available. Launch price is also a question yet to be answered. The system will have improved hardware over the Wii U based on the Tegra chipset architecture which is common on most mobile devices. The Switch's new chipset should allow developers to more readily port over popular titles expanding the game library for the system. One other thing I like about the Switch is the return of game cartridges. Retro lovers will love being able to horde a collection of game titles for the system. Overall like its predecessors the Switch will have some new innovative aspects and though an upgrade to Nintendo's previous system it will still be a couple of steps behind the competition from a performance perspective. Most games will only run at best comparable to the original XBOX One and PS4.
So which system do we suggest. Well for games I would definitely go with the PS4 Pro being it's the only console which supports true 4K gaming. For video playback and streaming the choice would more lean on preference. All the systems (assuming the Switch does) will support 4K streaming which pretty much makes any of them a viable entertainment system with the exception only the One S will allow for 4K UHD Blu-Ray playback. One other feeling about the One S is that even if you are a die hard disciple of the XBOX I still would advise holding out another year for the Scorpio which will compensate for the "true" 4K gaming lacking on the One S compared to the PS4 Pro.
Verdict: In the end these are game consoles and system specs and game library trump all. That being said The Ragin' Geek picks the PS4 Pro as the 4K game console to choose.