PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio Are Like ‘VR Editions’ Of Current Consoles – Artomatix CTO

“Personally, I don’t think of the Pro as an upgrade, I think of it as the “Virtual Reality edition” of the PS4.”

Posted By | On 12th, Feb. 2017 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

Much has been said and written about the PS4 Pro ad the upcoming Xbox Scorpio- these systems, by being mid generation iterative upgrades of existing consoles, have broken the traditional generational format for console releases, and a lot of uncertainty still abounds about how things will play out with both of them.

Eric Risser, the CTO of Artomatix, has weighed in with his own opinion of these two consoles, and what they ultimately amount to. According to him, it is the rise of VR that has led to the need for having this kind of a mid cycle console refresh, and VR that these consoles are ultimately built for.

“When gaming on a monitor, your console only needs to render one picture at a time. When gaming in VR though, your console needs to render two pictures at the same time, one for each eye. This is essentially the big computational cost of switching to VR, you need double the GPU. The only difference between the PS4 and PS4-Pro is a GPU with double the cores,” Risser said. “Personally, I don’t think of the Pro as an upgrade, I think of it as the “Virtual Reality edition” of the PS4. While the Scorpio specs aren’t released yet, I suspect they’ll follow the same trend as the PS4… they’ll at least double the compute cores so you can play Xbox in VR.”

Risser thinks that these consoles have been primarily made as a response to VR. “The reality is that everyone was caught off-guard by the Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign kicking-off the rise of VR,” he said. “Now Microsoft and Sony are in an awkward position. If they were to support VR with the original console they brought to market, players would see a big drop in graphics and probably migrate over to PC or worse, allow a gap in the market for a new direct competitor to emerge. In a perfect world VR would coincide with the end of a console cycle and they could just design the next generation for VR from the ground up. Unfortunately, at a mere 3 years old, neither console is ready for retirement yet. I think offering a mid-term “VR edition” is a sensible compromise. Of course, there’s going to be a lot of marketing hype over TFLOPs and introducing the “most powerful console ever”, because that’s what marketing people do. Personally, I’m not taking the hype too seriously. “

This in fact echoes a sentiment that Michael Pachter had expressed last year, too- and certainly, VR seems to run far better on the PS4 Pro than it does on a standard PS4 system. But hey, as long as this extra power can also benefit normal, non VR games, I don’t think anyone will mind too much.

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  • Gamez Rule

    “The only difference between the PS4 and PS4-Pro is a GPU with double the cores,” Risser said”….. Yeah right!

  • Mark

    Interesting. I do think Microsoft is designing Scorpio to do both VR, and render 4K games (what with the whole 4K non-mandate caveat of course). But I just don’t feel they really believe that this present level of VR is gonna blow minds and take off like iphones. Phil did mention he doesn’t think so either. I mean BestBuy just shutdown their VR stations in 200 stores across US. What I do hope Scorpio does offer is a glimpse of what could be with high fidelity VR in the future. Has anyone played Res Evil 7 with PS VR, Oculus, or Vive? I wanna know if it makes the game that much more scarier.

    • Captain01

      Its absolutely terrifying and incredible. It honestly puts all other horror to shame in VR. (Its only available in PSVR currently). I’ve used the Vive (For other games like budget cuts and space pirate trainer) and RE7 in PSVR is the best experience I have ever had. That said, you have to make sure you play it solely in VR first so you dont expect whats coming. If you beat it in the standard mode, it makes the VR mode less intense because you know what is coming. However, that immersion factor is amazing.

    • Mark

      Wow. Thanks man. I had an idea, but dam ok. Do u think Horror is prolly the best experience to be had for VR right now?

    • Captain01

      Mmmm.. horror works really well for VR, but I’ve even played platformers in VR which were quite amazing too. The main reason I would say RE7 is the best VR game to date is because it is completely playable start to finish in VR. Most VR, “games” are short 1-2 hour play throughs, or less. RE7 will last you 8 – 10 hours (So long as you don’t look at guides) or perhaps longer. I know I played the game much slower in VR on my first play through because 1) Its scary 2) Exploration is far more fun. Ultimately, RE7 is the most complete VR game to date; however, I believe any genre could be just as good if full versions were made of them too.

    • Aenea

      MS is really rather quiet on the VR front, they don’t have their own VR headsets, we don’t know the specs of those recently announced VR headsets and if they are even going to be compatible with the Scorpio. We do know they plan on supporting the Rift and probably the Vive as well.

      There’s one problem with those two, they have a slightly higher pixel count in their displays than PSVR and they can only do 90fps instead of 60/90/120fps like PSVR is capable off. This means that the Scorpio will need to push 1.875 more pixels PER SECOND than the PS4 Pro has to, to show the same graphical fidelity. Scorpio is faster than the Pro but not that much faster so game devs will need to downgrade the graphics for Scorpio…

    • Gamez Rule

      I truly think ( in my opinion ) that Scorpio although having more power in the gaming department when compared to PS4-Pro still wouldn’t be able to play all games released so far in native 4k resolutions and that’s why I believe where P-Scorpio is ( as MS stated ) classed as a *TRUE 4k gaming console* could be misleading when some games may not be native 4k resolutions at all ( much like PS4-Pro ), hence why devs do not have to make all games native 4k on P-Scorpio unless they are first-party titles?

      Games should run much better on Scorpio as long as MS allow all older games to use the extra hardware power like Sony are trying to do with PS4-Pro Boost-Mode But I don’t believe Scorpio will sell like Xbone does, much like PS4-Pro doesn’t sell as good as base PS4’s.

      As for VR I also think that MS are way behind in that gaming department when looking at what’s already available to gamers.

    • Aenea

      I’m actually rather certain Scorpio won’t run ALL games in native 4k, it’s not possible with the specs we know. If you see what the PS4 Pro does with 40% less GPU power then it’s reasonable to think Scorpio won’t be able to get to native 4k either.

      Look at Fallout 4 for example, the Pro patch is 1440p, going from that to native 4k (2160p) means it would need to render 2.25 times more pixels per frame, Scorpio’s GPU is not going to be capable of that.

      Yes, I know the CPU and RAM size and bandwidth and all that, well, bigger textures are possible but also means more pixels to process. A faster CPU might make sure that things like AI and other housekeeping tasks that run on the CPU for each frame will go faster so it might gain a few frames here or there, but the analysis done by DigitalFoundry showed that some frame drops still occur on the Pro in scenes with lots of graphical effects so it’s still GPU bound.

      I can see F4 run at a native 1800p on the Scorpio for instance (or slightly lower or with a dynamic resolution if they are smart to get rid of any and all frame drops) but no way will it do native 2160p.

      Still better tho…

      I also think tho that future games could use checkerboard/sparse rendering from the start of (or at least early enough in) development for both console to create even better results than the native resolutions of Fallout 4. Maybe target this rendering at 1800p for the Pro (then upscale to 2160p) and straight up target 2160p on the Scorpio…

    • Gamez Rule

      I’m just waiting to see what MS really release within the Scorpio before I make a choice. I would still like to know what MS means by advertising *TRUE 4k gaming* if games do not need to be made in 4k resolutions? I mean Sony could get away with that as well really IF it only needs a single game made in native 4K.

    • Mark

      Gamez would u consider the PS4 to be a 1080p machine?

    • Gamez Rule

      In many ways people can say it is a 1080p machine due to being able to play games at 1080p and above at 30fps ( some games running at 1080p 60fps ), but the same could be seen as a 4k machine ( even when not being able to play all games at 4k res- ). BUT to answer your question PS4-Pro is not a true 1080p console ( IMO )

      Reason I believe that it’s not a TRUE 1080p console is that not all games are native being made at 1920×1080 at 60fps. But like I pointed out that’s just my opinion.

      I know PS4-pro can do native 4k on some games BUT not all games so really it’s not a TRUE 4k machine either.

      IMO where MS are stating Scorpio is going to be a TRUE 4k gaming console they should have all games running at native 4k resolutions at 60fps BUT on all games still allowing 1080p TV gamers to select 1920x1080p.

    • Mark

      Ok you know I respect ur opinion. But even if u had a game running at 1080p 60fps, that developer can drop the resolution to 900p and use those extra GPU cycles to further enhance particle effects, that will have a better impact on graphics than simply having more static pixels with diminishing returns. U can have all the power u ever dreamed of in a GPU, lol, and as a developer you’ll always have a choice of HOW to use it. That’s why I’m loving Microsoft’s “no mandate for 4K” stance, they’re allowing devs to use those 6Tflops creatively. Sony is on-board too. What I’m saying is this, it isn’t simply that Scorpio won’t have enough power to run all games native 4K, it’s that some developers have chosen to use up their GPU cycles for other graphics effects as a priority, over hitting some arbitrary resolution number.

      Look at BF1, it’s the best looking game out imo. And not coincidentally, it’s below 1080p on both Xbox and PS4. That’s how devs should spend power bro, not on hitting 1080p for some marketing crap. So when Microsoft says “True 4K”, they just mean they’re giving devs enough power to run in native 4K on titles within reason. That is, most devs will run their games in 4K, but some won’t and choose a different approach and will use Checkerboarding or sumthin. Point is, even with 8Tflops, it’s about how, they use our systems. So for me I’m happy Microsoft isn’t mandating 4K. And if they did, people will just say “Microsoft’s handcuffing developers, and holding back the Scorpio for marketing purposes” or some crap they’ll find. What do u think Gamez?

    • Gamez Rule

      Truth is we could post about graphical fidelity as opposed to aesthetic all day long BUT lets get back to the main point of MS’s stated *TRUE 4K GAMING* for Scorpio.

      3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution = TRUE 4k? Surely that is correct? So wouldn’t *TRUE 4k gaming* be running at the standard 4k of 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution no matter what?

      This is my point. We could post all day about lowering resolution to improve gaming looks etc but that game wouldn’t be classed as *TRUE 4k* game if it’s under the 4k standard resolution.

      This is why I believe where P-Scorpio is ( as MS stated ) classed as a *TRUE 4k gaming console* could be misleading when some games may not be native 4k resolutions at all ( much like PS4-Pro )

    • Mark

      What they mean by “True” 4K gaming is simply native 4K gaming. And most games will be native 4K on Scorpio. This is a console that will run 90% games in 4K. Will there be exceptions? Of course. Why? Because some developers will prioritize other graphics functions over the highest resolution. Console manufacturers would have a bad relationship with devs if they forced them to hit some magic number and how to run their engines, unless of course they publish it. This is the exact, same situation on PS4 running 1080p.

      They marketed it as a Full HD machine over Xbox. Yet, they’ve no mandates for that resolution, and some games are 900p. Should we call them hypocrits, or call them contradictory? Why have I not seen even 1 PS4 fan call them out? It’s cuz 9/10 games are 1080p on PS4. Nobody’s worried about those other dime-a-dozen games that don’t hit the magic number. It just ain’t that serious man. When ur hitting that high of a percentage, the sub-full HD games are trivial, exceptions, not the norm. So I wouldn’t call that misleading personally. Maybe you would man, I guess.

      Also, the PS Pro is the opposite of this situation, the inverse. It can barely hit native 4K on AAA games. Not even 50%. So yes I’d def call it misleading if Sony said it’s a 4K console. Honestly I haven’t seen them say it’s “native 4k” or “true 4K”. So I’m fine with how they advertise it.
      But the Scorpio will be different, more like the PS4 hitting its stated targets.

    • Gamez Rule

      “what they mean by “True” 4K gaming is simply native 4K gaming” = Correct.

      Anything under the pixel standard of 3,840 x 2,160 isn’t native 4k and that’s why I believe that MS on P-Scorpio’s advertising shouldn’t be stating TRUE 4k gaming if not all games are at the standard 4k pixel resolution. A TRUE 4k gaming console should be 4k on ALL games to be classed as TRUE.

      As for Sony I’ve already stated that PS4 IMO isn’t a true 1080p console either as not ALL games are 1080p native pixel resolutions and same said for Xbone. PS4-Pro could be classed as a full 1080p machine but not a TRUE 4k gaming machine even when able to play some games at 4k native pixel resolution. ( and if Scorpio is going to follow PS4-Pro with only allowing some 4k games then it too is not a TRUE 4k gaming console )

    • Mark

      U know what Gamez, I think our standards are different, and that’s why we disagree. Ur on PC as well right? If so, I can see what u mean by “Hitting 4K no matter what”. Basically ur saying Scorpio should be able to hit 4K 60fps at high or Ultra settings, etc, correct? And then it can be considered a 4K system. I see what choo mean. But that’s the conceptual mistake I think ur making. You PC guys play at a very high demanding performance. Us on console? We’re used to 30fps at medium-high settings lol. You have to remember that, THAT’S the target for Scorpio, being that it’s a console…..console gaming. Will we see ultra or max settings on it? Who knows, maybe at lower res. But that’s basically what I’m tryna say boss

    • Gamez Rule

      “Basically ur saying Scorpio should be able to hit 4K 60fps at high or Ultra settings, etc, correct?”

      What I’m point out is Where MS are stating *TRUE*4k gaming then all games should be running at the 4k standard 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution on P-Scorpio.

      MS could allow a 1080p version of the same game for people that only use a 1080p TV but MS should be hitting 4k standard pixel resolutions due to their own advertising on P-Scorpio as TRUE 4k gaming.

      Example: If you was in a store a looking at a TV and you was reading a sales sign stating it was a FULL HD TV only to get it home and it turned out to be 1024×1024 pixel resolution would you have been mislead by marketing? Then when calling the store they say that IF you use a blu-ray player though HDMI 1 it can scale up to look like FULL HD, are you still mislead OR are you now happy?///// You’ve been mislead!

    • Mark

      1) Ok if Microsoft is being held to the standard of their own advertisement for their own product, then should not Sony? I guess “True 4K” is worse than “1080p makes you a better gamer” and, “Get used to hearing alot more of 1080p 60fps”. Now who’s misleading? Microsoft? Sony? Both of them? Or neither?

      2) So then I guess 4K TVs are currently misleading to millions of people then. Since they actually only provide a small portion of 4K movies and programs. Why aren’t people boycotting Samsung and LG? Simple. Because they understand that the device is 4K CAPABLE, but not every network, due to, once again, content creators and Cable Providers, are still issuing 1080p signals cuz of bandwidth and bla blah blah. Isn’t this misleading then?

    • Gamez Rule

      Ok, SONY has also been questioned with advertisement on their products, and like I’ve shown you I also have the same views on PS4 as well as Xbone not being TRUE 1080p machines, but lets not try and steer away from the P-Scorpio that is advertising TRUE 4K GAMING when we all know that not all games can run at the 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution which = TRUE 4k. IF that would be the case then PS4 could be classed as a TRUE 4k gaming console LMAO!

    • Mark

      Really? Who’s been making noise about the PS4 not being a 1080p machine? Have you been? And where? And don’t u think it’s only fair for Microsoft to get a pass, when Sony has on this subject? No where have I seen people make a funk about Sony misleading them in the “resolution wars”. Do u not agree?

      Now, again, we’re talking consoles bro. They’ll always be designed mainly for 30fps, as most games aren’t twitch based shooters or fighters. This helps keep console prices low for the average consumer to buy them. Less ur saying u really think Scorpio should be able to handle Titan X performance at 4K 60fps on every game! Ahaha. I’m simply saying your concept of a “True 4K” or 1080p machine doesn’t match the console concept. 1080p 60fps? C’mon brother us console gamers have been playin at 30fps since gaming’s inception. Ur standard is too high! Lmao. Ur a darn PC guy Gamez. U have to understand the console gamers perspective, although I respect yours

    • Gamez Rule

      I have seen many people and articles showing both PS4 and Xbone not running games at 1080p when they are both meant to be able to run 1080p on games. And like I have stated on this page quite a few times now that I also believe that PS4 and Xbone are not TRUE 1080p machines. My reason is not all games run at the standard pixel resolution of 1920×1080 so they are not TRUE 1080p consoles even when running some games at 1080p.

      I have had every Sony console, every MS console 90% of Nintendo consoles, Sega consoles, Atari, etc, so I know what console gaming is all about BUT that still doesn’t take away the fact that anything under the standard 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution allowed for 4k gaming is not classified as TRUE 4k, it’s just that simple. And IF P-Scorpio allows games to be under those standards it is not a *TRUE* 4k gaming console just like PS4-Pro isn’t.

    • Mark

      Well I hear u Gamez. I can clearly see ur standpoint. And I don’t mean to say that u don’t understand console gaming. I know u do. It’s just I have my thoughts on that. But anyway I’m waaay too dam busy to keep debating u! Lol. I gotta do alot of homework bro. I hate that I’m a procrastinator, cuz my work is piled up ahaha. I have to man up and do things in advance. Could cost me a D or F man. Ughh. Anyway I won’t be leaving GamingBolt, but peace

    • Mark

      Also, be honest with me bro, isn’t it wrong for people to bash Microsoft over stating “True 4K” for Scorpio, but they had no problems with Yoshida marketing PS4 as a 1080p system with taglines like “1080p makes you a better gamer”. Lol, what? We all know PS4 runs 95% games at 1080p with some exceptions…..this will very likely be the case with Scorpio for 4K. So People don’t see the hypocrisy in that? Or they just don’t care. Ahaha. Anyway I’ll take any game in sub 1080p or sub 4K if the GPU is being spent somewhere else with big impact. What u think?

    • Mark

      Well Oculus is clearly a candidate, as Microsoft brought them out on stage. Truth is none of know yet about exact compatibility though. It could be all VR headsets, or just 1 lol. I imagine we’ll get some concrete stuff at E3. So we’ll see

      Edit: I see what u meant about Rift, my bad. Ultimately we’ll see about their solution.

  • Pryometrix

    Obviously isn’t playing on a 4k HDR tv if he thinks the pro is designed for VR… Considering most vr experiences are a parody between the standard and the pro.

  • Mr Xrat

    Nah, Xgimps told me that Shitpio was a brand new gen beast! They couldn’t possibly be deluded and ignorant.

  • SonyCeasarPS4



  • justerthought

    Eric Risser has just proved to the world he’s a small minded nobody desperately trying to get attention.

    I’m enjoying games in awesome quality on PS4 Pro and don’t even have VR. I don’t even have 4K or HDR either.

    I have beast Mode coming to enhance frame rates on all previous games. I have Horizon Zero Dawn and Ghost Recon Wildlands coming within a month that will be awesome on the PS4 Pro.

    And this fool claims thinks he has had a brain wave, calling the PS4 Pro a VR Edition. Wow that’s embarrassing.

  • Truthhurts24

    Scorpio is a true next gen system

    • SonyCeasarPS4


    • Truthhurts24

      Why should I delete it if its true its really a next gen system but Microsoft does not care about generations any more only upgrades.

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