FACT: The PS Neo Rules and the Xbox One S Sucks

FACT: The PS Neo Rules and the Xbox One S Sucks

Hopefully by this time next month we’ll all be deciding what to sell in order to go buy a PS4 Neo when it launches. Sony has sent the media invitations to an event it has simply dubbed the “PlayStation Meeting.” This meeting was foretold by a French gaming publication that reported that Sony would be revealing its upgraded PS4 that same day in New York, where the event is taking place. I think we’re safe to put two and two together and assume that the PlayStation Meeting, which will be livestreamed, is being held to finally reveal Neo and talk about what it will be capable of.

So what do we know about Neo so far, and will it be worth upgrading from the current PS4? We actually know quite a bit about Neo, thanks to some leaked documents, and it sounds like this will indeed be quite the upgrade from the vanilla PS4. Whereas the Xbox One S serves as a marginal upgrade that may only appeal to those who have 4K displays, Neo will offer much more power and greatly improved performance in games at 1080p as well. This will be an upgrade for the 4K early adopter as well as the average video game lover, and here’s why (shout out to Digital Foundry for the analysis):

A Huge Upgrade in GPU

Neo’s biggest upgrade by far is its GPU. Neo’s GPU boasts 36 compute units compared to the PS4’s 18. Additionally we’re looking at faster clock speeds as well: 911MHz compared to 800. Overall, in terms of performance, that’s an increase of 2.3X teraflops. If you want to slap a number on it, the current PS4, which already looks amazing (have you actually seen Uncharted 4 running in person?), tops out at around 1.84 teraflops, and the Neo will peak at around 4.14.

This will definitely be a machine capable of upscaling games to 4K, and no doubt you’ll be able to watch your UHD and 4K Blu-ray movies here as well. That’s the main appeal for upgrading to the Xbox One S, but I honestly think Neo should appeal most to the 1080p gamer. Sony and Microsoft are both making the case that vanilla PS4 and Xbox One owners absolutely will not be left behind, but the fact of the matter is that better hardware means better performance.

The Xbox One S, even though it’s using the exact same GPU, is showing 3-10fps improvements in a variety of games. Neo will not only provide a big jump in past games that struggled to run smoothly, but future games will also ship with a “Neo mode,” meant to take direct advantage of the more powerful hardware. Sure, some games may offer native 4K resolutions, but I’d be much more excited for a game running at 1080p and 60 fps than for a game running at 4K and sub-30 fps . Damn right I’m thinking about Bloodborne.

FACT: The PS Neo Rules and the Xbox One S Sucks

Modest memory and CPU upgrades

According to the leaked documents, games on Neo will have access to 5.5GBs of the PS4’s available 8GBs of RAM. That’s 512 megs more than what developers have access to when developing for the original PS4, and actually, no one is quite sure why the vanilla PS4 couldn’t have access to that extra memory as well, but there you have it. Memory bandwidth will also see a 24% improvement, bumping up from 176GB/s to 218GB/s.

While Neo is still sporting the same, 8-core, Jaguar processor housed in the PS4, Neo’s CPU will receive a modest overclock. We’re looking at 2.1 GHz vs. 1.6. That’s not a huge increase, and CPU intensive games will likely still see a bit of bottlenecking here. Still, more speed can’t hurt. I just wonder about cooling and noise.

If you’re going to make an upgrade this holiday season, I’d say Neo is the way to go. The Xbox One S has a very niche appeal. If you own an Xbox One and just have to play your UHD content from an Xbox, then go for it. If you have a PS4, there really isn’t a reason not to upgrade if you can afford it via some trade-in program. The new games will look amazing, and older games should run much better – especially if they patch in a “Neo mode.”

How’s everyone out there feeling about Neo so far? Are you pre-ordering day one? Do you think teraflops are a government conspiracy to get you to spend more money? Are you pissed, and think that Sony will pay special attention to Neo and let games run like crap on the PS4 after October? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts.

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