Do Scorpio and PS4 Pro Signify A Future In Which Consoles Start To Rival PC Gaming?

This week, the guys discuss the news from where, in discussions with ARK: Survival Evolved’s Lead Designer (and co-founder of Studio Wildcard) Jeremy Stieglitz, he revealed that he equates the power of the PS4 Pro at around the same level as a $900 PC saying:

‘We estimate it would cost at least $900 to build a similarly powerful PC, and that’s if you were custom-building it with extreme cost control. We estimate its raw GPU performance is similar to an NVIDIA 970, and along with CPU improvements and overall more memory, it’s a really high benchmark for console performance.’ See the full article here

This has to be applauded as an amazing feat from Sony to get so much oomph out of a small form factor box and at a low power consumption too. While probably not hitting full native 4K across the board of upcoming (and pre-existing) games, Sony’s mid-generation upgrade has generally been well critically regarded in terms of the visuals that it can push out – even when using checkerboarding techniques etc – making a real difference to graphical quality and visual fidelity.

Now, of course, we know that the console platform is a standard closed system and this enables more available resources to be harnessed compared to when devs are having to mitigate the myriad variations of build specs that are the norm in the PC sector. But having said this, when looking at the price of graphics cards for PC gaming and comparing this cost (where it is in no way uncommon to be able to buy the likes of a PS4 Pro for the price of this one key component of a gaming PC) to what the PS4 Pro can do, is it fair to say that the gap between the advantage and increase in gaming performance usually associated with a gaming rig and the investment therein is getting smaller?  That the justification of the big payout for these monster graphics cards is going to get harder for the consumer?

With the advent of the upcoming Scorpio console from Microsoft offering even more power to console gamers and, if promises are to be believed, output a 4k / 60fps gaming experience most, if not all of the time, are we starting down a road where the gap between PC and home console will narrow, blur and maybe even close completely? After all a PC offering that kind of resolution and framerate is going to be getting on towards at least a $650 spend just on the video card.

Obviously, PC’s are more upgradable beasts and are used for many people for much more that simply gaming. They are a versatile platform that offers a much more open gaming ecosystem where mods stride freely among the masses like one of Horizon Zero Dawn’s Mecha Dinosaurs. So the case is obviously more complex when it comes to PC and Console squaring off and there is also the new graphical architectures that are incoming (and always will be incoming) from the Nvidia and the like. Not to mention that there will always be the guys that will pay what ever it takes to get the best experience available – and fair play to them.

However, one thing that does resonate is that maybe, just maybe, these powerful video cards that we have bought and lovingly installed into our PC’s could be coaxed to give the PC gamer more. Could optimisations and time, draw out that full potential of a gaming graphics card and are many sitting resentfully in their PCI-E slots wishing their full potential was tapped?

Unfortunately, it may simply be the issue that trying to cater to such a diverse array of video card types is just an impossible job and not being a devs, this is something unknown here at Spark Towers, though we have seen examples of console multi-platform games being held back for parity etc etc…

But, if the gap continues to narrow and consoles become more and more focussed on delivering maximum gaming power to consumers at a relativly low cost, the reaons for gamers who want the best to move over to PC may well lessen in the years to come.


In the ‘What We’ve Been Playing‘ section Daz, worries about going to deep into Final Fantasy XV in light of the announced story update patches that are on the way and asks if jumping into an RPG on day one is truly wise if this sort of thing becomes a trend.

Whilst Antony get eyes-on the ‘life changing’ (his words) VR experience the the Star Wars Battlefront VR mission.  Listen into this weeks pod and hear a grown man live his childhood dream of flying an X-Wing.

Playtonic Games confirmed that Yooka-Laylee will launch on April 11, 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and Linux, with pre-orders now available at £34.99 / $39.99 / €39.99 for non-Kickstarter backers in both digital and physical formats from all participating stores worldwide!

As an extra special bonus, everyone who pre-orders Yooka-Laylee on PC, Xbox One or PS4 will receive an instant unlock of the Yooka-Laylee Toybox, which offers a taste of the platforming mechanics set to appear in the full game in a self-contained, spoiler free sandbox.

Playtonic Games also confirmed that they are working very closely with Nintendo to look to bring Yooka-Laylee to the upcoming Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo announced a tie-up with Universal Studios last year, and since then it’s been confirmed that the parks in Osaka, Orlando, and Hollywood will eventually see areas with Nintendo-themed attractions. Now the company has revealed details for the first of these themed areas: Super Nintendo World will come to Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan.

Nintendo says that Super Nintendo World will feature “attractions based on many Nintendo titles.”

If you want more information on some of the items in this weeks Podcast here are some handy links:

If you would like to give us a rating or a review on iTunes then we have this handy link for you, click here to jump to iTunes review for the Lost Spark Podcast!

Overcooked’s Deep Dive in Co-Op gaming

Richie’s Plank Experience Santa Simulator

Devs Equate PS4 Pro performance to PC specs

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