When Microsoft and Sony unveiled their futuristic, ultra-powerful, 4K consoles, they focused on a lot of technical information. They talked about HDR, RAM, gigahertz, refresh rates, and a lot of other things that were previously only important to people looking to build the most powerful computers possible.
Not long after they were finished spouting out all this information, they each issued a similar statement meant to reassure a large part of their audience:
“Don’t worry, this system will not feature any exclusive games.”
That seems like a good idea, doesn’t it? Neither Sony or Microsoft is quite ready to move on from the PS4 and Xbox One, but they also want to give gamers that care about raw power and 4K capabilities a system that suits their needs. The agreed upon solution, then, was to make sure that anyone who didn’t want to buy a new console didn’t have to.
As consumer friendly as that is, it’s also an insult to those who really do want to buy an advanced console. Microsoft has constantly stated that Project Scorpio is a premium console. Sony has repeatedly used words like “professional” and “discerning” when describing the PS4 Pro market. These are consoles meant for a section of gamers usually referred to as hardcore.
If you purchase one of these premium consoles, you deserve to receive premium experiences. Factoring in the cost of a decent 4K TV and one of these systems, you’re looking at around a $1,500 investment to be able to properly utilize a 4K console. The only trouble is that you’re never really going to get the most out of them no matter what you spend because the games are always going to have to be able to run on a less powerful device.
What will likely happen is that PS4 and Xbox One owners are going to be “incentivized” over the next couple of years to upgrade. You’re going to find that games on the PS4 and Xbox One gradually start to look worse and worse compared to the PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio. It’s what has been happening to PC gamers for years now. The difference here is that Microsoft and Sony will likely be ready to introduce new consoles by the time that happens.
There’s no easy solution, but 4K early adopters shouldn’t be punished in the meantime because of that. Even if major releases remain available to all console owners, the future of gaming and home entertainment demands that we start seeing what 4K exclusive games are really capable of.