During this year's E3, Microsoft tantalisingly teased Project Scorpio for 2017, a machine Xbox boss Phil Spencer called "the most powerful games console ever".

Since that time, Sony has also unveiled a new flagship device, revealing even more details during a dedicated PlayStation Meeting in New York on Wednesday 7 September. 

That's why we thought it useful to look at what we know so far about both consoles to start to paint a picture about how the next phase of the gaming wars could shape up.

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While it's hard to pin down the full specifications of one of the consoles - Project Scorpio - one thing we know for sure is that they will both offer 4K HDR gaming.

Xbox promised as much during its press conference at E3 2016. What's more, it claims that the graphics chip in the new console will be not only capable of 4K resolutions, but at 60 frames per second to boot.

Its system on chip (SoC) will have 6 teraflops of computing power just to render 4K graphics - that's high end PC graphics card stuff.

The PS4 Pro has 4.20 teraflops of graphics processing power, using an AMD Radeon-based GPU. It looks less powerful on paper, but we've seen it is more than capable of rendering games in 4K and with High Dynamic Range (HDR) colour and contrast processing too.

Both consoles are expected to play back 4K HDR video via streams, although the PS4 Pro does not have a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Considering the Xbox One S does, we expect Project Scorpio to follow its baby brother's lead.

During its E3 reveal, Microsoft confirmed that Project Scorpio will have an octa-core processor, although it didn't mention the clock speed.

The PS4 Pro also have an octa-core CPU, the x86-64 "Jaguar", although clock speed has not been revealed by Sony as part of its specifications sheet. Previous speculation suggested that each core will run at 2.1GHz.

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Both consoles will be mega powerful though, that's for sure.

It is thought that the Scorpio will offer 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, just like the PS4 Pro, but that's not confirmed by Microsoft.

We do know though that the memory sported by the Project Scorpio will have a bandwidth of 320GB/s. The Neo is rumoured to be restricted to 218GB/s, but that's not been confirmed by Sony.

This might not make much difference in general gaming, at least in a conventional sense. The higher the spec though, the more developers will be able to eek out of it in the future.

One of the aimed digs Xbox sent PlayStation's way during its E3 press event was about virtual reality.

While Sony was focusing a lot on the imminent PS VR headset during its own event and at the show, the Microsoft team delighted in revealing that Scorpio will be capable of running better, higher-res VR devices, backed up by Bethesda that said Fallout 4 is likely to be available through it.

One train of thought is that Microsoft will ally with Oculus for Rift support, which even today is a better spec'ed headset than PS VR. The PlayStation VR uses a single 1920 x 1080 OLED panel to serve 960 x 1080 to each eye, while the Oculus Rift (and HTC Vive) has an overall resolution of 2160 x 1200, so 1080 x 1200 for each eye.

To be honest, from our experiences with all three headsets, that doesn't matter much when a game is good enough.

Maybe the Xbox team suggests an even higher resolution headset for the future, one with a 4K screen. That'd provide 1920 x 2160 to each eye and would be significantly sharper. But for that, the console would need to serve 4K at higher than 60fps, as previously stated. The Rift and Vive are both capable at running at 90Hz (90fps), while the PS VR can output up to 120Hz.

In terms of the NPS4 Pro, it has been suggested for a while that one of the reasons for the upgrade is to better serve virtual reality. And even if there's no update to the PS VR next year, developers are being urged to present deeper, more detailed experiences for Pro owners running Sony's headset.

Either way, if things go to plan, VR will be a significant battleground for both manufacturers going forward.

This is where Sony wins hands-down. It surprised everyone during its PlayStation Meeting when it announced that the 4K capable PS4 Pro will be released on 10 November 2016. That's very soon.

The Project Scorpio on the other hand will be coming "Holiday 2017", giving Sony a clean run at securing dominance by almost 12 months. What's the betting Microsoft pulls the release date forward to halve the deficit.

The PS4 Pro also has the upper hand when it comes to price. It costs £349. Considering the top-end Xbox One S is similarly priced, it's amazing that Sony has managed to squeeze the cost down enough to make its market-leading console affordable.

Perhaps that will also force Microsoft's hand in ensuring its next machine is comparatively priced. Although it will be higher spec'ed, so maybe not.

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One of the things current-gen console owners will be most worried about is what will the launch of two new consoles mean for their machines.

Thankfully, both manufacturers have already stated that while their new consoles are better and higher spec'ed, all games released going forward will be compatible with the standard consoles too.

Think of it like a PC. Some people have the ability to play games at 4K, others in Full HD, and others still are capped at lower resolutions depending on their graphics card. They can still all buy the same games though, which scale at a software level to offer the best experience possible per computer.

The PS4 Pro is even able to play many archive games in higher resolutions and with HDR, thanks to a swathe of patches coming after launch. We expect the same to be true of Project Scorpio.

To be honest, at this stage it is impossible to judge which of the two consoles will be "the most powerful ever" thanks to only one of them being officially unveiled. Microsoft has confirmed the existence of Project Scorpio but, unlike the PS4 Pro, we've not seen it in action yet.

We will find out more in time for sure. And now that Sony has shown its hand, we think Microsoft will ramp up the amount of teasing over the coming months.

One thing's for sure; it's an exciting time to be a gamer.