PS4 Pro: Should you buy it?

Sony have finally announced their rival product to Mircosoft’s Project Scorpio and it has been portrayed as the pinnacle of console gaming providing players the opportunity to take advantage of 4K gaming from the comfort of their living room. It has been dubbed as a true achievement as no other console has ever achieved such a groundbreaking feat on console. What every gamer wants to know is does this significant improvement in graphics warrant a £349 purchase on top of the already original, robust PS4 console?

Are There Many 4K Games?

Horizon Zero Dawn showcased in 4K at the Playstation Meeting 2016

First, let’s take a look at the games that will be available as part of the 4K gaming package. There are a total of 24 games either launching alongside the PS4 Pro or scheduled for release shortly after, making it hard to argue that Sony are not backing this console. In the first instance that is very reassuring. Of these 24 games there will be an impressive selection of AAA titles playable in 4K/HDR including Battlefield 1, Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare, FIFA 17, The Last Of Us, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Unchartered. That’s quite an impressive selection of games making the proposition of upgrading to the latest console far more attractive.

Players can also expect graphics improvements on their PS4 as the console will be getting a patch which includes Sony’s new HDR technology. In short, HDR is another means of adding more contrast to the display, making the colours from the display much sharper. This feature has not yet been shown off by Sony and it is unclear whether this patch will come at a fee but before current PS4 owners jump the gun to buy the PS4 Pro it may be worth seeing if the HDR patch is enough of a step up graphically.

By just looking at the game selection you could argue that this console is worth purchasing but how well does the console display these games in 4K and does it come at a cost?

4K Or No Way?

Does the PS4 Pro live up to the 4K graphics promise?

Everyone wants to know does the PS4 Pro really output at 4K? The answer is yes but is it worth buying a new console purely for an upgrade in graphics. Simply, the answer is no but let’s face it, there are many people (myself included) that would be more than willing to spend a lot on a new console regardless. Let’s have a look in more details at what the PS4 will be capable of.

Don’t try to see the difference in graphics with your own eyes unless you have a device capable of 4K output. Firstly, you will need to see a game running through a 4K TV to see the difference which is a bit of a bummer! What is clear from the Playstation Meeting is that some game developers have really taken advantage of the hardware in the PS4 Pro and there are other who have not quite reached the peak performance of the console. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare developers claimed to display their game in 4K and 60fps but it didn’t look that way from the audience’s perspective.

It is clear that unless these developers are truly developing their games to output a 4K resolution then it would be hard to justify buying the PS4 Pro. The reason why developers may not create the game at 4K could be to up the frame rate which will still be for the benefit of the consumer but if Sony’s big sell is the 4K graphics then anything short of that would not warrant the purchase.

4K Video Too?

Players are disappointed to hear there will be no ability to play 4K Blu Ray discs

The PS4 Pro will be able to display video content at a 4K resolution in addition to games. The crux of this is that you will not be able to use 4K Blu Ray discs through the Playstation as this 4K display is only available for apps that stream in this resolution. This comes as quite a shock to almost all gamers considering the Xbox One S, the predecessor to Project Scorpio, already includes this technology. It’s baffling that Sony has appeared to overlook this feature considering they have been strongly pushing this technology over the past year.

However, in hindsight, this is not the be all and end all of why I choose a gaming console so I’m sure it will not worry Sony much that it hasn’t been included. It may give Mircosoft the opportunity to deal an easy blow when Project Scorpio is finally revealed but we will have to wait and see how well they have executed their console to know just how much it will scare Sony.

A Time And A Place

Is it more cost effective to buy a gaming PC than a PS4 Pro?

There is always a time and a place for anything in life and it is arguably both a good and bad time for Sony to release the PS4 Pro. There are some very clear benefits of launching ahead of Mircosoft as many gamers who spend their money this year may likely struggle to justify buying Project Scorpio next year. Kudos to Sony for acting so quickly and producing such as impressive piece of kit.
The possible downside of launching the PS4 Pro now thoufh is that it may not be the right time to be asking the general public to go out and buy 4K TV’s for console gaming. By the time one person has gone out and bought a 4K TV and the PS4 Pro they are starting to enter the same costs as buying a gaming PC.  When you consider this then it will be incredibly hard for Sony to prevent people from buying a PC, especially since this means they will be competing with the Steam marketplace for PC gamers which does an amazing job of providing a huge selection of games at cheaper prices than console.

My Verdict

This article is by no means designed to make your decision for you but to provide the correct considerations before shelling out your money on a new console. Here is my opinion, if you don’t have a console and you are willing to spend £800 upwards for the TV and console (in the absolute best case scenario) then buying a PS4 Pro could be a great place to start. If you also already own a 4K TV then you are quids in, literally but that’s not the situation for the majority of console gamers. For everyone else then I would recommend saving your money and possibly investing in the PS VR in the meantime until 4K console gaming becomes a more competitive. Mircosoft surely can’t be too far behind announcing their console and this may help make your decision, or maybe it will only make it harder. It is not the right time for 4K console gaming but it’s definitely on the horizon.


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