Sony has launched the PS4 Pro, but how does it compare with the standard, original PS4 and why should you spend good cash to upgrade to the Pro console? Here’s our in-depth look at the differences between the PS4 Pro and reasons to splash out.
Sony has finally peeled the dainty wraps off its new PS4 Pro 4K and HDR console, less than a mere two years since it released the original PS4. That’s not a long time in the tech world, sure, but for console releases this is one of the fastest upgrades ever.
So is this new PS4 Pro anything to get excited about? Should we all be running out and throwing money at our nearest games shop to replace our old console? That question needs less thought for those that don’t yet own a PS4 – after all, purchasing the PS4 Pro means you can play great games like Uncharted 4. But for those that already have a PS4 taking pride of place in their entertainment cabinet, is a 4K and HDR upgrade really needed?
We’ve laid out everything you need to know about buying a new PS4 Pro, so you can make the right decision.
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Sony PS4 Pro: 4K and HDR gaming
The big sell of Sony’s new PlayStation Pro console for the next-gen gamer is the 4K and HDR gaming content. If you’ve already splashed out on a 4K and HDR capable television then this console gives you another way to enjoy it and get your money’s worth. The fact it does that for gaming is a big pull.
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Until now, playing games in 4K has been reserved for PC gamers with enough money to afford the hardware and screens to push out that ridiculous level of resolution. Now console gamers who have a 4K TV will also be able to enjoy the 3840 x 2160 resolution gaming experience. They will also be able to go beyond that with a full HDR gaming experience too.
HDR gaming means a richer colour and wider light experience. Brighter screens with more colours and greater defined black levels should enhance gaming further for a more immersive experience. Couple that with the higher resolution of 4K UHD gaming and the final experience looks set to take consoles to the next level. Well worth an upgrade for these points alone, even if you already own an old PS4.
But there’s more.
Sony PS4 Pro: 1080p TV HDR enhancement
Even if you own a current PS4 and Full HD 1080p television, Sony claims you’ll enjoy the enhancement of the new PS4 Pro console.
The manufacturer claims that the console’s ability to churn out 4K and HDR quality gaming will create a visible enhancement even on current 1080p televisions. A bold claim indeed. If this is the case, then buying this new console should mean adding value to your current television, without the expense of upgrading to a 4K UHD set.
Sony hasn’t gone into great details on how this apparently magical technology will actually work. Presuming it is true then it’s likely that streaming video in 4K could also offer enhanced quality even on a current 1080p TV. Ideal for Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video fans who haven’t yet been able to enjoy the enhanced steaming quality because of not upgrading to a 4K HDR TV.
Sony PS4 Pro: Hardware
According to the Sony announcement, the new PS4 Pro will come with more than double the GPU power of the standard PS4 thanks to the new AMD Polaris architecture. The CPU has also had a good old boost to help keep that 4K and HDR content flowing smoothly.
The PS4 Pro will also come as standard with a generous 1TB hard drive. Good news if you like to download games.
There is also talk that the PS4 Pro will enhance the PS VR experience. So those that want to invest in the VR headset when it launched in October may want to consider splashing out on the new console for the full top-level experience.
Sony PS4 Pro: Games
Sony has already announced a few games that will be released for the PS4 Pro with next gen 4K and HDR graphics.
Watch Dogs 2 has been shown off looking silly-level ridiculous for great graphics. The next Spider-Man game has also been announced, of course, as a Sony product these days. But it’s the upgraded Uncharted 4 that you really have to love.
Sony has announced that it will offer backwards compatibility for games, meaning if you own a PS4 copy of Uncharted 4 you’ll be able to download a patch that will allow the PS4 Pro to display it in 4K and HDR.
Yup it seems like upgrading is worth it even if you own a current PS4, as it means you can get your games updated to play through them again and experience them in full 4K and HDR glory.
Sony PS4 Pro: Pricing and should I upgrade?
Essentially you need to decide if you want 4K and HDR gaming in your life. If you don’t already own a PS4 but do have a 4K plus HDR capable TV, then an upgrade seems ideal – gaming in 4K and streaming too in order to maximise the capabilities of your telly. Even if you already own a PS4, the upgrade to a PS4 Pro seems to make sense if you have a 4K TV as it’ll extend its frankly limited content offerings.
For those that own a PS4 and don’t yet have a 4K TV, Sony appears to still deliver appeal thanks to its claims that 1080p screens will still show off the enhanced HDR and 4K graphics of the new PS4 Pro.
So it probably comes down to price. The PS4 Pro will cost £350 in the UK and be released on November 10. It’s not mad expensive by any means, but for those that already own a PS4 and aren’t deep of pocket, it demands some serious thought. Check out the PS4 Pro game trailers, decide how much difference you can see in a 4K and HDR TV then work out if it adds real value to your life.
Failing all that, Sony has also announced a new more affordable PS4 that’s slimmer, minus an optical out, but with few other changes. This is essentially the original PS4 but for a meagre £250. So if you want to play Uncharted 4 but don’t own a PS4 yet and aren’t bothered about 4K and HDR gaming, this could be the ideal console for you.