The PS4 Pro lands November 10 for $400 USD.
Well, the cat’s out of the bag. The PlayStation Meeting has come and gone, and it was fine. It wasn’t mind-blowing. I didn’t race to Amazon to try and secure a pre-order for the PS4 Pro, but I did come away moderately excited about what Sony’s upgraded console might mean for PlayStation VR. That was my takeaway, but you may feel differently depending on your priorities. Before I get into who the PS4 Pro should primarily appeal to, let’s pour over the specs. I’m going to give you the layman’s breakdown. Simple stuff for those of you who aren’t tech heads.
What’s in the box?
- Same 8-core Jaguar CPU, but overclocked and running faster
- Beefier GPU based on AMD’s Polaris architecture. Over 2X more powerful than stock PS4 GPU, peak performance of 4.2 TFLOPS
- 8GB of GDDR5 memory
- 1TB of storage
- BD / DVD drive (no 4K Blu-ray capabilities)
- Supports 4K / HDR output
There you have it. These specs resemble pretty much exactly what had been leaked previously, so nothing came as a huge surprise here. The GPU is the obvious upgrade, and should provide a huge boost to games new and old. The omission of a 4K Blu-ray player is interesting, but doesn’t bother me at all since I stream all of my video content. To that end, new YouTube and Netflix apps capable of playing 4K content will be coming at launch of shortly thereafter.
Who is this for?
While gamers across the board will see improvements in their games running on a PS4 Pro, the real winners here are the people who can afford 4K / HDR televisions. The PS4 Pro is not nearly powerful enough to play games natively in 4K and maintain proper performance (I doubt even Project Scorpio will achieve that). Games will instead be upscaled to 4K using a variety of techniques. I’m sure it’ll still look great, but this isn’t true 4K gaming. Hell, true 4K gaming is barely attainable even with Nvidia’s top-of-the-line GTX 1080 line of GPUs.
HDR will make a great difference, though. A hugely expanded spectrum of light and color will bring games to life in ways we’ve yet to see on consoles. The true sweet-spot for PS4 Pro would be a highly capable, HDR-ready 1080p TV, but good luck finding one of those anywhere. If you have a great TV already, do note that all PS4s will be made capable of displaying games in HDR through an impending update. That’s great news for current PS4 owners, but it does make the PS4 Pro that much more of a luxury rather than a necessity.
So what about VR?
This is what I’m most excited about. It was mentioned that the PS4 Pro will greatly enhance the PlayStation VR experience, allowing for improved visual fidelity. When I tried PS VR a couple of months ago I loved my experience, but the visual quality was a bit lacking. Part of that was due to the demonstration assistant clumsily placing the HMD on my head, but the fact remains that rendering games in VR is just really tough. Thankfully with PS4 Pro devs should be able to render roughly twice the amount of pixels compared to VR games running on the original PS4.
So, what? If you haven’t bought a PS4 yet and plan to upgrade your television in the near future, there’s no reason not to buy the PS4 Pro. That’s especially true if you have any interest at all in PlayStation VR, which I think is going to do really well. If you’re just looking for a good deal on some 1080p gaming, then the new, slimmer PS4 should do you fine for $100 less. Personally, I’ll be waiting to see if any kind of trade-in program is offered. If I can trade in my OG PS4 and then spend $100 to upgrade to the PS4 Pro, I’ll probably go for it.
For more information, and our impressions from the PlayStation Meeting, check out our recap video below:[fvplayer src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnzKohfxVXA” width=”560″ height=”315″]