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Sony PS4 Pro: Better Than The PS4, But Not Essential Yet

An optimist watching the never-ending parade of “new and upgraded” game consoles would probably think “The new ones must be even better than the old ones!” A pessimist – or more accurately, a cynic – is more likely to think “Great, they’ve created yet another revenue stream by making everyone think they have to replace their old console.”

The new PS4 Pro just released by Sony falls squarely in the middle. Right now, there’s no pressing need to give away the PS4 and rush out to buy the new kid on the block. But as time goes on, the PS4 Pro will become the must-have console for gamers who prefer the PS to the Xbox.

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What’s Different On The PS4 Pro

Actually, it’s more important to start with what has stayed the same: the PS4 Pro can play all of your PS4 games. There’s no need to upgrade your collection, you just have to download the associated game batch. That’s because the console is still a PS4, it just has better hardware which gives it greater capabilities. (It can also communicate online with PS4s, too.)


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The new version is a little larger and heavier, it has a slightly different shape (more curved than angled), and it comes with redesigned DualShock 4 controllers that let you share video or photos on social media with the push of a button. What makes the real difference, though, is what’s on the inside. In addition to a bigger 1TB hard drive, the AMD Radeon engine is noticeably faster on the PS4 Pro and that means more speed and better resolution for games. In fact, it has full support for 4K games and 4K Netflix and YouTube streaming (plus HDR support), making it ideal for use with 4K HDTVs. The new console supports PS Virtual Reality, Ethnernet and Bluetooth connectivity, although like the PS4 it doesn’t have a 4K Blu-ray player built in. There are HDMI and optical output ports, making connections easy.


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Game Play On The PS4 Pro

The reason that we say the PS4 Pro isn’t essential yet is that only new and very recent games have a “Pro” play mode. Your older games will usually look better on the PS4 Pro than the PS4 even if you play on a regular HDTV rather than a 4K one. But a game in “Pro” mode, played on a 4K screen, looks awesome; play is smoother because of higher frame rates, display texture is better quality and the graphics on some games are vastly improved.


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You’ll notice that we said “some games,” because not all existing PS4 games look better on the PS4 Pro. That will change over time since all game manufacturers are now required to include a “Pro” option. That’s why we say that this isn’t a killer upgrade you simply must have; in a year or two, when all major PS games are designed to run optimally on the PS4 Pro, we expect that you’ll be more interested in an upgrade. For now, we’re not sure the extra $100 is worth paying for the Pro version unless you’re buying your first PS4 – in that case, plan for the future and opt for the PS4 Pro.

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