Sony made a new home console, but it’s not called the PlayStation 5. It’s the PlayStation 4 Pro, and it’s bigger and faster than the PS4. It has double the graphics power, it’s got a faster CPU and faster RAM. This gives developers a lot more power to play with. But it’s up to them as to how they use it.
Sony’s big emphasis is 4K, and the games played on 4k are very sharp. 4K has 4x the pixels of 1080p and the PS4 Pro is only twice as fast as the PS4, that means there’s some fudging involved to get the typical 1080p game up to 4K standards. Although the number of pixels on the screen might be stunning, it’s hard to call the graphics revolutionary. Sharp is not the same thing as photo-realistic.
Of course this happens every time that we get a new console. It takes developers a while to take advantage of all the new power that’s available. In the future you will get PS4 Pro games that look way better than regular PS4 games. Those titles are not here right now.
Unfortunately, the PlayStation 4 Pro does not play 4K Blu-Rays. It does have 4K Netflix and 4K YouTube, but it seems that Sony has focused mostly on games. And in our experience 4K games do look a lot better on a 4K TV than the typical 4K film or TV show and that’s mostly just due to compression. When streaming shows over the internet your compression differs. As where when it’s programmed onto a game it’s their in its full breadth and you can see all of the pixels.
Thankfully it’s not all about 4K because not everyone has a 4K TV. Some games will have improved frame rates or better graphics at 1080p. Other games you’ll even be able to choose whether you want a better frame rate or better graphics. But again, it’s kind of all up to the developers. This is going to be a niche console, so they may not put in the time to give you all of those options.
The PS4 Pro is not supposed to be a new console. It is compatible with all of the game accessories and ever the VR. Everything that works with the PS4 will also work with the PS4 Pro. Also any game that comes up as PS4 enhanced, will also play on the PS4.
It’s hard not to feel like the PS4 Pro is a new generation with all of the promises and pitfalls with any new console. There are a few titles that take advantage of all of the horsepower. There’s a lot of headroom, it’s big and expensive like a new console at $399.99 USD while the regular PS4 Slim is $299.99 USD.
If you don’t have a 4K TV or you don’t obsess over graphics, you’re probably safe to skip over the PS4 Pro. However, if you want the absolute best graphics that are available on a home console this year, as marginal as that advantage is, the PS4 Pro is your best choice.
As mentioned before, Sony seems to be mainly focused on gaming. And in our experience 4K games look way better than 4K film or TV, especially for 4K film and TV that’s been compressed and streamed over the internet, which is the only thing that the PlayStation 4 can play.