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PS4 Pro Review: Should I Buy the PS4 Pro?

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PS4 Pro

Should I Buy the PS4 Pro? PS4 Review


Thinking whether you should buy the PS4 Pro? You shan’t have any doubts regarding that after you go through this complete comprehensive and highly researched review of the PS4 Pro – the most powerful gaming console till date!

PS4 Pro



PS4 PRO REVIEW PLAYSTATION 4 REVIEW


Long before Sony released the PS4 Pro, there were several rumours all around regarding its release. Dubbed around the internet as PS4 Neo and the PS4K, this PS4 model features several performance upgrade over its predecessors – The PS4 and PS4 slim. 

While the PS4 Pro supports “and is for” 4K Gaming, with Sony forcing game developers for the PS4 to provide a higher resolution and better frame rate for the power of the PS4 to show its magic in, its worth mentioning that most developers till now simply add some shaders and reflective surfaces and call it “Enhanced Visual”. The difference in visual for those games – Not Much. However it is worth mentioning that some games like the Tomb Raider and Infamous offer a higher frame rate option and it is here that the visuals given by the PS4 Pro is simply stunning!

❝You don’t need a PS4 Pro, but when you  play a 4K game, You are sure to want it!❞

Why You Should Buy a PS4 Pro:

  1. 4K and HDR output, compatible with high-end TVs, offering better visuals and higher frame rates. Even if you play games in a Full HD TV, the games will look better.
  2. Supports and Enhances all PS4 and PSVR games.
  3. Quieter
  4. Games load much faster because of the high performace components in the console.
  5. 1 TB Hard Drive

Why You May Not Want a PS4 Pro:

  1. Not all games offer much graphics improvement till now.
  2. PS4 Pro does not play Ultra HD 4K disks.
  3. Power and Eject buttons feel kind of inexpensive.

PS4 Pro Design Review

In terms of design, the PS4 Pro is quite similar to its previous counterparts. Featuring the same slab-like design, the PS4 Pro has three edges instead of two as in the PS4 and PS4 Slim. 

It is also slightly bigger (295×327×55) than both the PS4 and PS4 Slim. Also at 3.3kg (7.3 pounds) it is 0.45 kg heavier than the PS4 and almost 1.4 kg heavier than the PS4 Slim. However considering the fact that since you don’t need to move the console these minute differences wont be felt.

PS4 Pro Design
PS4 Pro Design


The fact that the edges have beem rounded and the white, glossy finished- Play Station logo which stands out from the matte black console makes the device look and feel quite good, its power and eject buttons are a little bit turn-offs actually; giving a cheap feel to the console. Also they are placed at an odd place which is difficult to find- that is the side of the Play Station 4 middle blade.

The PS4 Pro has two USB 3.1 ports in the front as usual while the back features an additional USB 3.1 port. This will be particularly helpful for you to charge your console or using a PSVR headset, as then the front ports will be open for you to plug in controllers or some other gaming stuffs. To enable you to play games at 4K resolution, the HDMI port is HDMI 2.0. 

PS4 Pro


PS4 Pro Design



Apart from that the PS4 Pro has brought back the optical port, at the front end of the device which was present in the PS4 but not in the Slim version. However, point to be noted is that this optical drive is the same as that in the original PS4, so 4K BluRay is out of the picture.

Other than that, with Ethernet, Aux (to be used for the PS4 camera), and power ports remain the same. However the power port is slightly different in design like a kettle lead which hardly matters to a gamer or any one in general! ????

PS4 Pro Controller Review

PS4 Pro Controller

The PS4 Pro has a new and optimized controller than the original PS4. The controller is the same as that in a PS4 Slim. 

On the top, most part remain similar. The sides, the buttons on top, the D-pad and the options button have been given a grayish colour which adds contrast to the black controller.

The touchpad is semi-transparent at the top surface which shows a little of the light from the light bar at the back of the controller. While most changes are aesthetic in the PS4 Pro contoller, if you buy a custom controller by a third party (Sony has licensed third parties to make PS4 Controllers), you will get a much better experience as those are more tougher and feature a texture which allows for better gripping much like that of the Xbox One S controllers.

Also PS4 Pro features two new controllers by third parties Razer and Nacon which are pretty much top of the line now. But you have to buy them separately. 

  • The Razer has advanced controller customization and ergonomics with two extra bumpers and two extra detachable triggers. Accompanying that is a built in control panel at the front of the device and trigger stop switches and hair trigger mode making the response latency quite low.
  • The Nacon Revolution has 46° amplitude dual analogue sticks which have been even more optimized for increased accuracy and reach.

PS4 Pro Features Review

Coming to the real deal, Sony’s PS4 Pro has about twice the power compared to its predecessor and I feel that’s enough to be called a worthy upgrade. No matter how graphics intensive, the games are, the PS4 Pro can run them with ease- and not just ease, but faster and with much lesser drops in framerate too.

Also the PS4 Pro supports 4K resolution and HDR . 
4K support will mean 4 times the resolution as that in full HD. This will result in production of much greater detailed and crisp images.

HDR or High Dynamic Range is a technology and provides a wider range of brightness, contrast and greater range of colours. Since normal display technology doesn’t provide us as much detail and colours as we are able to see, HDR will help in much more realistic videos and pictures. These improvements in display will provide you with a much finer gameplay experience, provided your television supports 4K resolution and HDR.

However if you are using only a Full HD TV, you will still be able to enjoy much better looking games and videos on the PS4 Pro as it will make the games run at 4K resolution and then decrease the output to 1080 pixels resulting in sharper images with more clarity.

Anyways back to the HDR thing, setting up HDR is complicated and can be hard on your wallet as 4K UHD TVs are quite costly right now. Apart from that HDR is not available in all 4K televisions and there are different types of HDR like HDR 10 and HDR Premium. The PS4 is compatible with the HDR 10 and not with the premium one.
Adding to that the fact that the PS4 Pro must be directly plugged into your TV to support HDR and not through any kind of pass-throughs make the whole set-up process kind-of frustrating. 

However the odd thing is that if the two upgrades of 4K and HDR were compared, the HDR should be called a better upgrade because of the dynamic lighting brought about by this technology.

The console will be able to also run 4K HDR videos from apps like Netflix so if you manage to set up HDR mode in your HDR supported 4K TV, the result will be worth all the trouble actually.

As for the noise by the device, it is surprising that all this power doesn’t make the device noisy. Infact it is much quieter than its predecessor. Whilst gaming normally, the sound by this device is barely audible.

The PS4 Pro features a SATA 3 hard drive interface, which is a notable improvement in performance compared to the SATA 2 in the original PS4. SATA 3 runs at 6 Gb/s with a bandwidth of 600 MB/s while the SATA 2 runs at 3 Gb/s with a bandwidth of 300 MB/s. Therefore the SATA 3 hard drive in PS4 Pro is twice as fast as the SATA 2 in the original PS4. Therefore big games like GTA 5 open up almost instantly and the load time is very less.

NO 4K BLU-RAY PLAYER IN THE PS4 PRO

While the PS4 Pro is truly a powerful and magnificent device, the exclusion of a Ultra HD Blu-Ray player in the console has pissed quite a lot of people off.

This is because apart from gaming, PS4 Pro will be your route to watching 4K videos. So exclusion of a Blu-Ray player means you will have to stream videos from the net. While Netflix and Hulu are viable options, streaming 4K videos will put a heavy toll on both your net speed and limit(which I hope is unlimited).

With very few countries providing a net connection which will not drain your pockets while simultaneously providing you an extremely fast unlimited internet connection, it is quite a good reason to be disappointed. 

However an argument in favour of Sony’s decision to exclude Blu-Ray player in the PS4 Pro is that the hardware components of PS4 Pro are rather expensive so the cost of the console would go up significantly for adding the player.

Taking note of this exclusion, the gaming experience of the PS4 Pro however more than compensates this turn-off!

PS4 Pro Performance Review

Needless to say, the PS4 Pro outshines all other competitors in this segment and that too by a grand margin. 

It features a 4.2 TeraFlop (TFLOP) graphics card by AMD Radeon which is massive improvement considering the original PS4’s (meager by comparison) 1.84 TFLOP AMD graphics card. Also, there is a 14% boost in the GPU frequency to 911 MHz.

With that, it contains 8 GB DDR5 RAM which has a higher bandwidth than the original PS4, thus making room for 512 MB of extra system memory. And that’s not all. There is also an additional 1 GB of DDR3 RAM for handling temporary saving tasks, which in simpler terms mean switching back to applications which are not in use temporarily is much faster. 

Its has a eight-core AMD x86-64 Jaguar processor– same as that featured in the original PS4 but this one has been optimized for an increased clock speed of 2.1GHz.
Also it features a 1 TB hard disk but we already covered up about it in the features segment.

While the hardware improvements are quite massive, the games played in the PS4 Pro are mostly sharper and more detailed than what you experienced in the PS4 or PS4 Slim.

But the problem is that all game developers are not releasing quality patches to improve the game experience much while played in the PS4 Pro. Game developers are not patching the old games much so as to experience the full potential of the PS4 Pro.

However even if your TV isn’t 4K, even if it doesn’t support HDR, still you will experience a significant improvement in the game display.

Still, it is worth mentioning that several old games have been patched quite well and most new games are being developed so that they can tap into the potential of the PS4 and I assure you the end-result is amazing.

Games that improved significantly are among several others, The Last of Us Remastered, Tomb Raider and Gran Turismo Sport. 

Last of Us Remastered
Last of Us Remastered







However Gran Turismo Sport is the one which offers the best experience and is the best looking game when played in the PS4 Pro. When you run it at 4K and HDR at 60 frames per second, the details are extremely accurate and vast. HDR works its magic offering more accurate and brighter colours. Scratches and dents in the car look more realistic and thus the game experience is truly amazing.

                                       Gran Turismo Sport trailer

However to be honest, all these games are just the start. They do not use most of the PS4 Pro’s potential. But, the PS4 Pro is actually future-proof. The display in the games are just going to get better with time as game developers fine-tune the ways in which they use this great power in this console.

As for the old PS4 games; don’t worry because all of them will run in the PS4 Pro. But PS4 Pro exclusive games are not going to be released anytime soon, according to system architect Mark Cerny.

Long story short, PS4 Pro is the most powerful gaming console yet. 

PS4 Pro VR

While the original PS4 can handle PSVR games, the display of the games tend to worsen so as to keep the framerate stable. This prevents you from vomiting all across the carpet!????

However with the PS4 Pro, it is not the case. Theoretically you are supposed to get better resolution, and greater detail, colours and clarity. But the changes are not quite much. There are two reasons behind this.
One, very less PlayStation VR games have been optimized to take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s increased power.
And two, the processor box used by PSVR, is HDMI 1.4 and not HDMI 2.0. Therefore, HDR can not be used with PSVR attached.

Also you need to change cables when you change from PSVR back to 4K HDR gaming on your PS4 Pro and that can be annoying.

Apart from less loading times, faster framerates and better texture, there isn’t much of a noticeable difference. As game developers get a better grip on this PlayStation Pro, I hope with time the games shall be better optimized for Virtual Reality in the PS4 Pro. “Should I buy a PS4 Pro?”- if you asked yourself this question to experience great VR, then PS4 Pro isn’t the best choice for you, at least for now.

Should I buy the PS4 Pro?

While the PS4 Pro has got its pros and cons, it is the most powerful console right now and is also a great deal future proof. 

If you don’t have a new console, or are looking for a console, and have a 4K television, then PS4 Pro is completely suitable for you.

If you have a console but want great looking games, then you can easily opt for the PS4 Pro, provided you don’t mind spending the cash for hardcore, realistic gaming.

If you do have a console, and don’t have a 4K TV, then you might not want to buy it. However keep in mind that games on the Pro, look better, even in the Full HD 1080 pixel TVs. If you are going to buy a 4K TV soon, then you may opt for the PS4 Pro.

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Jervie David Montejar
Pinoy Blogger, developer, foodie, self-proclaimed photographer and big anime and otaku fan. Likes RPG and action video games.
http://appsgadget.com

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