The PlayStation 4 Pro is the most powerful video game console that Sony has released to date, but does the promise of sharper visuals, faster loading times, and environments with greater detail warrant a purchase?
There are a few things to consider before plunking down $400 for a PlayStation 4 Pro, but the biggest concern is whether you’re the proud owner of a dazzling 4K display:
Is it worth upgrading?
There are three tiers of potential PlayStation 4 Pro adopters:
If you don’t own a PlayStation 4 but you have a 4K TV, you should absolutely get a PlayStation 4 Pro to play PS4 games at their absolute best.
If you have a PlayStation 4 and a 4K TV, you may genuinely appreciate the major visual upgrade that the PlayStation 4 Pro will bring to your gaming experience.
If you own a PlayStation 4, and you plan on hanging onto your 1080p HDTV for the foreseeable future, it really isn’t worth spending the extra money if you aren’t able to experience the superior visual boost that is the biggest selling point of the PlayStation 4 Pro.
What advantages does it offer?
Many games played on a PlayStation 4 Pro will benefit from a gorgeous 4K resolution, anti-aliasing technology to create even sleeker rounded surfaces, a far greater draw distance that lets you see additional objects and detail from farther away, and improved frame rates for smoother movement during high-action scenes.
Even if you don’t have a collection of newer games designed to take advantage of the best visual upgrades that the PlayStation 4 Pro has to offer, the console does an excellent job of upscaling games that were intended to run on 1080p displays to look as close to 4K as possible.
Other honorable mentions include the PlayStation 4 Pro’s implementation of HDR technology, which renders a much wider contrast between both colors and brightness levels, resulting in an even more realistic picture if your 4K TV is HDR capable.
The PlayStation 4 Pro can also stream 4K movies, shows, and other content from popular video apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, and YouTube.
What are its shortcomings?
While the PlayStation 4 Pro will make your entire game collection look incredible, you won’t notice a major gameplay difference if you’re playing on a standard 1080p HDTV. Even if you already have an incredible 4K display to enjoy your favorite games on, having to spend an additional $400 on a PlayStation 4 Pro if you already own the PlayStation 4 is a hard pill to swallow; especially considering the PS4’s cost.
It’s true that the PlayStation 4 Pro does an excellent job of streaming 4K content, but for some reason, Sony’s best gaming console wasn’t equipped to play 4K Blu-Ray discs. If this is a big deal for you, please note that the Xbox One X includes a 4K Blu-Ray player.
What are its best games?
Although the PlayStation 4 Pro will play every game compatible with the original PlayStation 4, Pro owners should look out for games that display the “PS4 Pro Enhanced” icon on the cover.
PlayStation 4 Pro Enhanced games were made to really showcase what the console is capable of, and sport incredibly immersive features including Boost Mode for shorter load times and higher frame rates, elaborate environmental textures such as extra foliage on trees or trash on filthy city streets, and more realistic fire, smoke, and water effects.
A range of top-tier video game developers have harnessed the PlayStation 4 Pro’s superior hardware to create the sharpest and most detailed games possible. If you’d like to see some of the prettiest PlayStation 4 Pro Enhanced games available, we recommend checking out Marvel’s Spider-Man, Resident Evil 2, Destiny 2, Injustice 2, and Jurassic World Evolution.
If you have a 4K TV and are on the fence about getting a PlayStation 4 Pro, it’s well-worth it to experience an immersive gaming experience with rustier robots, lusher jungles, vaster worlds, and faster firefights than you’ve ever experienced. If visuals don’t matter to you, it probably isn’t worth the investment.