The Problem with the PS4 Pro

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Wikipedia

The PS4 Pro had been hyped for months before Sony had even officially acknowledged its existence. Of course, back then it was referred to as the PS4 Neo. Now, it’s just a couple of months away from release. The specs are out. It looks good. But is it good enough?

Whether or not you should rush out and buy one depends on how lacking you feel your current experience with your PS4 is. If you’re really feeling like your current PS4 experience is lacking? Then you could simply up your game by looking into getting yourself some new accessories for your console. There are a bunch of good choices outlined on this website. Consider improving your general gaming rig before making the choice to upgrade to a new PS4.

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Those of you who managed to nab an ultra high definition copy of The Revenant on Blu-Ray, hoping the new “4K” PS4 would support its playback? Sorry. The PS4 Pro will not have a 4K Blu-Ray player. This omission was very surprising to a lot of people. After all, the previous PlayStation consoles are the most popular way of watching Blu-Rays. Blu-Ray is a Sony technology. Surely they’d want to showcase that technology on this new console?

Nope. It would seem that Sony weren’t too bothered about getting that functionality into the PS4 Pro. There are few good explanations for it. One good explanation is that they didn’t want to drive the price up too high. Having the ability to play 4K Blu-Rays would probably end up seeing the console cost more than the extra $100 it costs versus the Slim.

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This omission is a bigger problem than some may think.

It means that neither games nor movies will be natively 4K. Most games will simply be upscaled to 4K. The discs that support native 4K require a lot more space than the current Blu-Ray technology allows. It could be that Sony are expecting more people to download games from the PlayStation Store instead of buying hard disc copies of games. This means that people could download native 4K versions of games, though the file sizes are going to be absolutely tremendous. Good thing the PS4 Pro will have 1TB of storage, right?

Still, most of this assumes that people are happy to start downloading and streaming. This, of course, would work to Sony’s benefit. They earn more revenue when games are downloaded from their store. But the fact is that Blu-Ray sales are still strong. And streamed material never matches the quality of native files from Blu-Ray. 4K streaming simply doesn’t entice me if it’s not going to show 4K’s full power – which it won’t even come close to doing.

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Wikimedia

What all of this means is that there is actually very little reason for people to buy the PS4 Pro. Don’t get me wrong: people are going to buy it in droves. But its release, along with the release of the Slim, will see the price of the original PS4 drop. Those who don’t have a PS4 are simply better off getting one of the originals around Christmas. The price difference, by then, will be larger than $100. Those who already have a PS4 seem to have little reason to upgrade, even to the cheaper Slim model. I’d certainly recommend against it. Unless you happen to have a lot of spare cash. In which case, go right ahead.

 

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