After two names and several months of waiting, the PS4 Pro, at one time code-named PlayStation Neo, has arrived. This is Sony’s high-powered sequel to the original PS4 that it launched back in 2013 that has already sold over 40 million units.
The Pro, in many ways, is a rock-solid console that has been tuned for the current year – much like car companies iterating on last year’s model with the latest driving technologies or cellphone purveyors adding more memory and higher resolutions to last year’s flagship device.
But let’s stick to the car analogy for a minute since it’s through this lens that the $399/£349/AU$559 PlayStation 4 Pro makes the most sense.
The PlayStation 4 Pro is like a 2016 (insert your favorite car here), it’s hands down shinier, faster and prettier than last year’s model. Likewise, the PS4 Pro is truly the best system Sony has ever created – it’s capable of playing games in 4K HDR, sometimes at a higher framerate. And for that reason, if you haven’t purchased a PlayStation 4 already, the PlayStation 4 Pro is an excellent all-around system.
If you have purchased the PlayStation 4 already, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions before buying Sony’s new wares: Will you buy a 4K TV sometime in the next few years? How about PlayStation VR? How important do you find higher framerates and 500GB of extra storage? The answer to those questions might be ‘no,’ ‘no’ and ‘not very,’ and if that’s the case then Sony’s high horsepower system might not make the most sense for you, especially if you’re upgrading from an original PS4.
Whether or not the new console will offer benefits for you will vary depending on whether you already own a PS4 system. Do keep in mind that Sony’s system, while being a better for the core gamer, might not make sense as an upgrade due to certain deficiencies in the hardware – home entertainment enthusiasts will cringe when they hear Sony forgot (or more likely forgoed) stocking the PS4 Pro with an Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
Also, like the Xbox One S that launched a few months back, the Pro’s launch is a good time to reevaluate Sony’s PS4 platform, now approaching its third birthday.
The platform has more games than it did three years ago, obviously, but new systems have also emerged: PlayStation Vue, PlayStation Now, PlayStation Music and, most importantly, PlayStation VR. We’ll take the time later to talk about how these systems shape the platform and help make the PlayStation 4 a great place to game.
Finally, at the end of the review, we’ll talk about your best course of action going forward, even if that means picking up an original PS4 instead of a Pro.
For now, though, head on over to page two to see the design of the PS4 Pro.