Yesterday saw Sony hold its PlayStation Meeting, an event that is often held exclusively for hardware reveals. With rumors having swirled around for a good few months regarding a new, slimmer PS4, and the beefier PlayStation Neo, providing players with some form of 4K gaming and a generally more powerful console, it came down to yesterday to await the confirmed details. It turns out that indeed both of these consoles were revealed yesterday, and while the PS4 Slim is certainly a good looking console, the main bulk of attention focused on Sony’s powerhouse PS4 Pro.
Before we jump into whether or not we actually need the system, let us give you a bit of detail on the system itself. As the rumors had hinted at, the PS4 Pro allows players to play some existing and upcoming games in 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR). In order to do so, the Pro boasts a GPU power double that of the original PS4, and will also come with a 1TB Hard Drive to give you a bit of extra room from the standard 500GB. All in all, it sounds like a pretty exciting reveal for players. The real question lies, however, in whether or not we really need a PS4 Pro.
First off, let’s get the obvious out of the way. If we can enjoy the current caliber of the very best that some game developers have to offer with even prettier visuals than we can get out of the standard PS4, that’s always going to be a positive. While you’ll have to have watched the Horizon: Zero Dawn 4K gameplay footage on a screen capable of displaying in this resolution to truly see the improvements, trust us when we say it’s a real sight to behold.
However, the main issue with the PS4 Pro comes in the fact that as of yet, there has been no comment on exactly how many developers or games will make use of the PS4 Pro and its additional horsepower. While we saw games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Spider-Man making good use of its capabilities, there has been no statement confirming that all future games will be 4K compatible. This poses a bit of an issue. The general player base may be skeptical of upgrading to a system that doesn’t have the full support of developers and if the console isn’t supported wholeheartedly by developers, this could result in a great console’s potential not having the most made of it and those who do make the purchase feeling burned.
What’s more, there’s something to be said about the visual fidelity of games currently on the PS4. I think it’s safe to say that games on both the PS4 and the Xbox One look great, and considering we’re roughly half way through this console generation if we go off the Xbox 360 and PS3’s timespan, there’s still plenty of power to be extracted from these units. Don’t believe me? Take a look at something like Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune that released a year after the PS3’s launch and compare that to the visuals of The Last of Us. It took six years for Naughty Dog to get every last inch of power from the PS3, and Rockstar just as long with GTA V. Developers are still really getting to grips with what the PS4 is capable of, and this can be seen from the number of remasters still leaking into this year. Though releasing their most popular games onto new systems with better visuals is easy income for developers, it’s also a handy method of learning the tech and also funding future projects.
Of course, it’s not all about games. During the conference, Andrew House confirmed that the PS4 Pro would benefit from both 4K Netflix and YouTube apps with over 600 hours of 4K content coming to the former by the end of the year. While this is certainly great news for those who use their systems as a media center, the fact of the matter is that those who have the TVs to get the most out of the Pro likely use their TVs built-in smart functionalities to stream this 4K content already without the need to turn on their PS4.