The PS4 Pro is the long awaited final form of the rumored PS4.5 and the PS4 Neo. Now that it’s been confirmed, we can finally take a look at the PS4 Pro specs and confirm or deny the rumors that have been making the rounds on the internet since early 2016.
At a base-level look, the PS4 Pro is roughly twice and powerful as the PS4 in certain respects. This boost is power is set to do a number of things, not the least of which is 4K gaming. That being said, there are still plenty of questions we have and a few concerns as well. Let’s dive in and see what Sony has in store for gamers this holiday season!
|CPU||x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores - 1.6GHz||x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores - 2.1GHz|
|GPU||GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon based graphics engine|| GPU: 4.20 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon based graphics engine
- 4K & HDR (4096X2160)
|RAM||8 GB GDDR5, 176 GB/s||8 GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s|
|Storage||500GB (Can Upgrade)||1TB (Can Upgrade)|
|Blu-Ray||Yes||Yes (Will run PS4 Discs)|
|Dimensions||12 x 10.8 inches - Height 2.09 inches||12.9 x 11.6 inches - Height 2.17 inches|
|Inputs||2x USB 3.0, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x PS Camera||3x USB 3.1, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x PS Camera|
|Networking||802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only), Bluetooth 2.1||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Weight||6.2 pounds (2.8kg)||7.3 pounds (3.3kg)|
The Raw Specs of the PS4 Pro: Playing With Fire?
The biggest improvements to the PS4 Pro lie within the hard drive, CPU, and GPU. The system’s RAM is largely the same, as is the disc drive (more on that later). We’re looking at a 1TB hard drive installed from the get-go, which is already a nice touch.
The CPU gets an overclocked speed of 2.1GHz and the GPU is doubling its power by going from 1.84 TFLOPS to 4.20 TLFOPS. This extra power is going to be used at the developer’s discretion. That means that first-party games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Days Gone are already promising to output 4K resolution and utilize High Dynamic Range (HDR) if your TV supports it.
There’s also plenty of speculation on how this power can be used for 1080p television owners (like myself). In this regard, we’re hearing about higher frame rates, more steady gameplay, and enhanced graphical features.
Then you’ve got PlayStation VR, which could really benefit from the boost in power. While we’ve heard that multiple developers are supporting Pro either at launch or via a patch if their game is already out, some developers have said they’re going to pass.
CD Projekt Red, developers of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, have already said they won’t be doing a PS4 Pro patch for their game as it would take too much time and energy away from their Gwent card game and Cyberpunk projects.
So, it seems that the PS4 Pro is going to be valuable for 4K and VR owners, with 1080p televisions possibly receiving upgrades as well. It’s really up to the developers on this one, since they will have to make the game work across PS4 and Pro, it depends on how much they take to that idea.
I for one, would like to upgrade if there are noticeable differences in 1080p resolution, and if the VR experiences are drastically different. That being said, many people pre-ordered VR with the assumption that it would work (well, hopefully) on the standard PS4, so it wouldn’t be in Sony’s best interest to make the VR drastically different to the point where the upgrade feels forced.
In the grand scheme of things, the PS4 Pro doesn’t match the ever-growing power of the PC world, but it does put Sony once again ahead of Microsoft in terms of power. Of course, in a year’s time, Project Scorpio (Xbox 2) will be hitting store shelves.
If Microsoft’s comments are to be believed, Scorpio is going to sport 6 TFLOPS of power and possibly even more graphical power that PS4 Pro, but until we have confirmation on these things, it’s a war of words.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the design choices Sony made with the PS4 Pro and how they affected the viability of the system.
No UHD Blu-Ray Support? Sony’s Confusing Decision
There’s no getting around this one. Sony has confirmed that, while supporting 4K, the PS4 Pro will not include a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player. From a business standpoint, this is meant to keep cost down, but it has 4K TV owners in an uproar.
What’s most confusing, is that Sony owns the patents to this technology, and Microsoft is promising support for this in Scorpio. When asked about it, PlayStation Boss Andrew House defended the decision saying:
"Our feeling is that while physical media continues to be a big part of the games business, we see a trend on video towards streaming. Certainly with our user base, it’s the second biggest use case for people’s time on the system, so we place more emphasis on that area."
The cost of the PS4 Pro is certainly competitive at $399, but the lack of 4K Blu-Ray just seems like a confusing decision. That being said, the system will immediately support 4K streaming through Netflix, with over 600 hours of content promised by the end of 2016.
This decision ultimately only affects a percentage of the user-base, but with Microsoft pushing forward on it, one has to wonder if Sony should have included this type of drive for the sake of competition and completeness.
4K Upscaling VS Native 4K
Another major topic of discussion is the fact that PS4 Pro will upscale many of its games to 4K and not run them in the native resolution. What does this mean again?
When we use the term “native 4K” this means that the system is putting out 4K resolution at all times and never drops below this. It was always meant to play in this resolution.
Upscaling refers to the process of taking a lower resolution and pushing it up to fit the resolution of 4K. Originally, the game probably runs at 1080p, but with a little boost, it reaches 4K levels. Upscaling requires a lot less power than native 4K. Many of today’s top PC graphics cards still break a sweat when pushing out native 4K.
To some, this is all apples and oranges, but to others, it changes the term “4K gaming.” Andrew House was asked about this distinction, and here’s what he had to say:
"I would say that majority of games will be upscaled, at least based on the game portfolio I have seen to date. No I don’t think 4K gaming is a misleading term. It’s a question of whether people see a demonstrable difference in the game experience or not, rather than the term we use to apply to it. I think that’s what people are looking for and they’ll make their judgement as to whether that’s working for them or not."
From a terminology standpoint, 4K gaming is most commonly used to describe native resolutions. Sony doesn’t seem to mind that distinction, so long as the improvement is noticeable, they believe consumers won’t care.
Again, sort of a bold move, but also a fair point. The percentage of people who will cry foul at the difference between native and up-scaled 4K is about the same as the people who will skip the system based on the lack of 4K Blu-Ray support.
Once again, though, Microsoft is poking at the holes in Sony’s statements, and promising native 4K on Scorpio when it releases. At the end of the day, though, Sony has a one-year head start with the Pro.
Say what you will about terminology and Sony’s design approaches. There’s no denying that made some odd choices, but I have to agree with Andrew House when he says that the experiences will do the talking. The average gamer isn’t going to worry about upscaling or a special blu-ray player.
If they see a noticeable improvement in quality, that will be enough to sell them on the new system. While Scorpio is promising some stiff competition, ultimately we’ll have to see what Sony does with this year they have on Microsoft.
What do you think of the PS4 Pro specs? Will you be picking one up? Let us know in the comments!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Updated - 9/7/16