The PlayStation 4 Pro Review

News,Video Games

The PlayStation 4 Pro Review: This is 4K Gaming

30 Dec , 2016  

Sony recently released the PlayStation 4 Pro after much speculation of a rumored upgraded console began to surface earlier this year.

Officially unveiled at a special press conference in early September, Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro brings in a whole slew of impressive upgrades.

Now that the PlayStation 4 Pro is available for purchase, there are some questions floating around about it.

Some of the most common questions often heard are:

  • Do I need a 4K TV to see the benefits of the increased power?
  • What are PS4 Pro enhanced games?

To help answer some questions about the PlayStation 4 Pro, let’s take a look the specs and features.

 

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The PlayStation 4 Pro Review

 

The Hardware Improvements

Using the AMD’s new Polaris architecture, the PlayStation 4 Pro is roughly twice as powerful as the original PlayStation 4.

The processor upgraded to roughly 1.3x times the performance, from 1.6 GHz to 2.1 GHz. Additionally, the image processing capability improved significantly—roughly 2.3x times over the original PlayStation4.

The PlayStation 4 Pro comes with an updated DualShock 4 controller, with a light strip visible on the touchpad and USB data transfer support.

Moreover, there is a third USB 3.0 port on the back of the console. This comes in handy for hooking up your PSVR since the headset needs a USB port, and support for faster SATA-III hard drives if you are looking to increase the one terabyte of hard drive space on the board.

The Wi-Fi upgraded to 802.11ac and Bluetooth bumped from v2.1 to v4.0. In addition, you can share 4K screenshots and 1080p video with friends.

 
The PlayStation 4 Pro Review
 

The PlayStation 4 Pro’s memory bandwidth has increased by 24%, and the PlayStation 4 Pro comes with an extra 1GB of RAM.

This is specifically dedicated for non-gaming functionality and allows developers to utilize a full 8GB of RAM.

By boosting the performance and capability of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s system architecture, Sony has enabled the PS4 Pro to deliver graphics with far more detail and unparalleled visual precision.

 

4K HDR Gaming and 4K Video Streaming

With beefy specs like these, the PlayStation 4 Pro is the only console that is capable of outputting games at a native 4K resolution.

If you have yet to experience 4K gaming, then be prepared to get your socks knocked off—the difference is dramatic.

One of the latest terms in the gaming industry, HDR is supported by the PlayStation 4 Pro—the difference is incredible.

Essentially, HDR allows for a wider range of colors that have brighter highlights and deeper blacks while maintaining clarity and detail on screen. HDR allows for a more true-to-life presentation on the screen with accurate colors.

Although the original PlayStation 4 offers HDR support via a firmware update, the experience of HDR in 4K on the PlayStation 4 Pro is completely mesmerizing.

 
The PlayStation 4 Pro Review
 

Moreover, the draw distance in games dramatically improved allowing objects in the background to have greater detail and focus.

Some of the biggest improvements in games aside from graphics that you will see are the worlds in which you play. Textures are more realistic, and frame rates are substantially more stable.

On the entertainment side, the PlayStation 4 Pro allows you to stream 4K Ultra HD content from Netflix and YouTube.

However, the PlayStation 4 Pro does not playback 4K UHD Blu-ray discs—something that has been a hot topic all over the internet.

 

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PlayStation 4 Pro Enhances Games for HDTV Owners

If you haven’t yet upgraded to a 4K TV, you will also be able to enjoy the enhanced gameplay experiences on PlayStation 4 Pro.

All new and recent PlayStation 4 games are required by Sony to support a Pro mode.

What this means for HDTV owners is games that run at a full 1080p resolution, and offer higher or more stable frame rates for supported titles.

For example, let’s take a look at Warner Bros Interactive’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

 
The PlayStation 4 Pro Review
 

The game has two graphical options for the PlayStation 4 Pro—favor resolution and favor quality.

For 1080p HDTV owners, favor resolution switches to a super-sampling anti-aliasing mode to render the game at a higher-than-1080p resolution.

It then shrinks the image down to 1080p, which provides quite an impressive result—the 1080p image looks sharper than normal.

On the other hand, the favor quality option forces the game to run at 1080p and increased the graphic fidelity.

Many other games such as EA’s Titanfall 2, and Square Enix’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided run at a full 1080p on the PlayStation 4 Pro for HDTV owners.

The end result for 1080p HD TV owners is an overall smoother experience with faster load times over the original PlayStation 4.

 

PlayStation 4 Pro Enhances Games for 4K UHD TV Owners

4K UHD TV owners can expect some new games on the PlayStation 4 Pro to display at a native 4K resolution, and some new games to be upscaled to near 4K resolutions with frame rate enhancements.

Again, looking at Warner Bros Interactive’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor but this time the enhancements for 4K UHD TV owners.

On the PlayStation 4 Pro on a 4K TV Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor looks fantastic using the favor resolution option.

Displaying at a full 4K resolution, everything looks significantly cleaner— especially around the edges—and the lighting has a wider color range. To top it off, the games runs at a solid 30 frames-per-second.

However, not all previously released games will get special PlayStation 4 Pro enhancements, but many developers are already working to get patches out to take advantage of what the PlayStation 4 Pro can do.

 

 

PlayStation VR Enhancements

If you own a PlayStation VR  (PSVR) then you will see enhancements in PlayStation VR games.

Many PSVR games will benefit greatly from the extra processing power of the PlayStation 4 Pro.

PSVR games are mandated by Sony to run at a minimum of 60 fps to avoid lag.

The PlayStation 4 Pro’s extra processing power ensures that the PSVR experience is smooth without developers having to compromise graphical details.

 
The PlayStation 4 Pro Review
 

With the PlayStation 4 Pro, developers have access to extra rendering fidelity so you will see a lot more anti-aliasing and enhanced graphics in their games.

For example, Battlezone is one of the titles that is vastly improved. The resolution bumped up, increased super-sampling resolution resulting in clearer and more crisp graphics and a more immersive experience.

 

The Final Thoughts on the PlayStation 4 Pro

As you can see the PlayStation 4 Pro is quite a big leap from the original PlayStation 4.

The PlayStation 4 Pro’s internals has beefed up considerably with the biggest difference being the more than two times graphical processing power.

Developers such as Warner Bros., Electronic Arts, Activision, and Square Enix have already put the PlayStation 4 Pro’s power to good use. We can hardly wait to see what they have in store for us next.

Did we clear up any questions you might have had about the PlayStation 4 Pro?

Let us know in the comments section below what you think of the PlayStation 4 Pro!

 

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About the Author: Jon Scarr

Based out of Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who loves all things gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with technology and gaming for over 20 years. Come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter.

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