Sony announced the PS4 Pro last month and immediately set about setting the bar so high that people think it can take on gaming PCs, and this idea hasn’t come from just anyone. Andrew House, head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said it himself. So let’s have a look to determine if this is possible.
PS4 Pro is the next console in the PS4 generation, but it’s not meant to replace anything. It’s just an addition that, come late 2017, will have competition from Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. However, some people believe the console is an early attack on what could be an Xbox Two, which it isn’t.
The reason is because, as I mentioned earlier, Andrew House previously suggested that the PS4 Pro can take on PC gaming rigs, and in the interview with the BBC during the announcement, he said it would be a way for Sony to prevent users from switching to PC gaming. According to data that Sony has seen, console gamers do tend to switch to PC gaming halfway through a console’s lifespan, and with the launch of the PS4 Pro next month, Sony hopes to retain those who may be considering doing so.
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Can the PS4 Pro compete?
So Sony has big plans for its next console, but can it take on the gaming PC? The simple answer is no; when it comes to graphics and other factors, the PS4 Pro just can’t keep up.
However, let’s put a little flesh on these negative bones. Starting with hardware, console owners know that their device can not compete with a high-end or even mid-range PC. Most consoles have a period of development, about two years at a minimum. During this period, the motherboard, RAM, graphics chip, CPU, etc. are all combined, and when the console is released, they are already out of date.
Then compare that to the lifespan of a gaming PC, which can be many years, and all that’s required to upgrade is a new CPU or graphics card.
The most important factor to the majority of gamers is graphics, and this is where the differences between the PS4 Pro and gaming rigs can be seen.
In a recent post on Geek.com, author and gamer Tony Polanco wrote about the PS4 Pro at a Square-Enix event in New York. During his visite, he was able to try out a few games for the upcoming console and gave his opinion.
PS4 Pro compared
Having read the post, it looks like he spent most of his time playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Because it was running on the PS4 Pro and connected to a 4K TV, it must have been exciting. In the article, he compared his experience with Sony’s next device to that with the same game on PC.
“Not only did the game look more crisp and vibrant, but the frame rate was a lot smoother. I couldn’t tell if it was running at the coveted 60 frames per second, but it most definitely ran higher than 30fps.
“The enhanced graphics stood out the most during cutscenes where all of the added detail and lighting could be better appreciated. PlayStation-only gamers that upgrade from a PS4 to a PS4 Pro will be pleased with the enhancements the new system will provide if Mankind Divided is anything to go by.”
However, when he came to comparing it to the performance of the game on PC he said:
“Playing Mankind Divided on a PS4 Pro after playing it on PC was jarring, to say the least. As soon as I started the game, I immediately noticed the lower frame rate.”
So as you can see from someone who has used both a PC and PS4 Pro, the two are not comparable, especially when the Sony product cannot compete with the frame rate output of a PC. In fact, Polanco provides an analogy in which he says the PlayStation is an early arcade Capcom fighter, and the step up in quality with the PC is like a home console. There just is no comparison.
While no one yet knows what titles may be released for the PS4 Pro, this is another area in which Windows-based PCs trump the console. They have by far the larger gaming library with more genres catered to than any console platform.
Additionally, there are user-created modifications; yes, they do exist on PS4, but they are far harder to get. So yet again, this is an area the PC dominates.
There’s no doubt that the PS4 Pro will be a significant upgrade to the PS4. In comparison, it has much better performance and graphics. However, Sony‘s pitting it against the PC is a mistake in my opinion, one which will raise hopes too high and may even lead to more console owners switching to a PC.