Is it worth upgrading to a PlayStation 4 Pro in South Africa?

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The PlayStation 4 Pro is arriving in South Africa this year, but is it feasible for South Africans with an existing PlayStation 4 to upgrade to the more powerful console?

There are a number of factors should be considered if you’re thinking of upgrading to the PlayStation 4 Pro, including the 4K or HDR capability of your television, performance increase, and price.

We’ve provided brief summaries of the biggest differences between the consoles in order to help you decide if you should upgrade your current PlayStation 4 console.


Hardware

The PlayStation Pro offers more power than the old PS4 model in a similar form factor.

This increase in performance is largely due to the inclusion of AMD’s 14nm Polaris GPU architecture, which allows for a big increase in power-to-performance ratio.

If you’re seeking a similar level of performance to your old PS4 but want to take advantage of the new architecture, the PlayStation 4 Slim model is cheaper than the old model and at least as powerful.

Below are the specifications of the PlayStation Pro:

  • CPU: x86-64 AMD Jaguar, 8 cores
  • GPU: 4.20 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon based graphics engine
  • Memory: GDDR5 8GB + 1GB of VRAM
  • Storage size: 1TB
  • Power: AC 100V, 50/60Hz
  • Power consumption: 310W
  • Operating temp: 5ºC – 35ºC
  • AV Output: HDMI out port (supports 4K/HDR), optical port

Graphics Improvements

If you have a 4K HDR television and want your console gaming to look clearer and better than ever, than the PlayStation 4 Pro will deliver previously unprecedented levels of console graphics fidelity.

It is important to note that the PS4 Pro does not actually deliver native 4K graphics for most games, instead it up-scales the resolution from a display of around 1,800p using clever tricks such as checkerboard rendering.

This does deliver great graphics however, which are more comparable to 4K PC gaming than current-gen console gaming.


Performance

If you are looking to get a PlayStation 4 Pro for increased performance and higher framerates, the console will be able to deliver both of these, although not at an upscaled 4K resolution.

Rendering video games at native 4K 60FPS is impossible for the vast majority of gaming PCs, and it is impossible for the PlayStation 4 Pro to provide 60 FPS at a native 4K resolution on any intensive triple-A titles.

However, the console is able to deliver perfectly playable framerates while looking much better than your current PS4, and will also run your current PS4 games far better at a standard resolution of 1,920×1,080.

This could vary from one game to another, as game developers will have different preset configurations for each console.

The PlayStation 4 Pro is more than twice as powerful as the original PS4, with a much better Polaris-powered GPU.

PS4 PS4 Pro Improvement
CPU Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 1.6GHz Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz 1.3x
GPU 18 Radeon GCN compute units at 800MHz 36 improved GCN compute units at 911MHz 2.3x FLOPs
Memory 8GB GDDR5 at 176GB/s 8GB GDDR5 at 218GB/s 24% more bandwidth, 512MB more useable memory

Pricing

While the PlayStation 4 Pro is priced at a relatively steep R6,999, it is not that much more expensive than the old PS4 model considering its massive performance improvement.

However, it is still a lot to spend on a gaming console, especially considering its R5,199 counterpart, the PS4 Slim, is releasing alongside it this year.

In the end, gamers seeking an up-scaled 4K HDR experience should undoubtedly opt for the newer console, as it is the first of a new hardware generation.

Performance enthusiasts with cash to spare could also opt to upgrade to the console if they wanted smoother gameplay at 1080p.

However, if you’re just looking for a casual gaming platform and the current generation of console hardware is more than enough for your gaming needs, the PlayStation 4 Slim should be enough to tide you over until the release of a true 4K gaming console using next-gen GPU architecture.


Now read: The 10 best PlayStation exclusives coming in the next 12 months

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Is it worth upgrading to a PlayStation 4 Pro in South Africa?

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