PS4 Pro is releasing in a few weeks, and luckily we know what it is all about now.
Back when Sony unveiled the console in September, there was some mystery surrounding it. But as the months have gone by, more and more details on the console have been revealed, and we can finally rest assured that we know what we are getting ourselves into when we buy one.
But how much do you know about the PS4 Pro to be honest? What tech-specs does it have? What is the major advantage of it all? I have the answers to these questions after obsessing over the console for a while now.
Two PS4 consoles in one
Technically speaking, the PS4 Pro is like having the power of two normal PlayStation 4s. The PS4 Pro has double the processing unit packed into it, which will be the highlight feature of the console.
Although the console still has 8GB of memory, it is able to run at a higher clock than the standard model, freeing up 512MB of RAM to boost resolution in some cases.
The console has also been given an extra 1GB of DDR3 RAM, which might sound like peanuts, but the DDR3 RAM will be used to handle apps like Netflix and the browser, thus freeing up \gDDR5 RAM to be used in games. Think of the PS4 UI now having its own RAM to make use of, so all 8GB of GDDR5 RAM will be dedicated to gaming.
Technically speaking, the PS4 Pro now runs 4.20 Teraflops, this compared to the standard model which only clocks at 1.8.
Other hardware improvements include an improved USB 3.1 port, Bluetooth 4.0, and an extra USB port at the back.
4K TV not mandatory
The biggest question everyone asks, is if a 4K TV is mandatory to run a PS4 Pro? The short answer is no.
The PS4 Pro has been designed in such a way that Sony have made sure to offer various graphical options for upcoming games. Let us take Nioh for example.
The game has a list of graphics settings that can changed while playing the game. Unlike PC games, these settings don’t let you actually tweak different switches.
Rather, think of these as presets for the game that you can switch to and from.
Nioh – PS4
- PS4, Option 1: “Movie Mode”
This mode focuses on resolution over frame rate, offering beautiful high resolution graphics with stable 30fps.
- PS4, Option 2: “Action Mode”
Here the emphasis is on frame rate, providing a stable 60fps.
- PS4, Option 3: “Movie Mode (Variable frame rate)”
Finally, this option provides high resolution graphics with a variable frame rate that may go over 30fps..
Nioh – PS4 Pro
- PS4 Pro, HD display. Option 1: “Movie Mode”
Stable 1920×1080 resolution with high quality anti-aliasing at 30fps
- PS4 Pro, HD display. Option 2: “Action Mode”
Stable 1920×1080 resolution at 60fps
- PS4 Pro, 4K display. Option 1: “Movie Mode”
Stable 3840×2160 resolution at 30fps
- PS4 Pro, 4K display. Option 2: “Action Mode”
Stable 1920×1080 resolution at 60fps
As you can see from the above, the game has two HD display presets for those who are using the PS4 Pro on a full HD display.
Those who are on 4K can then switch to the 4K options at their own choice.
If you want to play the game with anti-aliasing, that feature is only available in the HD display option.
Other games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Killing Floor 2 will also have different options to choose from when the release.
Sure, those with a 4K TV will be able to play these games in 4K, but there might be an option that looks better on full HD displays too.
Smoke and Mirrors
Honestly speaking, the PS4 Pro is an extremely powerful console, but at the same time, the developers have been using some tricks to make the games look better on the console, and sometimes even cheap tactics.
The HDR feature, which is available on both the PS4 and PS4 Pro, will need some time before it truly gets mastered. This also goes for the 4K resolution in games.
We can expect games that release next year to truly harness the power of the console, but right now, the developers are upscaling games to run at 4K, and the HDR features are not designed from the ground up on the currently supported titles.
Roster of games
The good news is that if you are getting a PS4 Pro, then chances are you already have some games that will be patched to support the console.
I have already tested The Last of Us and Ratchet and Clank HDR support, but it will not be until a few days after launch that I will be able to play Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in 4K.
Here is a full list of games that will have 4K support by the end of November:
- Battlefield 1
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Dishonored 2
- Driveclub VR
- EA Sports FIFA 17
- Hustle Kings
- inFAMOUS First Light
- inFAMOUS Second Son
- Mafia III
- Mantis Burn Racing
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
- NBA 2K17
- Neon Chrome
- PlayStation VR Worlds
- Ratchet & Clank
- Rez Infinite
- Ride 2
- RIGS Mechanized Combat League
- Rise Of The Tomb Raider
- Robinson: The Journey
- Super Stardust Ultra
- The Elders Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
- The Elders Scrolls: Skyrim Special Edition
- The Last Of Us Remastered
- The Last Of Us: Left Behind
- The Playroom VR
- Titanfall 2
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
- Viking Squad
- Wheels of Aurelia
- World Of Tanks
- XCOM 2
We can also expect other games to take advantage of the PS4 Pro, like Final Fantasy XV, Gravity Rush 2, and more.
All the games releasing in later November to January will have some sort of feature to make use of the extra processing power found in the PS4 Pro.
What about PlayStation VR?
While PS VR is great, the headset’s hardware is capped at 1080p. This means that you will not be able to play VR games in 4K.
The PS4 Pro however, does give an advantage to some VR games.
Many of the VR games will have the abovementioned graphic settings to them, in which case you can bypass the processing unit on the VR headset, and plug it directly into the PS4 Pro to take advantage of the settings.
Again, it all boils down to the developers and how they plan on creating their games to take advantage of the PS4 Pro. Whether or not the PS VR titles will have separate graphic options will depend on the developer.