Is PlayStation 4 Pro a worthy upgrade?

PlayStation 4 Pro was a first “mid-gen” upgrade in a very long time. It is an incremental update to the original PS4, keeping the promise of backward compatibility, at the cost of limited power jump. Is it a worthy upgrade?

I got my original PS4 3 years go and that was a massive jump from my previous Xbox 360 (of course that is expected, it’s a different generation). Builtin hard drive, builtin WiFi N, builtin gigabit LAN, builtin Blu-ray drive, the list goes on and on. Needless to say, I have been very happy with my PS4.

When Pro came out, I was a little disappointed. No UHD Blu-ray. Unable to handle native 4K on most games. Old games were not getting a patch. HDR comes to original PS4 as well. Etc. I was not excited to buy one, unless my PS4 fails.

Well, my PS4 did not fail, but my colleague sold his fairly new PS4 Pro at 1/2 new price, and I decided to take the chance. At that price it’s great value, and even if I don’t like it, I can still sell it and even make a profit! Of course there was no “Wow” moments as I had with my old PS4.

But, there is always a but…

In the end PS4 Pro is a bigger update than I expected. The subtle changes were surprisingly pleasant. The upgrade to 5 Ghz WiFi did make the biggest different. I could download about 8 Mbps before, but it is more than 100 MBps now, so game downloads are a breeze.

There have been reports that PS4 Pro is loud “like hell”. I was lucky enough that my PS4 Pro is cool and quiet – in a way it’s even cooler and quieter than my original PS4. To be fair, that might be because of I hadn’t dusted my PS4 in years. But again, better design might help PS4 Pro in this regard (not to mention it’s clearly bigger, so more room for cooler, fan etc.)

And the games which support Pro, the difference is not day and night, but very noticeable and it’s really nice to have.

PS4 Pro is obviously a better PS4, and the upgrade was worth it for me. Start the PS4 Pro, and choose to Initialize it. It asked me if I want to transfer from my old PS4. Plug the network cable in, and wait. After 30 minutes or so, my games, photos, saves were successfully transferred, and it was ready to play. That was a smooth ride.

Now the question is, should you upgrade to PS4 Pro, or should you buy a Xbox One X. PS4 was a clear winner when it come out: smaller, better designed and more powerful than Xbox One. But now the tide has turned. Well, Xbox One X is clearly winner in hardware term. It’s significantly more powerful (6 TFLOPS compared to 4.2 TFLOPS). It has UHD Blu-ray, which is a big plus if you want to enjoy movies in highest quality possible. But, there are two big minuses for me:

  • It was significantly more expensive than the PS4 Pro. $100 isn’t nothing, and I got my PS4 Pro like, very, very cheap, so the gap is even bigger.
  • The game library. It’s true that for the games that run in both platform, Xbox One X performs better, in some games, clearly better. But the line up of exclusives on PS4 is just too big to ignore. Also by switching to Xbox one X, I would have to throw away  my entire game collection. How’s about no?
Replacing my entire game library?

I can wait for the upcoming games which are properly optimized for the Pro. Let us hope our beloved PS4 will continue to shine, in years to come.

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