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February 2019

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Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro arrives: games get 4K resolution but is the upgrade really worth it?

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Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro arrives: games get 4K resolution but is the upgrade really worth it?

Post by AlleyRose on Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:25 pm

UNTIL this year, games consoles came along but once every seven years.
Suddenly, they’re arriving in half that time and asking you to make difficult decisions about whether your merely middle-aged machine is ready for retirement.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 is the latest console to ask that question, with a Pro version of the multi-million-selling console arriving in Australian stores today.
But do you really need an upgrade? And, if you do make the switch, what can you expect?
The biggest reason to invest in a Pro PlayStation is its good looks. Not on the outside. On the screen.
This machine promises supports games delivered in 4K, Ultra High-Definition, with four times the resolution of current models.

Sony has launched a PlayStation 4 Pro games console in Australia that will support 4K Ultra High-Definition graphics.Source:Supplied

It will also deliver High Dynamic Range gameplay in which bright colours appear to pop from the screen, the colour gamut is wider, and the contrast is higher. Light scenes, in particular, can look stunning and more detailed.
Not all games will get this treatment, however, and not all will deliver the same visual boost.

Pro software patches will be available for 30 games from today, with 45 games making the cut by the end of the year, according to Sony.
Each update will improve its game differently. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will get improved textures, for example, while Gran Turismo Sport will get HDR support.
Hitman and also Ratchet & Clank will get resolution boosts, and Rez Infinite will look crisper inside the PlayStation VR headset.
Many big titles committed to releasing Pro updates, such as Battlefield 1 and FIFA 17, have yet to reveal just what they will look like after the upgrade, and were not available early today.
More certain is 4K streaming. If you have the right Netflix subscription, and the right internet connection, you can watch crisp, next-gen resolution from this machine.
It will also stream 4K video from YouTube.
The PlayStation Pro doesn’t deviate much in the looks department.
It is shaped like a PlayStation 4 Slim, though noticeably wider and a touch taller.
Its hardware has two immediate benefits on its front panel. Those hair-trigger, touch-sensitive eject and on controls have gone, replaced by subtle manual buttons which are harder to press in a fumble.
The console also has an extra USB 3.0 connection, bringing its tally to three, and adds an optical audio connection for those who want to connect their games to an AV receiver and booming sound system.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro is a larger console in a similar style to previous models.Source:Supplied

This console is also better attuned to the internet, offering dual-band support, and faster connections, which should come in handy if you plan to download 4K games.
Naturally, it also delivers double the storage of the original machine.
The PS4 Pro uses a one terabyte drive, including roughly 860 gigabytes of usable space for game installations and saves.
It sound like plenty, though it could fill quickly given the size of 4K titles.
There’s one serious omission from the PlayStation 4 Pro, and that’s support for 4K Blu-ray Discs.
Even though PlayStation pioneered Blu-ray Disc support in its third coming, this model lacks the feature and only lets users stream 4K video content.

Sony Interactive Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House introduces the PlayStation 4 Pro in New York. Picture: AFP/Bryan R. SmithSource:AFP

It’s a particularly damaging blow given Microsoft’s new Xbox One S does support 4K Blu-ray Discs — something that could make it an easier choice for 4K TV owners.
The PlayStation 4 Pro also uses more power than the model before it — up to 310 watts — is heavier at 3.3kg, more expensive, and doesn’t offer a two terabyte option like its Microsoft equivalent.
If you are yet to invest in a PlayStation 4, this is the model to buy. The Pro costs $160 more than the basic PlayStation 4 but offers greater speed, better graphics, and twice the storage.
If you have a 4K television, a Pro purchase is at least worth considering. The difference is immediately obvious on the screen, and your investment will age well as more games arrive with 4K HDR graphics on disc. You’ll just need to bring your own 4K Blu-ray Disc player.
But if your TV only reaches high-definition, and you already have a PlayStation 4, the Pro might not offer enough to make it worth your while. It could be best to wait for the fifth version.
Sony PlayStation 4 Pro
Four out of five stars

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