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Will you buy the PlayStation 4 Pro?

Engadget Engadget 8/09/2016 Engadget
© Provided by Engadget

The PlayStation 4 Neo Pro has finally been revealed, and it packs in an intriguing amount of power and features unforeseen in the console world. But given that it's only been three years since the PS4's original debut, is it really worth upgrading for the system's existing owners? And with Microsoft's Project Scorpio coming next year, which is even more powerful on paper, it might just be worth waiting a bit before pulling the trigger. Engadget's editors have opinions:

Jessica Conditt, Senior Editor

I'm not buying a PS4 Pro because of two things -- one that I have and one that I don't have. Thing One: I have a PS4. Beyond that, I'm extremely happy with my PS4. It runs my games beautifully and streams all the terrible reality television I could ask for. The PS4 is my default living room console; I also own an Xbox One but my hands automatically reach for the DualShock 4 when I plop down on the couch. It simply isn't time for me to upgrade yet and, honestly, this is entirely Sony's fault. If they had made a crappier launch console, maybe I'd be interested in the PS4 Pro.

Thing Two: I don't have a 4K television. Sony claims that the PS4 Pro will benefit people without 4K TVs as well, smoothing out some games' jagged edges, but the difference should be minimal and it's simply not enough to lure me in. If I had a 4K TV, I might consider the Pro, but I probably wouldn't jump on it on day one (see Thing One).

Nathan Ingraham, Senior Editor

While the PS4 Pro demos I tried at Sony's event were pretty spectacular, I won't be upgrading to the company's newest console just yet. Mostly, that's because I don't have a 4K TV (or the time to devote to playing games as much as I'd like anymore). That said, there's no doubt in my mind that Sony just stuck it to Microsoft, big-time. The direct competition to the PS4 Pro is Microsoft's Project Scorpio, which still has no price point or release date. Comparing the PS4 Pro to the One S comes out strongly in Sony's favor, and that'll be a big deal over the holiday system (unless you're a gamer who wants to play 4K Blu-rays, that is).

Nick Summers, Associate Editor

I won't be buying a PlayStation 4 Pro. At least, not right now. It's a marginal hardware upgrade, offering few benefits for people with 1080p TVs. Slightly prettier graphics? I'll take them, sure, but not for another $400. You see, I never felt the PlayStation 4 was particularly underpowered. Video games like Uncharted 4: A Thief's End are gorgeous -- and I find myself appreciating stylized graphics, like those found in Firewatch and Abzu, more and more these days.

I would rather wait and see how Microsoft's Project Scorpio shakes out. By then, I'll probably have a 4K TV, so I'll be in a better position to benefit from the upgrade. With an extra $400 in my pocket, I'm also better positioned to buy a PSVR headset this fall, or even Nintendo's mysterious NX console next March. If you don't have a PlayStation 4 yet, or you're desperate to own the best console graphics -- then sure, buy this new box. But if you already own a PS4, I think there are smarter ways to spend your money. An Xbox One S, for instance, will give you access to Microsoft's exclusives and a 4K Blu-ray player. Oh, and a product that looks sublime too.

Dan Cooper, Senior Editor

To my shame, I'm still rocking an Xbox 360 from 2008 that has remained unbroken for the better part of a decade. I'd always planned to join this console generation, but neither device seemed to be compelling enough to make the splash. Public opinion skewed heavily towards the PS4 immediately after that E3, which made me sad as I wanted to see Microsoft's cloud-based vision for the future of video games. But since the PS4 seems to have "won" this generation, it's probably the right time to make a splash.

That's why I'm probably going to buy a PS4 Pro when it launches, since it'll be the best hardware I can get at the time of launch. Add in the fact that it'll work with PlayStation VR and I know that, should that become a hit in a few years time, I can access it right away. Admittedly, my freshly-bought HDTV won't do much with the Pro's newly-minted 4K processing power, but again -- I'm prepared for the moment when those displays become affordable.

Of course, it might be a bit of a waste since all I'll probably play are Rocket League and FIFA, but that's never stopped me before.

Matt Brian, Managing Editor, Engadget UK

Am I going to buy a PlayStation 4 Pro? Yes. When it launches? Definitely not. But that doesn't mean it isn't the best console option — at least between Microsoft and Sony — for the foreseeable future.

I already own a PlayStation 4 and I'm on the hook for a PSVR headset. Put simply, I don't want to be spending upwards of £700 in the space of a month. Given that my 5-year old LG plasma is on its way out and needs replacing, it makes sense to grab a new 4K set and then purchase a PS4 Pro to cater for my gaming needs and the endless amount of streaming I intend do between Netflix and Amazon. The lack of UHD Blu-ray support doesn't phase me, I can't remember the last time I watched a movie on a disc.

With Scorpio unlikely to launch until 2017, Sony really has clear waters ahead of it. VR and 4K gaming will only grow in popularity and Sony will have the console market largely to itself until Microsoft debuts the faster and more powerful Scorpio a few months later.

Brittany Vincent, Contributor

I had already decided I wouldn't be purchasing a PlayStation 4 Pro at launch far before I ever saw what Sony had to offer at its PlayStation event. It's $400. Do you know how many Kylie Lip Kits I can buy with that money?

I'm a collector, and since I own nearly every console from every generation (lacking a 64DD, sadly) every instinct within me is screaming for a PS4 Pro for the sake of completeness, but I don't think it's actually necessary. I'm not concerned so much with HD gaming nor 4K as a general rule because I'm not in the market to purchase a new TV any time soon. But I am looking to outfit my gaming setup with PlayStation VR specifically for Rez Infinite, and that'll likely be the excuse I need to drop the cash on a PS4 Pro at some point.

Plus, with Microsoft's Project Scorpio on the horizon, any extra cash I can scare up will end up being a boon for my eventual entertainment center upgrade. Stacking games on top of each other and stepping over piles in the floor isn't working out for me anymore, and I'll need to finally make the jump to 2016 and improve that entire situation. That means a better TV and all. Then it might finally be time to make the investment.

Devindra Hardawar, Senior Editor

As someone who's drifted towards PC gaming over the past few years, I'm looking forward to having a console that can push out more pixels. But while I'm intrigued by the PlayStation 4 Pro (check out my impressions here), I won't be buying one at launch. Mostly, that's because I haven't upgraded to a 4K, HDR-ready TV yet. And, quite honestly, I also haven't used my PlayStation 4 much. When I want to play console games with friends, I power up my Xbox One. And when I want to be engrossed in AAA games with the best graphics possible, I head to my PC.

Given that it's only been three years since the PlayStation 4 launched, the Pro doesn't seem like a worthy upgrade just yet. But if you've been holding out on this console generation, it's clearly the smart choice this holiday season, especially if you want to dabble with PlayStation VR. Sure, I'm also looking forward to Microsoft's Project Scorpio, but it's hard to get too excited about something that's so far off.

My biggest disappointment with the PlayStation 4 Pro? It doesn't have a 4K Blu-ray drive, which would make it a far more practical purchase. Curiously, that's something the Xbox One S does include. Sony reps say that the company is focusing on 4K streaming, but that argument is surprising when you consider that Sony is one of the big 4K Blu-ray backers. I've argued that 4K Blu-ray was dead from the start because of streaming, and it's hard to deny that's the case when the format's creator can't even get behind it.

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