Does The 'PlayStation 4 Pro' Improve Your Gaming Performance?

By Staff writer , Dec 02, 2016 03:03 AM EST

With the growing popularity of the next generation of Virtual Reality (VR), there is a lot to talk about when it comes to the battle for hardware supremacy. Right now companies have been focused on one seemingly esoteric factor: the trade-off between image resolution and frame-rate.

VR has been popular

With VR, how a game is to be displayed isn't going to be just a matter of aesthetics; it can also severely impact user comfort and even function. In designing and their respective headsets, the teams behind Oculus' Rift and HTC's Vice chose to offer high display resolutions. Each headset sports a powerful 2160 x 1200 overall output, comfortably trumping PlayStation VR's 1920 x 1080 fidelity.

Less image quality for more FPS

So with this being said, why did Sony choose to make the trade in image quality? One factor is that PlayStation VR has declined peak resolution in order to prioritize running at an impressive 120 frames-per-second (FPS), which ultimately beats the 90FPS offered by HTC and Oculus. Technically, some content for Sony's headset is enhanced from 60FPS to the full 120FPS with the use of an approach named reprojection, but the point stands. PSVR sacrifices resolution in favor of the most comfortable movement.

Why VR is so good

That potential for massive fluidity means a much lesser jarring experience, as you spin your head when inside a virtual realm, in which turn serves VR's ultimate offering which is 'presence.' Presence is the most striking element of a quality VR experience. The sense that you really occupied the world you are playing on. But as potent, as that experience can be, with a glitch of the screen image, the illusion can come crashing down.

The PS4 Pro is powerful

The PlayStation 4 Pro, which has already offered several advantages including VR, is hoping to bolster Sony's position in the console gaming industry. With a faster CPU and more powerful graphics processing than its predecessors, the PlayStation 4 Pro promises to incorporate the capabilities of the PlayStation VR hardware.


The boost the PlayStation 4 Pro provides to PlayStation VR slightly adjusts the framerate-slash-resolution trade-off, potentially improving both image and movement quality. This improvement, however, is strictly limited by the existing PSVR hardware, which is currently locked at 1920 x 1080 resolution. This means that whatever technical powerhouse you plug into Sony's headset, the screen is the size it is.

Preparation for VR

However, the enhanced PlayStation does promise to improve framerate smoothness, as well as consistency for the VR functionality, which should further remove glitch and blur from any virtual reality game optimized for the Pro. A lot of future PlayStation VR releases will definitely come 'Pro-ready', while numerous existing titles have already been improved for the machine through an update.

Gaming on a PlayStation will never be the same

For those charmed by the improvements to graphical fidelity, there should be some appeal. With all things said, the addition of 4K VR to the PlayStation Pro has really bolstered the franchise console to a high degree. With this incorporation, gaming will significantly improve on the PlayStation 4 Pro.

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