With the announcement of the PlayStation 4 Pro came the inevitability of an entirely new gaming experience. Unlike the earlier-announced PlayStation 4 Slim, the Pro promised more, in terms of both power and graphics. Considering how the base PlayStation 4 is still arguably one of the better gaming platforms out there, the release of the Pro is almost overwhelming.
As noted by Digital Trends, the PS4 Pro somewhat blurs the distinction between PC-gaming and console-gaming. Before its release, the main difference was simplicity - while the PC offered better hardware and customization, consoles offered a great plug-and-play option. The new offering from Sony, however, offers gameplay at 4K UHD resolution with high-dynamic range.
With the help of a better graphics card and various other hardware improvements, the PlayStation 4 Pro is the first console to process in 4K with its own personal 4K games, as the publication does argue that the Xbox One S can produce output in 4K.
The PlayStation 4 Pro, as reported by Ars Technica, has a GPU with 36 improved GCN compute units at 911 Mhz and a CPU with 8 jaguar cores at 2.1 Ghz. It also has 8GB GDDR5 at 218GB and an additional 1GB DDR3. When pushed to its maximum, it generates 154W and has hard drive of 1TB. It also sports 3 USB 3.0 ports and sells for about US$400 without a game bundle.
This is a pretty far cry from the standard PlayStation 4, which had a GPU with 18 Radeon GCN compute units at 800 Mhz and a CPU with 8 Jaguar cores at 1.6Ghz. The maximum power of the two-year console is 148W. The device is available with 1TB of harddrive, but generally sells at 500GB. It has just two USB 3.0 ports, but sells for a much cheaper US$300, including a game bundle.
But with this much power, why did Sony opt not to announce a new generation? Basically, the answer is that the PS4 Pro is still essentially a PlayStation 4. It does not and cannot offer more modes or more games than the PS4. Instead, it offers a heightened gaming experience to the titles and systems that players have already put their roots on.
Partnered with a 4K television set, the PlayStation 4 Pro has the freedom to present titles that are more detailed via images that are sharper. But even in a standard HD television, the games somehow seem to run smoother. However, this requirement does poke at a rather tricky issue: Players will need to upgrade not just the console, but what is essentially their entire gaming setup.
So if the question is whether or not the PlayStation 4 Pro is necessary, the answer is that it is not. As mentioned earlier, the device is still essentially a PS4, which is still a great piece of technology - in no way does the Pro version make the standard unit obsolete. However, actually playing the PS4 Pro will make you want it almost immediately, because the difference is almost noisily evident.