After months of speculation, rumours, and leaks, the mythical PS4 Neo was revealed to be the PlayStation 4 Pro in a brief conference on Sept. 7. The PS4 Pro serves as Sony’s high-end console which supports both 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) for clear and pristine graphics that mimic how our eyes perceive images in reality. Launching Nov. 10, 2016, the PS4 Pro will run gamers $499, a good $100 more than any other console.
After spending an hour of my life watching Sony pitch the device that will make quote-unquote “game worlds come alive,” the PS4 Pro is nothing more than an overpriced redesign. Sony might try and hide the reality of the situation under forward compatibility (a term that makes no sense whatsoever considering the PS4 Pro is just a more powerful version of the PS4), a 1TB hard drive and slightly upgraded specs, but there are a ton of caveats and problems surrounding the system already. Missing support for 4K blu-rays (rather ironic considering Sony helped pioneer the format a decade ago), the need to buy 4K-capable TVs to reap the benefits, not every game supporting the “PS4 Pro Enhanced” label, and HDR support coming to the PS4 anyway are just a few examples.
The PS4 Pro, along with Project Scorpio in 2017, is just another attempt to weasel money out of consumers. Unless you have $500 burning a hole in your pocket or are planning to build a 4K entertainment station in your living room, there is no reason to buy the PS4 Pro over the PS4 Slim or the original PS4. Plus, the PS4 Slim comes with your choice of NHL 17 or Uncharted 4 for $120 less! Why would you ever pass on that amazing deal for a ridiculously priced club sandwich that Sony calls a console?
If you’re into having the most up-to-date graphics, faster processing power, or the most powerful system on the market, don’t let my opinion deter you from picking up a PS4 Pro. The reason I’m so negative against the PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio is what they both represent for the industry.
In a capitalist society, corporations want to make the most profits each fiscal year. Any deviation or mistake is considered an absolute failure. As games have gotten more expensive to make, publishers have gotten more hesitant when it comes to investing their money in unproven properties. This mentality has resulted in yearly releases that do more of the same than moving things forward, all to maximize profits. They can make games to push system sales or they can do the lazy Apple model of releasing a slightly enhanced system on a yearly basis. In the past year, Microsoft and Sony have been investing in the latter and it isn’t a good trend.
Consoles may cost the same as high-end smartphones, but they aren’t targeted at the same rich consumer base that usually has the money for a yearly upgrade. Unless there is a drastic revision, only the most hardcore of gamers will spend there hard earned cash to be early adopters. People prefer consoles for their relative simplicity. To flood the market with yearly console revisions will more likely alienate consumers than entice them to drop $500 on a new console, no matter how ‘pro’ it’s claimed to be.