PlayStation Neo (PS4 Pro) Review

Sony’s PlayStation Neo (PS4 Pro) is amazing for 4K users

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PlayStation Neo PS4 Pro

The PlayStation Neo (PS4 Pro) is a huge change from the consoles we have seen before.Traditionally, new hardware should be better than the previous one, but PS4 Pro offer just a little step ahead. Instead, it maintains the same library of games as the PS4. All the games on PS4 work on the PS4 Pro (PlayStation Neo) and all the newly released games for PS4 Pro are working on the existing PS4.

So it is not offering what PS5 will offer, but it is a major upgrade over the PS4. One of the best-upgraded specs it received is the support for new technologies like HDR and 4K which will permit you to use the latest generation of TV hardware.

Playstation neo PS4 Pro

The negative here is that not all of it’ll be native 4K, but the giant tech company has baked in a lot of upscaling technologies to this new console to act as the stopgap. But the question is, is it worth the upgrade? Well, the answer will mainly depend on the kind of TV you own.

The Pro is just like a new iPhone model, which offers prettier, faster and shiner features than its predecessor. Likewise, the PlayStation Neo (PS4 Pro) is one of the best gaming consoles from Sony if not the very best. It can play games in 4K HDR, in fact, at higher framerate sometimes. So if you have not purchased PlayStation 4 already or you want to upgrade, PlayStation 4 Pro is a great all-round system.

If you already have PlayStation 4, then you need to ask yourself before purchasing Sony’s latest wares: do you own or will be buying a 4K TV anytime soon? How about PlayStation VR? Do you find higher framerates important and the need for extra 500GB storage? Answers to those questions will tell you the next line of action. But if your answer is no, this Sony’s high horsepower console might not make much sense for you especially now that it faces fierce competition with Microsoft’s Xbox One X which is now seen as the true 4k-ready machine.

Whether the PlayStation Neo will offer you some benefits or not depends on whether you already have a PS4 console already. Keep it in mind that Sony’s system, while it is better for the core gamer, it might not make much sense as an upgrade because of some deficiencies with the hardware.

PlayStation Neo (PlayStation 4 Pro) design

  • Additional 3.1 USB port on its rear
  • Slightly bigger than the real PS4
  • Upgraded Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

While we would not like to say that the PS4 Pro’s design is a complete replica of the PS4’s, there a lot of similarities – the first is the decision to make the console a flat parallelogram. When the PS4 Pro was first unveiled, there was a joke that it felt like two PS4s placed on top of one another, but immediately you pull the console from the box you will discover the observation is less of a joke.

Playstation neo PS4 Pro design

Compared to the real PS4’s 27.5 x 5.3 cm package, this PS4 Pro (PlayStation Neo) will occupy more shelf space – 29.5 x 32.7 x 5.5 cm (W x L x H). Because it is taller and wider than the original PS4, you will probably want to put the original on top of the new Pro if you plan to keep the two. It is also a bit heavier. But unless you are constantly moving the console from one house to the other, the extra weight shouldn’t be a big headache.

The new system is encased in a matte black shell, which is similar to that of PS4 Slim. However, it has no rounded corners around the edges this time around. The PlayStation 4 Pro is sharp in every sense of the word.

Another difference between the two is the silver PlayStation logo sitting in the center of its top surface that adds a great touch of elegance. The remaining significant difference is that the power cable of the PS4 Pro is a bulkier female connector that draws more power instead of PS4 generic two prong cable.

You might notice that touch-capacitive buttons have disappeared from the front of the console. Sony has ditched the accident-prone pads for a more traditional button that sits beneath the disc tray. The button made from a cheap plastic looks scary, but does the job perfectly well. The same applies to the eject button sitting in the same spot on the right side of the front face.

Playstation neo PS4 Pro design

Okay, let’s talk I/O a bit. There are two Superspeed USB 3.1 ports on its front panel as well as one in the back, used for charging and syncing controllers and also for connecting the brand new PlayStation VR if you have just purchased one, and HDMI 2.0a, optical audio, Ethernet and PlayStation Camera ports next to the power connector along the back. There is no HDMI input port here like you would found on the Xbox One. However, Sony’s work around the cable conundrum, PlayStation Vue, is an effective one.

While the exterior of the console is great, Sony has spent a lot of time working on the inside too. You will find 1TB hard drive inside it, which is 500GB larger than on the real PS4. There is also an upgraded Wi-Fi antenna that uses dual-band 802.11 ac wireless and Bluetooth 4.0 rather than 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.

Even if the swapping out of the Wi-Fi antenna may not look like a big deal, it allows the PS4 Pro to download games faster. The Pac-Man 256 game (160MB) downloaded in just under a minute on a 15Mbps connection – what should have always been the case on the real PS4, but wasn’t.

PS4 Pro (PlayStation Neo) controller

  • Minor changes made
  • Light bar added to the front of the controller
  • Can be used in both wired and wireless modes

We all know a new system requires a new controller, and Sony has just done that.

Playstation neo PS4 Pro controller

It is, essentially, a small iteration on the DualShock 4 you are familiar with. There is now a built-in light bar in the touchpad – a great feature when you are not ready to turn the controller over in your hand to find out what player you are – more importantly, the triggers have been tweaked and feels lighter in hand.

  • PLAYSTATION VR REVIEW

The controller can also switch between Bluetooth and wired mode when it is connected to the system via USB cable. Though this may not look like a huge addition, it can be the difference between a win and a loss for a pro gamer.

PlayStation neo (PS4 Pro) performance

  • Looks great on 4K TV
  • Limited benefit for 1080p TV owners
  • Substantial improvement for VR titles
  • Simple data transfer process

Once you purchase a new PlayStation Neo (PS4 Pro), the next thing is to get it setup. Thankfully, it is still easy to setup the PS4 Pro. You can go through the menu without any hassle and input the basic information like time zone you are in, Wi-Fi network ID and password and the language you would like to use.

Playstation neo PS4 Pro performance

Transferring data from the earlier iteration of PS4 is a straightforward process: just hook both systems up to the same Wi-Fi and then connect them together via the Ethernet cable and you are good to go. It is really a great thing that Sony made it easy to transfer data by connecting the two.

Let’s go straight to the real performance. As you might know that the best thing about PlayStation Neo (Ps4 Pro) is that it offers enhanced performance for your growing favorite titles – including every game released on PlayStation VR – and 4K HDR streaming from Netflix. Also, the games built for the PlayStation platform will be enjoying the enhanced processing power immediately they are released.

Enhanced performance can come in different ways. It might be that games will be playing at 4K resolution at 30 frames/second or might be more detailed textures or an option to select higher framerate at 1080p resolution. So it is up to each developer to select how they want their games to take advantage of the upgraded processing power of the Pro in a feature Sony called “Pro Mode.”

Several games now support Pro Mode in some way, form or shape. So what can you expect with some of these games?

Performance for 4K TVs

With 4K TV, old games begin to take a complete new light – that is especially true if your 4K TV is HDR-capable. Games like the Infamous: Second Son can utilize both technologies, making contrast ratios spike through the roof and particle effects pop off the screen. We have to tell you here that PS4 Pro can’t output native 4K for all games. But that does not mean games won’t look incredible on your 4K TV; they will.

Performance for 1080p TVs

If you are 1080p TV user, you will be missing out on both HDR and 4K functionality, but you will benefit from the framerate for some of your favorite titles. For instance, in the Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, you can expect increased fresh rates that will make the action feel much smoother while texture will also get a little more detail.

Performance for PlayStation VR

Here, we want to talk about how PS4 Pro enhances the PlayStation VR experience. Ever since it was announced, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House has touted the Pro ability to enhance PSVR games. We are highly elated that he is right –  games are quite better on this machine. PS4 Pro Mode titles don’t only feel better with more detailed texture, but also feel faster in terms of framerate.

If you are new to Sony consoles and plan to purchase a PlayStation VR alongside a console, PlayStation 4 Pro is your best bet.

The PlayStation platform

One thing that makes tech journalist happy is watching a platform blossom to a fleshed out fully functional battlestation. Over the years, Sony has placed itself right on top of the consoles manufacturers – even though Microsoft’s Xbox One X is giving them a fight for their money.

Sony PlayStation Store is full of great content to buy – with almost everything from super niche indie to big titles, music and movies available.

The best Xbox One Games – 10 must play Xbox One games

Sony has never skimped in terms of supporting other territories with video content. For instance, the Australian PlayStation Store is filled with most of the major catch-up TV series like SBS ON Demand, 9Now, PLUS7 and ABC iview. Foxtel Play is also available for Pay TV subscribers to stream to their console.

Now, the Pro has brought 4K streaming, with major players including Amazon and Netflix supporting 4K content. The 4K /HDR TV owner now get to enjoy high-resolution gameplay at higher framerates.

However, the benefits are a bit foggy for non-4K TV owners, although you will still get a nice framerates and better texture in 30 to 45 games. If we have to summarize our take on PlayStation Neo (PS4 Pro) in a sentence, we would say: you’ll appreciate the console and its capabilities based on your TV.

Pros

Large 1TB hard drive

First 4K HDR Sony console

The best Pro Mode games are fantastic

Cons

Pro Mode support varies

No 4K Blu-ray player

Verdict

PlayStation Neo (PS4 Pro) is a marvelous console. It is capable of doing so much and yet; many Pro gamers will be disappointed, especially gamers that have no 4K TV and are not planning to buy one soon.

Yes, the new model of (insert your favorite car here) might be able to reach incredible speeds (capable of 4K), but you have limited the law to stay under a certain speed (using a 1080p TV), then what good is the speed?

But if you are living in the breakneck world of 4K HDR TVs and plan on enjoying the full advantage of PlayStation VR, then PS4 Pro is for you and worth your $399/AU$559/£349.

But if you are yet to purchase 4K or VR, then you might want to go for the original PS4 instead of PS4 Pro for now. If you already like the new PS4 Pro console, you can get it here at the best rate.

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