The Big Question: PS4 Pro or PSVR?

Image: Kotaku

So now we've had a little bit of time to settle since last week's PS4 Pro announcement. The latest software update was rolled out last night to all consoles, granting them the ability to support HDR capability, and we know it'll support 1080p/60fps streaming and broadcasting as well.

But in a year when PSVR is launching as well, are those features enough?

I was looking through the comments of various posts here and I came across someone who pointed out that the PS4 Pro was actually a solid value proposition for them. They owned a 4K TV, and it was capable of supporting HDR. They were happy to upgrade, and the lack of a 4K Blu-ray player didn't phase them.

But I was wondering: for how many people is that a practical matter?

Another thing that got me thinking was the prospect of PSVR. I'd be much more likely to invest in a PS4 Pro before the end of the year if I could be convinced that it would result in a far better PSVR experience.

That's where I'm seeing the immediate three pillars of gaming for me over the next year: my PC for everything Windows and Xbox One (since stuff like Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon and so on has cross-buy and cross-play), the PS4 for console experiences and VR (because the cost of the Rift/Vive is too great), and the Nintendo NX and/or my smartphone for whatever mobile experience that presents.

Maybe I'm wrong. Scorpio could change the equation greatly. And it remains to be seen if some of the Xbox One exclusive features — like automated tournaments — will ever be introduced into the Windows 10 ecosystem.

But that's the question I have over my head. I don't have a 4K TV. I'm not sure if it's HDR capable; I've honestly forgotten to check over the last week.

Will I really get enough out of the PS4 Pro to justify buying it this year — especially when it costs the same amount as PSVR, which costs the same amount and works just fine on the stock-standard PS4?


    I have a 4K TV (only purchased a few months ago because my 1080 one died) and want to get the most I can out of it so I'm in for the Pro. I'm not willing to go for VR until it seems more established and the games more substantial.

    I don't own a PS4, so I am looking forward to buying A pro when there are some discounts bringing it under 499. I might also get the PSVR while I am at it or later depending on reviews.

    A lot of 4K TVs on the market at the moment have quite bad input lag unless you put them in 'game mode', which disables HDR depending on the TV.

    I'm going to wait until next year when the new generation of TVs come out for PS4 Pro, and will wait until the reviews are in on PSVR.

    4K really holds no interest to me and feels like it's not something that's different enough for the mainstream to care about at the moment. The PS4 Pro's better performance is tempting but really, there's no need for me to upgrade.

    PSVR on the other hand is very tempting but I'm not going to buy a headset until I see where VR is headed. If it keeps being a gaming peripheral then I won't be buying one but if people start making practical and productivity improving apps then I'll be getting one right away. It also depends on if it can be used with devices other than a PS4. I'm only going to buy one headset, if ever.

    TL;DR: Most likely neither.

    My current "pillars":

    My Wii U
    My 3DS
    Everything I've crammed onto those systems from the last thirty years.

    My PC and almost ten years worth of purchases.

    My PS4 for Bloodyborne/ the Dark Souls 3 DLC. That's about it. Obviously there's short downloadable stuff I'll gravitate towards from time to time.

    I suppose I take a tortoise and the hare approach to my gaming, I'll definitely look into the new Nintendo machine, but we still have no idea what it is. Conjecture and rumours do not a console launch make.

    Everything else, I'm content to stay behind a bit. The percentage of users that prefer the 'good enough' hardware ONLY will always be the majority, so the software needs to cater for them first. While it's not feasible for me to stay on the bleeding edge for absolutely everything (my heart goes out to you Alex), I definitely want to stay up to date with my PC gaming and Nintendo gaming, so I'm prepared to ignore VR completely. The Pro/everything I need to buy ancillary to the bloody thing isn't worth it to me now because there's no games that cater to it yet.

    This is even before I factor in a new phone to replace my ancient iphone 4S.

    Last edited 14/09/16 11:38 am

    hey, here's my reasoning to upgrade my PS4 to get the Pro:
    * 1080p remote play to my Mac that sits in another room
    * Improved (hopefully!) frame rate for old games like The Witcher 3 (Crookback bog!)
    * Improvements to all the new games coming out in Oct/Nov
    * Improvements to my PSVR
    * Trading in my old PS4, and its only a couple hundred to get the Pro

    Reasons for getting my PSVR:
    * I'm a bleeding edge nutter so there isn't really a good reason

    Now, hate on me but honestly don't care. Gave up on PC gaming around the time of the Sim City debacle...

    Last edited 14/09/16 11:44 am

      '* I'm a bleeding edge nutter so there isn't really a good reason'
      'Gave up on PC gaming...'

      You gave up on PC over one game? I'm generalising here, by usually these two stances are not mutually exclusive.

      Personally I've already spent the money on a PC upgrade which is giving me over 100fps in the Witcher on ultra. To me, I can well and truly justify spending the money on my PC rather than an almost negligible upgrade of my PS4 to a PRO.

        I didn't say it was over one game.. Good for you on your chosen platform.

          And thanks for making my point about all the hate out there now around the Pro. 200 dollars seems a reasonable investment over a 600 video card upgrade. I don't go on PC gamers forums and slag off people buying AMD cards.

            No hatred here bud, I own a PS4 and love it as much as my PC.

            I wasn't slagging you off. I was only saying I couldn't justify, in my mind, an incremental PS4 upgrade over a PC upgrade, which isn't limited by the constraints of console generations & consumer expectations.

    4k, HDR, streaming and broadcasting are of zero interest to me, so the only prospective selling point would be VR. But I'm already all-in on the Rift, so there's not much point in that. I'm primarily a Nintendo guy, that's where I go for my games.

    Not really planning on either right now.

    Don't have a 4K TV so no interest in PS4 Pro (or Scorpio for that matter) plus I really don't want to encourage this mid-generation console upgrade idea, so I'm hoping they both fail hard.

    Not really convinced on VR yet. It's cool as an "experience" kind of thing, but yet to see any actual game that would convince me, and don't really want to wear one of those things on my head for any significant period of time, so it can't really justify the price.

    I guess if I had to buy one or the other it'd be PSVR just because it would give me something I don't already have. PS4 Pro won't really give me much without a 4K HDR TV. But otherwise, I'm happy with what I've got until the proper next gen consoles come along in a couple of years.

    Ummm None of the Above...

    Might get a PS4 slim in the new year for the kids to play but if NX is good then I'll go with that

    But that’s the question I have over my head. I don’t have a 4K TV. I’m not sure if it’s HDR capable; I’ve honestly forgotten to check over the last week.

    If it isn't a 4K TV, then it almost certainly doesn't support HDR.

    Some current 4K TVs don't support HDR in low-lag gaming mode either, so check if intending to have HDR gaming happening.

    4K streaming currently looks good, but awful compared to 4K bluray, so I am putting off a PS4 Pro purchase. I would have picked one up day one if it had the 4K BD.

    I'm not interested enough in the XB1-S to get it as a 4K BD player, it doesn't support all the audio formats like ATMOS anyway, so I'll wait until next year and see how it all pans out.

    I'll probably get a PS4 Pro, if it means 60fps in games at 1080P, the 4K gaming will probably be okay too, many developers are talking about rendering out at higher resolution (but not 4K) than on the standard PS4, scaling that and adding UI and text etc at 4K for crisp text and UI, and I'm okay with that.

    The PSVR, I'll wait and see what titles there are, I have an Oculus, but find I almost never use it now. The PSVR had the best experience of the 'Big 3' last time I tried it, so I might be in if the games are there.

    Can anybody clarify, the update on ps4 to enable HDR. Wouldnt you need a hdmi 2.0 cable to see it properly? Im assuming the ps4 pro has one in the box ready.

      Is there such a thing as an HDMI 2.0 cable? I was under the impression that the cables are the same, it's the stuff connected to either end of the cable that changes?

      Version 2.0 (like 1.4 before it) is entirely a hardware change. It is not a cable change. You can expect cable manufacturers to proclaim that you need expensive new "Version 2.0 cables" but this is untrue. Your current High Speed cables should work just fine.

        kind of true. older version 1.3 cables do not support the bandwidth required but you can mostly get away with 1.4 where 2.0 is recommended.

    I'm strongly considering upgrading to a pro, but I've already preordered a PSVR. Why? I reckon if VR will succeed in gaming, it'll only happen if it goes mainstream, and Sony's probably the best chance for that to happen - the cost of entry for Rift and Vive (the hardware itself, plus the hardware required to run it properly) puts it out of the reach of most gamers; whereas Sony already has a huge install-base of compatible, (apparently) VR-capable hardware. And it would be awesome if VR could succeed this time around.

    I dont have a 4k tv however any visual upgrade will please me plus 1080 at 60 frames. My 500gb ps4 is always full, I know I will fill 1tb but it'll allow me to have more games I don't want to delete.

    I want to support sony even though I'm disappointed about the lack of 4kbd player, after buying an xbox one at launch I'm still too hurt to even look at microsoft.
    If sony turns around and releases a 2tb model with a 4k blu ray player next year I think I'll start to resent console gaming enough to stop.

      Great news u can add a 2tb hard drive to ur current ps4 already. Super easy almost no work involved and u can also do this to ur new products if u get it!

    After hearing the digital foundry guys talk about the PS4 Pro I am definitely interested as I provides a massive graphics jump to that of a very expensive PC. But after looking for a reasonably priced 4K TV with HDR I have come up with nothing as like @zambayoshi said HDR support is current often only through movie mode with massive lag (Samsung) or from USB sources only (Hisense), or the screen is crappy RGBW (LG).

    I am definitely getting PSVR as it looks awesome so might get PS Pro now while I can get a good trade in on my old console (EB Games) and hope PSVR gets some Pro love.

    If the NX is a portable with dock running on a Tegra I will definitely get one for my mobile gaming to replace the Vita as its releases are getting fewer and further apart.

    As for Scorpio... well I bet it is going to be an amazing system and unless they are idiots I bet it will support the next version of Oculus or Vive which will be amazing. But to wait a year.... is just too long.

      Yep, same reason I'm holding off until the proper next gen consoles come out in another 2-3 years. Hopefully by then the TVs will be up to the task of handling 4K gaming with HDR and I'll be far enough into the lifespan of the current console to justify buying a new one. So the new console and new TV will probably be able to justify the overall purchase of each other by then.

        There are 4K screens out there that do HDR and have lowish lag (20-30ms), they are just $2000+. The ones I was looking are were at the $600-1300 price range (because I am a tight arse).

          Depends on the size. If I'm getting a 4K TV, I fully intend to get one in a size that will require me to renovate my house to make room for it :P So yeah, waiting a couple of years will help a bit.

            Fair play :D
            I was getting a smaller one 40" to 50" for the study where I mostly play games. But when I replace our main TV (currently 51" Plasma) I will get at least a 65" OLED.

          What will $600-$1300 get you tv wise? Do they have hdr and 4k capable?

            A 40" to 50" 4K TV but all of which have their problems regarding HDR or screen (see my original post). e.g.
   (HDR through USB source only).
   (HDR through TV mode only huge lag).
   (HDR but has a RGBW screen so some pixels are just a white resulting in poorer image quality and not true 4K).

            *So I will just wait for the prices to come down for the models that do support 4K and HDR through all sources inc Game Mode.

            Last edited 15/09/16 9:21 am

              Late response here but I just got a 50" samsung KU6000, despite researching I'm still uncertain as to whether I can play games in 4k with the pro, I'm fine without the HDR but will the 4k cause lag latency type problems? Im not a nazi for that kind of stuff but my eyes do notice problems

      Yep, same reason I'm holding off until the proper next gen consoles come out in another 2-3 years. Hopefully by then the TVs will be up to the task of handling 4K gaming with HDR and I'll be far enough into the lifespan of the current console to justify buying a new one. So the new console and new TV will probably be able to justify the purchase of each other by then.

    I'm holding off on the PS4Pro. I have a decent gaming PC so buy most multi platforms on that to get the best graphics. I don't have a 4K TV and am not in the market for one any time soon.

    I'll be getting PSVR and I'll be interested to see if it performs better on the PS4Pro because a higher framerate might make VR a better experience but for now I'll have to live like a caveman and use it with a regular PS4.

    I will inevitably end up getting the PS4Pro (Or a PS4Pro Slim or whatever future iteration there is) at some stage, possibly whenever I buy a 4K TV or if my PS4 dies or even if they just get cheaper. But for now my Ps4 is quite adequate for the exclusives I play on it.

    I'm still trying to work out if my 2013 SONY 4k even supports 4k via HDMI.

    Support says no, but I think they confused my two questions re: 4k and HDCP 2.2 as one, and completely flubbed the answer.

    Regardless, I'll get the Pro eventually. Much more likely to happen sooner if it removes the need for the VR breakout box. But unlike other hardware upgrades I'll trade in my current PS4. Really no reason to have two, unlike the PS3 - which is a superior Blu-Ray player to the PS4, even if I don't really use it to game very often.

    To be perfectly honest, I'm more interested in the Xbox at the moment. The last Forza trailer made me look twice at Microsoft. I already have a perfectly good 6 month old PS4 that Im in no hurry to upgrade, and not keen on the idea of VR.

    I was fully going to jump straight into PSVR a couple of months back but since the Pro announcement have put it on hold. I want the best experience from it and just can't justify upgrading my PS4 yet. I have a 55 inch, 1080p LG OLED that is still amazing and all the other consoles. It just feels like the wrong time to put two differently powered PS4's out there. Think by the time Scorpio tops up, I'll be ready to upgrade.

    Both. Picking up PSVR next month and then a PS4 pro to upgrade my PS4 in november. Always the performance kind of guy and I have already been playing with Oculus Rift on my desktop so I have clear expectation of that PSVR going to give.

    Maybe because of my PC guy mentality, getting the PS4 Pro for performance boost seems reasonable to me.

    everyone keeps saying the ps4 pro will allow 1080p 60fps for existing games that only ran at 30fps, am i missing something?
    i don't recall that being mentioned anywhere so far. technically it is capable but unless mistaken the extra grunt is really to allow 4k/30fps.
    you would need each game to support 3 modes then. 1080p/30 for the ps4 and then 1080p/60 and 4k/30 for the ps4 pro.
    i expect you will see that sometimes, but i wouldn't count on it in every game. and certainly wouldn't expect old games to suddenly run at 60fps

    Last edited 14/09/16 10:41 pm

    Buying PSVR so I will get the pro also to get the most out of it. If not for VR, I wouldn't be purchasing the pro until I could compare it to the Scorpio.

    Just breaking in my 60inch 4K SUHD Sammy so looking at upgrading the PS4 to Pro in November. Being a X360 man last gen, XBONE-S has piqued my interest, especially with the UBD player.

    Played around with the HDR+ setting with some games such as Battlefront & NMS which makes the graphics pop big time, particularly backgrounds. Its looks amazing TBH. It does add a bit of lag, but not too noticeable. My understanding is native HDR will be enabled in Game mode when games support it.

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