The PS4 Pro – Changing the Console Market – Extra Credits

The PS4 Pro – Changing the Console Market – Extra Credits


A few weeks ago, we finally saw the official announcement for what we all knew was coming: the PS4 Pro, or as I like to think of it, the PS4.5. So what does it mean? Does it change gaming or is it just another weird hardware cash-grab? Before we can talk about anything else, we have to discuss the one thing that Sony won’t actually say outright: the PS4 Pro is clearly part of their huge bet on VR. If you’re wondering why they decided to up the horsepower of the PS4 at what seems like a sort of random time, I’m fairly convinced that it has to do with decisions made at the height of the VR hype machine. Probably around the same time that Sony decided to give the greenlight to Playstation VR. Because, to run the same games that we’ve been seeing on the PS4 through a VR headset, at the same fidelity that we get on a TV, requires a more powerful machine. If Sony was willing to gamble on VR enough to make their own headset, they would have to ensure that the VR experience on their console wouldn’t just be plain worse than the non-VR experience. After all, if you’re trying to play a first-person shooter that runs fine on your TV but runs at half the framerate on your headset because the console just doesn’t have the power to render those head mounted dual screens fast enough, you’re probably just going to take the headset off and go back to playing the game where it runs smoothly. And in the technological arms race that is console gaming, if you’re predicting that VR is the next big thing, you can’t be left behind. Hence, the 4.5. Personally, I think that console VR Is a very risky gamble. I’m pretty sure it’ll be quite some time before it pays off, if it ever does, but that leaves us in a weird place because regardless of how quickly VR hits mass adoption, now we have two different machines claiming to be the same console and I think the unintended consequences there are huge, or perhaps I don’t give Sony enough credit. Maybe they are the intended consequences, who knows? Now, Sony says that every game that runs on the PS4 Pro will also run on a standard PS4 and I am sure that they are absolutely going to enforce that, for a while. But the game development community always wants to play with every ounce of hardware they can get their hands on, and having a game with the best graphics, the coolest physics, or the biggest world, translates to more sales, so you can bet that developers are going to start building for the PS4 Pro even if they aren’t allowed to make their titles run exclusively on it. After all, Sony has explicitly said that the PS4 Pro is being put out there to run your games better. So while games may have to run on both the PS4 in the PS4.5, nobody ever said that they have to run as well on both machines. Now, I’ve heard a lot of talk on the internet that this isn’t going to happen because developers would never make two versions of their game just to get a little bit more power out of the PS4 Pro. It’s just too expensive. And that’s true, but it’s a little bit of a misunderstanding of how game development works. See, we don’t make a million different versions of our games to run on a million different specs of PC, for example. We make one game with some easily scalable parts, like clipping distance or lighting quality stuff that can easily be scaled down as needed. And the world of the PS4 and the PS4.5 is going to be the same. I think you can safely consider the PS4 games of the future as PS4.5 games with their graphics settings turned down a notch, because I think that’s how most devs are going to think of them. So now the real question: is this a good thing? There are parts of me that actually want to say yes. In previous console generations, console architecture changed radically with each new iteration and the underlying OS of each machine changed nearly as much. This meant that it was incredibly difficult to do things like play games from the previous machine’s library on the new powerful machine – which, of course, won’t be an issue here. It also meant that companies had to manufacture a completely new machine every time, scrapping all of the efficiencies of their old production pipeline and resetting much of the economy of scale that comes with producing millions of console units. But here, Sony can instead simultaneously focus on making the PS4 cheaper to produce and making the 4.5 better. This essentially means that the original PS4 will shift to being sort of the entry-level console in the market. Don’t have the money for a PS4.5 right now? Consider the PS4 instead. Or, maybe you’re not yet sure that games are your thing, but there’s this one game that all your friends want you to try. Well, pick up a PS4. It’ll cost you less. I mean, I’ve known many people who didn’t really play games, but then stumbled onto one PC game that they just loved, and the next time they wanted to buy a PC, they went for a much beefier gaming-focused device and soon started buying all sorts of games to play on it. Now, I’m not saying that the exact same thing is going to happen here. A PC is something that many people happen to have anyway, whereas even a starter PS4 is something that you’d have to be interested in games in the first place to get. But if Sony can focus on continuing to lower the price, It’s quite possible that they could make the PS4 very competitive as a home media machine that just so happens to play games when you decide you want one. On the flip side though, I think we might start having a much mushier slide between console generations, because someday developers are just going to start making games that simply don’t work on the old PS4, and yeah, there will be an outcry when it happens, but it’s kind of inevitable. I mean, think of it like the PC market: at no point has anyone ever declared “from this day forward this PC’s hardware will be considered the minimum spec for all PC gaming and no new games are to be developed that require something more powerful to run. This is the floor now and forever. No one says that and it would be really weird if they did, but that’s pretty much how consoles have worked for decades. Now, consoles like the PS4 might start working like the PC space, where you can keep playing new games on your original console long after the higher spec versions have been released, but as new games are made to take advantage of the new hardware, your PS4 is gonna start seeing longer load times and then maybe lower graphics settings until eventually, your poor little machine struggles to pull 30 frames per second on most games and you finally had enough and you decide to just upgrade. And in a lot of ways, this might actually be better for consumers than simply killing a console off every few years. After all, millions of old PCs can still run games like Dota 2 and WoW and Counter-Strike. Now, there will be a place for long term games like those in the Playstation universe, and a place for people who just can’t afford to buy the latest gaming machine every time a new one comes out. But on the other hand, it’s one more step towards consoles becoming more like PCs and one more step away from the simpler times when you put a cartridge in a box and it just worked. No OS updates, not even worrying about system specs. It’s a trade-off. See you next week!

100 thoughts on “The PS4 Pro – Changing the Console Market – Extra Credits

  1. I think this has already kinda started with the entry level being the last gen console I just think this current generation will solidify what already was kinda played with

  2. VR is a temporary gimmick just as motion gaming was, If SONY is investing heavily on it, they'd better be prepared for the next thing after people cease caring for the fad.

  3. All these comments here only prove one thing: people who play on PC are not gamers, they're technical dickheads. Care about the games, not the machines.

  4. The PS4 pro is trying too hard to be a PC…. but it fails in the fact that multiplayer is locked behind a paywall, games are locked at 30fps at 1080p with fake 4k and VR being pushed. It also uses the same outdated chipsets as the OG PS4 many years ago.

    Basically its Sony dire Gamble at trying to keep their consumers from going to PC gaming with all the benefits.

  5. I like the approach you took with his video but I seen someone like this happen in the pass of the console this is not a good idea for so Sony do right now the ps4 is still young but having competing Hardware that basically the same is not a good idea and I do like pc gaming type

  6. "if you're going to buy a high end console you might as well buy a pc instead"

    That's not the point of buying a console. Most people buy a console because they enjoy the simplicity it offers where you slap in a game and play it.

  7. this is why I don't buy a new console when they first comes out because they're always going to upgrade something and you always have to spend more money just to get the better version

  8. Im not Paying the Price of a Console so i can buy a gimmick thats a price of a console so i can play games the way i play them on my current console! it would cost me around £800 so i can play games on ma face…. fuck that ima just duck tape my TV to my head for £4.99 for the same experience and just a fraction of the price

  9. I always said Sony have the right call for not beefing up the pro too much like what Microsoft is doing with scorpio.

  10. next feature of ps generation consoles
    probably ps5 will be sth like this.

    60$ xxx named game runs on ps5 *with ps5 graphics 5.0 edition extension card

  11. 5:17 But that's what Microsoft said about their windows update services on older gen CPUs. (which includes updates to software that games require.)

  12. Another thing about console VR is that you need really high FPS such as 90 FPS to not get a headache while doing VR, 30 fps on VR would probably make you vomit.

  13. When PCs and consoles were competing on the same market floor, the advantages of consoles were: you don't need to install the games, they are dedicated machines, and everything works on them. The idea of a console where not all the consoles' game work perfectly is a complete antithesis to console gaming. You want a media center that plays games? Buy a PC. Consoles are losing all their advantages.

  14. I think the thing that consoles need to find if they want to survive is something they can do that PC's can't. It's got to this situation where consoles are in an arms race to say they can do everything a PC can, when they should be in a race to say they can do something PC can't, they should look at all previous consoles and look at all new tech, to find something special about the console as a concept.

    And what I think that is, is that a console is an experience. Yes PC's can do everything a console can better if you judge by numbers, but consoles are made just to play games which makes it special. A good console shouldn't try to be the best gaming tech, but the best gaming experience.

    What kind of experience should they try to make though? Maybe I'm not the main market but, all my best experiences with consoles were with my brothers (often playing pretty shitty games) and mark my words, they shot themselves in the foot by emphasizing on-line play instead of couch-co-op.

  15. It would send a lot of mixed messages if that was indeed their goal. they want to have their consoles last longer but damn you if you even think about buying a used game.

  16. I think it's nothing but a good thing. The only thing I would say about it is I think they should still eventually have a ps5 but having the ability to buy a more powerful version of a machine halfway through a console generation means people who have the money but don't want to deal with the complexities of putting together a quality pc can upgrade their gaming experience more easily and the original version becomes a really great budget console for parents who want something better to be occupying their kids screen time than garbagey mobile games and people who want to try some new games but just aren't willing or have the money for a $500 console. The only thing I dislike about it is Nintendos response in releasing an entirely new console after only a little over 3 years and killing off their old one and not even bothering to make it backwards compatible.

  17. I still have my PLAYSTATION 2, for Christ's sake. I just can't see the benefit of the newer junk when there's a store down the road that sells PS2 games for a dollar apiece.

  18. I’ve been a fan for a long time and I will continue to watch but you can’t be more wrong. The ps4 was an answer for the rumored Xbox Scorpio(Xbox one X).

  19. Consoles should go back to being plug and play sort of things for the most part, and stop trying to be pcs.

  20. If the specs does what it suppose to do,then,we should expect the games to support it. Further,the console should be easy to use that even a six years old could set it up.

  21. I bought the PS4pro with its graphics processor its really beautiful for a 4k native. 2160pRGB is already enough for a console.

  22. This vid is very outdated, PsVR has a separated processing unit, so it doesn't really make any difference if u playing it on a ps4 or a ps4pro. Plus Sony said so it self long ago, ps4pro is just a extra cake for those performance 60fps hungry users.

  23. I see a lot of comments saying consoles are trying so hard to be like PCs….

    Consoles are machines built SPECIFICALLY for just gaming (or at least originally they were), while PCs were designed with a more universal use for communication and solving enormous math problems. If the first computer hadn't been invented consoles would not exist since there would be no platform to even program them in.

    So when you say things like "Consoles are trying too hard to be like PCs." or "PC Master Race" or any of that other misguided gibberish it only tells me that you would rather cause arguments and harsh criticism simply because you are ignorant on the subject. So instead of causing harm with your words senselessly perhaps educate yourself on things you don't understand to stop these instances of making yourself look like a fool.

    They are all the same people its what you make of them and what you would rather enjoy that truly matters. The console wars started because of Sega and most consider it to still be going on, but the console wars ended when Sega Saturn came out. Xbox didn't restart or usher in a new era of console wars it was simply testing the waters and it found itself a fan base. Just like all the others.

    So again Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo consoles, PC, Handhelds, Atari consoles, Sega consoles, phones, and VR all stem from the same place. Just branched out in different directions almost as if each one "evolved" in its own way to accommodate the fan base they all gained throughout their lifespan.

  24. it's also a good way to get the community to sell your ps4.5 .
    if a call of duty game is on both, let's say it runs at 30 fps / 60 fps between consoles. people are going to be upset at the disadvantage they have so they'll be more likely to upgrade.

  25. It's a death cycle. PC's try to be more visual appealing every year and drop so much interesting content out of the window for it.
    And Consoles try too hard to mimic PC's.
    Then PC companies see that certain games on Consoles are very popular and try to bring them on their platforms (like Dynasty Warriors), but they can't evne get close to the graphical prowress of those games, let alone keep up with their performance (since they were made for Consoles and not PC)

  26. On the PC I can buy games for half to a quarter the cost that they new, and I get a larger variety of games as well.

    It costs more to maintain a PC, but I get a much wider selection of games, better rates for the costs of games, and generally better performance and graphics.

    Through Humble Bundle I can pick up a wide variety of games for extremely cheap (same for GMG, G2A, or Steam), and some of them aren't available on modern consoles at all (Oblivion/Morrowind for example). Divinity Original Sin 2 will probably be ported to console at some point, but until then we have it exclusively for PC.

  27. I still remember in 2011 when I was 5 playing a rated MA game. That's how much mentally older I am than my actuall age.
    (I don't need to tell you my age, you can figure it out with math. Unless you forgot it.)

  28. its not a good thing. its a super bad thing. if they slowly started to focus on ps4.5 then obviously they'll making better games on ps4 or simply ps4 will bot be able to render good quality. in this situation people who have bought ps4 has wasted their money because now they'll have to purchase new ps4.5. better is sony to release ps5. or simply keep ps4 and 4 pro equal.

  29. My issue with the whole "Consoles are becoming PCs" thing is that thwy won't be until one of them decides to just release DIY PS4 and XB1's. I'm surprised this hasn't happened yet (mainly on the X-Box front) as it may increase PC hardware sales…

  30. What makes a good console? Well it's when they add more multiplayer games unlike the newest ones having minecraft as the only good mtiplayer game

  31. This is a common trend with consoles and handhelds alike. The New and Improved 3DS is supposed to play the same games as the previous 3DS models, but we are already seeing developers, both of the 1st party and 3rd party, develop games that can only work on the New and Improved 3DS. Same thing for the XBox One X. At least XBox was smart enough to say "All XBox One games will work on XBox One X" instead of saying "all XBox One X games will play on all other XBox Ones" They will have an easier time keeping the former promise than the latter.

  32. I know this is an old video. But the more I watch YouTube videos and see how the creators talk about all their high-def 4K equipment and how much microphone A sounds sooo much better than microphone B… and I'm sitting on my computer watching it, at best, at 1080p.

    What's my point? Game devs do the same thing. They create their game for the best possible hardware, then turn things off for most hardware out there. In other words. PS4 games will run just fine on PS4.5. The devs will just turn on a few extra things. Perhaps they'll provide 2k or 4k textures.

  33. 1:06 I am sure you are well aware but the ps4 pro doesn’t or barely has the capacity to run games at 60 FPS, even on the standered tv, so thinking it will run at 30 on the headset is way way to much of an overestimation.

    Oh and at 6:00 they already struggle to run 30fps

    Not trying to be a bully or a pc elitist, just trying to help

  34. .__.
    In my opinion Sony is kinda doing good, I mean with God Of War and Nintendo doing Excellent with the Switch, but Sony and Microsoft has been pushing it with the Xbox 1 S, X and Elite and PS4 Slim, and Pro. To much Hardware more less Software

  35. At least for me, the whole point of console is to be able to lounge on a couch, and not having to worry about going for the high tech efficiency of computers. A good console is $400, while a strong pc can be worth $1000. Also, VR gives me motion sickness, so I’m pretty much shut off from all of the new hype, and if VR is the future, I guess I’ll just be shut off. :/

  36. I think Sony and Microsoft will release 2 consoles each generation. One cheap, one expensive. The cheaper one is for when you just wanna play games without fancy graphics and watch Netflix or something, while the more expensive one will give you better graphics, a higher framerate and a higher resolution to give you the best experience. Kinda like what we have right now, but with a simultaneous launch date instead of years between releases.

  37. I realize this is a older video but I had a interesting thought about another alternative with 4:08. Well the part where they say games might not be your thing. The thing is if it was me recommending gaming to someone for a beginner I recommend something like the original wii because odds are they can find one for about 20 usd at goodwill and you can play games together still and if you wanted to play games online you can hack that in for them.

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