Sony finally revealed the price for the PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim in India, and when you can buy them. If you include the already available original PS4, it means that in the near future, gamers will have three PS4 consoles to choose from for some time, as the original PS4 will continue to be on sale until stocks last. Which PS4 is right for you, or does it make no difference? We explain.
PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro price in India
The PS4 Slim will retail for the same price as the original PS4 - Rs. 27,990 nets you a 500GB console while Rs. 32,990 gets you the 1TB version with three games at the very least. At the moment there are two original PS4 1TB bundles to choose from. Both offer Infamous Second Son, while one has Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. The other has Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2.
On the other hand, the PS4 Pro costs Rs. 38,990 - this console also has 1TB storage, and there's no 500GB variant. Though you're paying another Rs. 6,000 above the PS4's 1TB version, there are no games or notable extras bundled with the PS4 Pro.
From a pure pricing standpoint, the Rs. 11,000 difference between the PS4/ PS4 Slim (500GB), and the PS4 Pro, is enough to buy four or five more games, and even more if you’re able to purchase them during the many discounts Amazon India and Flipkart keep offering.
PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 build quality
Sony is known for cheaping out with each successive PlayStation console iteration, and the same applies between the PS4 and PS4 Slim. The earliest editions of the PS4 sported a glossy and matte finish which was a dust magnet. This was rectified in later revisions.
Though the PS4 Slim improves on this with an all matte finish, it doesn’t feel as sturdy and the rounded edges give it a less flattering look compared to the original’s stunning sharp rhombus design.
The PS4 Pro sports an all matte finish as well, and while it does get ridiculed for its hamburger shape, looking like a PS4 Slim glued to an original PS4, we’ve found ourselves warming up to its looks. But it’s not as good as the original. If aesthetics and industrial design are high on your priority list, stick to the original PS4.
PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro features
The PS4 Pro touts 4K support as well as promising a more fluid experience with PS VR. HDR is supported by all three consoles. In terms of ports and Wi-Fi there are some subtle differences which may be of importance depending on how you play.
Both the PS4 and PS4 Slim sport a near identical feature set. You’ll get the same two front-facing USB ports, an HDMI for video, an Aux port for the PS4 camera, and an Ethernet port. The key difference (apart from the size) is that the PS4 Slim lacks an optical out port. In its place though, the PS4 Slim has a better Wi-Fi chip, which supports the 5GHz band for a more reliable connection.
The PS4 Pro has all of the ports of the PS4, including optical out, and it also has the improved Wi-Fi of the PS4 Slim. There’s an additional USB 3.1 port on the rear as well. Aside from this, it supports the faster SATA-III specification, though in our performance comparison between the PS4 and PS4 Pro, there was little perceptible difference in most games. If you’re dependent on Wi-Fi for getting online, you’re best served with a PS4 Slim or a PS4 Pro.
PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro games
All games that work on the PS4 and PS4 Slim work on the PS4 Pro, and vice versa. However, developers may choose to take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s added horsepower to allow for better frame rates and enhanced visuals. We’ve seen this in the likes of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XV, Dishonored 2, and Nioh, to name a few.
Popular games like Overwatch also support the PS4 Pro but it's token at best, simply providing its UI in 4K. While Sony is getting better at communicating the PS4 Pro’s benefits to developers, as can be seen with a host of new games such as Resident Evil 7 and Nier Automata promising PS4 Pro support, your mileage will vary.
Suffice to say, unless you own a 4K TV with HDR support, or are extremely sensitive to frame-rate drops, the original PS4 or PS4 Slim will still serve you well.
Should you buy a PS4 Slim or a PS4 Pro if you own an original PS4?
Short answer: no. The PS4 Slim performs the same as the PS4 so it’s a non-starter. With regards to the PS4 Pro it’s a little more complicated.
If you own a PS4, there’s no immediate reason to get the PS4 Pro. The PS4 is cheaper but outputs games at a lower resolution. Nonetheless, the difference isn’t exactly visible unless you’re on a 4K display, and that too only with certain games. In some cases, the difference is near negligible. Plus, better explanations on PS4 Pro specific game features would certainly help.
At the same time, the advantages of a higher frame rate on the PS4 Pro in supported titles are obvious, and do alter the experience positively. It fits a niche between the already discounted PS4 and a semi-decent gaming rig which would set you back by around Rs. 60,000 or so.
With every game from Sony such as Gran Turismo Sport, The Last Guardian, and Horizon: Zero Dawn supporting the PS4 Pro, the future of the PS4 Pro is interesting. Depending on third-party developer support, you could end up with a machine with close to high-end PC performance in most popular games, along with the added bonus of boost in Sony’s own exclusives.
So if that’s what you’re looking for and don’t want to build a gaming PC or wait for something like the Xbox Scorpio, the PS4 Pro will suffice.
What PS4 should you buy if you don’t have the original PS4?
If you haven’t bought a PS4 yet, the PS4 Pro is the one to get - but only if you have a 4K display that supports HDR, or if you need a higher, consistent frame-rate at full-HD. THere's also an additional USB port, but there's also a price difference of Rs. 11,000, and that money can be put to better use elsewhere. You could get by just fine with a 500GB PS4/ PS4 Slim if you were relying solely on buying games on disc.
However if you plan to buy games digitally or play games that have updates aplenty such as Final Fantasy XIV and Destiny, that hard drive space could end up being a lot more dearer.
Upgrading from 500GB to a 2TB hard drive will cost roughly Rs. 9,000, making it a prohibitive affair. So while the 1TB PS4 Slim or original PS4 might seem like the odd choice in the middle, the additional hard drive space could save you some extra expenditure in a year or two.
With the original PS4 finally being phased out, you can expect your local store as well as those online to offer deals on existing stock too. We’d still suggest buying it offline, as you will then have the option of requesting the retailer to remove the games it comes bundled with, for an even lower price.