Checkpoint: PlayStation 4 Pro Edition

After a week or so with the PlayStation 4 Pro, I’m happy to report that I think it’s worth the upgrade if you can sell off or find another use for your old PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 4 Pro  is luxury upgrade in the strictest sense. 

Pro Mode Impressions

I’ve only played two PS4 Pro enabled titles and the differences ranged from refinement to barely noticeable.

  • TitanFall 2 looked and performed fine on the regular PlayStation 4 with only occasional dips during the more chaotic multiplayer scenes. The Pro patch added a coat of polish that is not dissimilar from moving onto a PC version. Supersampling produced an exceptionally clean image and those dips in framerate found in multiplayer were eliminated. 
  • Overwatch’s Pro patch yielded very minor changes. I noticed the improved anisotropic filtering for textures but I thought they improved lighting and character models as well but alas, Digital Foundry noted no such changes on the latter. 

There are other Pro enabled titles that show off more significant differences (Rise of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield 1) but there are also a handful of titles that perform worse because of the increased pixel count (The Last of Us: Remastered, Skyrim: Special Edition). Although those numbers are small, I hope that developers are doing what they can to remediate those performance issues. I would rather they not issue Pro mode or make very subtle changes if driving for 4K resolution negatively impacts performance. That or give users the ability to force Base mode.

Power Consumption & Noise

Digital Foundry found that the PlayStation 4 Pro consumes less power than the original PlayStation 4 during base mode, idle and system operations. When running in Pro mode, it exceeds the original PS4’s power consumption by a bit but it’s still reasonable.

In practice, the noise profile is in line with my old PlayStation 4 which I was okay with. The true litmus test would be Doom but I haven’t found the opportunity to test that game yet — that awesome game sent my PS4 to overdrive.

Other Niceties

Minor increases in loading times and the ability to capture 1080p screenshots and videos are two other luxuries that I appreciate. The 720p video captures were always on the soft side and made for embarrassing showings on a screen larger than 4 inches. 

Is It Worth It?

If you have a 4K HDTV or enjoy a cleaner image on certain games then the PS4 Pro is worth the upgrade price — especially if you have plans for your old hardware. If you are happy with the PlayStation 4 and aren’t enamoured with what you’ve read, I’d stay the course and ignore Sony’s newest revision.

Speaking of TitanFall 2, I wrapped up the campaign on Friday. It’s a quality campaign that’s both predictable in story and surprising in gameplay ideas. I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw despite all hints people dropped about it being full of variety.

More ports heading to the Vita

posted in: Game News 0

Sony dropped a few announcements on their blog today:

At least three more ports are headed to the PlayStation Vita. The headliner is Borderlands 2 which will include itself in a $199 PlayStation Vita (PCH-2000) bundle. New hardware revision coupled with the port of a game that’s nearly two years old?

That’s such a compelling offering.

The PlayStation Vita is quickly rising to the top of my list of poor hardware purchase decisions.

I Await the MacBook Air (Sandy Bridge)

posted in: Technology News 0

apple-logo.pngI’ve been keeping tabs on the recent MacBook Air revision rumors, Back to School promotions and my Dell Mini 9’s steady decline.

My Dell Mini 9’s display is glitching out after I open or close the lid. I can temporarily fix it for awhile, but it’s quickly becoming apparent that it’s slowly dying. I’m a bit bummed by it because I just bought a new battery for it, but on the other hand, I want a new “netbook” replacement.

The upcoming Sandy Bridge revision of the Macbook Air seems to fit the bill. The latest Intel chip with a solid state drive, an 11″ monitor in a sleek minimalist aluminum frame. It will be glorious and I’ll pay the $999 + tax after the Education discount I’ll receive through my brother.

I don’t have many demands for it — I don’t even care if it’s not a quad core variant. Almost anything I get will be better than the Dell Mini 9.

So here I am. Waiting for Apple to release it.

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