Which is better: the PS5 controller or the PS4 Pro? If you’re purchasing fresh, it’s always best to go with the most recent version. But what if you already have a PS4 Pro? Is the difference between the two consoles substantial enough to warrant an upgrade? There’s a lot to think about, and this guide will help you figure out what’s best for you.
Sony’s newest platform, the PS5, replaces the PS4 Pro as the company’s most powerful gaming machine. It has a faster CPU, GPU, and an integrated NVMe SSD, making the PS5 a more powerful and speedier console. It also has Sony’s new DualSense controller, which includes additional features like haptic feedback and adjustable triggers to immerse you in gaming.
However, if you already own a PS4 Pro, you don’t need to update it – at least not right immediately. There’s a growing PS5 exclusive library, like Returnal, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, and Demon’s Souls. There are still plenty of cross-generation titles to play on your older PS4 Pro. It already has a large library of pre-existing games that should not be overlooked.
It’s worth mentioning that finding a place to buy the PS5 remains difficult. We hoped that supply would improve during 2022, and while they have, most outlets continue to sell out quickly. For those looking to buy fresh, the PS4 Pro has been discontinued, making it much more difficult to locate.
We’re familiar with both systems’ strengths and faults. You can read in-depth reviews of each system in our PS5 review and PS4 Pro review. The PS5 is Sony’s freshest and finest, but that doesn’t mean the PS4 Pro is completely obsolete, at least not yet.
Continue reading to find out which is best for you and whether it’s time to update.
PS5 versus PS4 Pro: DualShock Controller on the PS4
The top-tier PS5 costs $499.99 / £449.99 / AU$749.95, while the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (similar save for the lack of a disc drive) costs $399.99 / £349.99 / AU$599.95.
The PS5 costs $100 more than the PS4 Pro, which costs $399 (£349, AU$559) at launch. It’s a whole new system that employs cutting-edge technology, whereas the PS4 Pro was built on the foundations of the old PS4 and was deemed a mid-generation update.
You may sometimes get better PS4 Pro discounts during promotions. It dropped to £299 in the 2020 Black Friday PS4 sales when coupled with Death Stranding. But this is unlikely to happen again now that it’s been canceled. Most stores no longer carry new models.
If you have your heart set on a PS4 Pro, purchasing it used might provide fantastic value. However, if you want a brand-new system, the PS5 and its all-digital cousin are backward compatible. True, not every PS4 game is compatible with the PS5, but the list of incompatible games (opens in new tab) is, simply, minuscule.
As a result, while they are more expensive, they are likely to be the superior value option in the long run.
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE PS5 VERSUS THE PS4 PRO
The PS5 controller has outstanding console hardware, including an AMD Zen 2-based CPU and a proprietary RDNA 2 GPU with over 10.28 TFLOPs of computational capability. That means that most games will run at 4K/60, with some games reaching 4K/120fps. There will be support for 8K resolution in the future.
10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz (variable frequency), RDNA 2 architecture
CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU with eight cores running @ 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
Memory: 16GB GDDR6, 256-bit interface, bandwidth: 448 GB/s
Storage: 825GB custom SSD with 5.5GB/s (raw), average 8-9GB/s (compressed)
Storage expansion: NVMe SSD slot, USB HDD support (for PS4 games only)
Optical: Blu-ray 4K UHD drive
Visuals: 4K 120Hz native Plus 8K
Tempest 3D audio
PS5 also supports ray tracing, a visually intensive visual method. Ray tracing is an innovative approach to depict light and shadows in some of the most beautiful PC games, like Control, Metro Exodus, and Battlefield V. However, because each ‘beam’ of light has its own simulated source, the power necessary in consoles has just recently been feasible.
Ray tracing, in other words, will make games like God of War: Ragnarok seem more realistic than ever before. There’s also talk of 8K support, which we’ve seen (kind of) in The Touryst. Though Sony only lets you watch it in 4K, so it’s not quite there yet.
While deciding between 4K and 8K consoles, keep in mind that 8K won’t be a widespread prospect for some years. In truth, the option to pick 8K on the PS5 does not currently exist. It will be implemented via a firmware upgrade at some unspecified point in the future.
Aside from Ray tracing, another significant generational leap that the PS5 has over the PS4 Pro is its solid-state drive (SSD). This’s a long-overdue improvement that PC users have enjoyed for years. Games may now be loaded up to 19 times quicker. Despite the fact that the SSD in the PS5 is only 825GB (with only 667.2GB usable), you can expand this SSD storage internally, which is a nice departure from the sluggish, mechanical drives of yore.
Meanwhile, the PS4 Pro is still hampered by its old hard drive. While the PS4’s UI seemed flawless, allowing you to resume a game from where you left off from standby, you’ll ultimately be envious of the PS5’s absence of loading screens. Even if you replace the PS4 Pro with an SSD, it will not provide the same bandwidth as the PS5.
The PS4 Pro also lacks the 4K Blu-ray player that the PS5 happily has, as well as the option to go disc-drive free that the all-digital PS5 provides. In truth, Sony never provided an all-digital option for the PS4 family as a whole.
Tempest 3D audio is a completely new audio engine on the PS5. It is a type of spatial audio that can handle hundreds of sound sources. To experience it, you’ll need one of the best gaming headsets. However Sony included 3D audio compatibility for TV speakers on the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition last September.
Meanwhile, here are the specifications for the PS4 Pro:
AMD x86-64 eight-core CPU Jaguar
AMD Radeon GPU with 4.2 teraflops
8GB GDDR5 RAM
1TB hard drive storage
The upgraded mid-gen model outperformed the standard PS4: it supports 4K streaming from Amazon and Netflix, but native 4K gameplay isn’t available on all titles, and even then, frame rates are frequently limited to 30fps. So that’s an improvement, but it still has flaws.
Naturally, the PS5 controller has a significant power advantage over the PS4 Pro. However, if you’re all about the greatest visuals, can’t get your mind around PC gaming, and are platform agnostic, it’s also worth considering the Xbox Series X, the most powerful console on the market today.
DESIGN OF PS5 VS PS4 PRO
When Sony released the PS5 design, it sparked debate. There were individuals on the TechRadar staff that adored the PS5 controller design and those who despised it. This is due in part to the fact that it is so different from Sony’s customary approach, with its two-tone color scheme and curved futuristic design. Sony has since launched colored PS5 covers in five distinct colors.
The PS5 is also Sony’s largest system to date. The PS4 Pro, on the other hand, resembles a standard console and fits in seamlessly with any entertainment setup. It’s thin, light (3.3 kg), and not at all contentious. The PlayStation 5 is not in the same league.
The PS5’s massive size does provide it one important benefit over the PS4 Pro: it’s virtually quiet and produces very little heat. Meanwhile, the PS4 Pro may cause a commotion when playing certain games, and it is also capable of spewing out tremendous heat.
PRO GAMES FOR PS5 VS PS4
If you buy a PS4 Pro right now, we hope you’ve planned some time off: Exclusive to Sony’s box are Bloodborne, God of War, Uncharted 4, The Last of Us, The Last of Us 2, The Last Guardian, and Marvel’s Spider-Man, as well as fantastic multi-platform experiences like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Control.
What’s the good news? Almost all of the titles are PS5 backwards compatible. Some titles, such as GTA 5, Madden 21, and Destiny 2, have also gotten significant PS5 updates. Even better, Sony’s new PlayStation Plus subscriber perk, PlayStation Plus Collection, gives PS5 owners free access to 19 of the best-ever PS4 games to download to their new consoles right away, including titles like God of War, Uncharted 4, Ratchet and Clank, and Bloodborne, as long as they stay subscribed to the service.
It’s something that, even with a PS Plus membership, the PS4 Pro cannot equal. Furthermore, the PS5 features a variety of new-gen exclusives. While Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon Forbidden West are also accessible on PS4 Pro, Final Fantasy 16 will be exclusive to PS5. This trend is certain to continue, so if you’re looking for the freshest and finest, the PS5 is the way to go.
It’s also worth mentioning that some new-gen titles are more expensive; standard editions of major releases have experienced a $10 (£10) price hike when compared to Xbox One and PS4 equivalents. This raises the price of games to $70 (£70), and it has happened across numerous companies, implying that PS5 titles will be more expensive.
PRO VERDICT OF PS5 VS PS4
In all honesty, unless you have an extremely limited budget, there is little need to acquire a PS4 Pro right now. Not only is the PS5 a more capable machine, but Sony’s attempts to ensure backward compatibility guarantee that even if you buy a PS5 controller. You won’t miss out on the best experiences from the PS4. Most run faster than ever, with titles like Ghost of Tsushima now operating at 60 frames per second on PS5.
If you’ve waited this long to get your first PlayStation 4, you’re definitely better off moving straight to the PS5. However, upgrading from a Pro is a different story and a more difficult one. To truly benefit from the PS5’s power and faster frame rates, you’ll need a 4K TV with HDMI 2.1 compatibility. The Pro currently supports it for many titles at good performance.
With that in mind, don’t feel obligated to abandon your PS4 Pro in favor of a PS5 controller. There’s still a lot your Pro can do for you, and while PS5 stock is scarce, it’s still a powerful system to have.