Sony’s PS4 Pro is the big console that promises 4K resolution gaming on a couple of titles and the best graphical fidelity unlike its less powerful PS4 device.
Everything was supposed to go according to plan as the PS4 Pro gets launched today for $400. But, the problem that was highlighted on PC gaming has now found its way to consoles. Skyrim Remastered Edition, the latest version of the open world Bethesda game runs much smoother with higher frame rates on the less powerful Playstation 4 console. However, the Playstation 4 Pro which was supposed to an impressive performance lags behind due to poor optimization and probably some hardware issues.
Rendering any game, be it new or old in 4K resolution is a difficult task unless you have a PC with the latest Nvidia 1080 graphics card and an i7 processor. Sony and Microsoft try to achieve the same in their consoles which are priced abysmally low at $300 or $400. While Microsoft confirmed that their 4K console codenamed Project Scorpio will be priced much higher at $600 when it launches next year, Sony is hesitant to take the big leap. It could invariably affect their player base as it did with the PS3, when it got launched with a much expensive price tag.
The compromises are evident as spotted by Digital Foundry in their benchmark tests. The team known for comparing latest games on PC, PS4 and Xbox One consoles found the PS4 Pro performed worst with Skyrim special edition. In some scenarios, the framerates went down by 2 to 3 frames making it virtually impossible to keep playing. The GPU, even though renders visuals using a checkerboard technology in 4K and not native UHD resolution limps to render visuals during demanding circumstances.
Developers are aiming to deliver about 30 FPS on the Pro at 4K and when it drops below the set target, it shows a lot of stutters, lags and spoils the gameplay experience. However, the same game on the original PS4 console runs without much difficulty at the usual 900p and 1080p varying resolutions with 1-2 frame rate drops at rare occasions. Players who pay as much as $400 for a mid-cycle console refresh will obviously expect the best performance and if the PS4 Pro doesn’t deliver in this regard in a couple of games, it might annoy them a lot and push the lot to go with the PS4 Slim.