There are now three versions of PlayStation: the Standard PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Slim, and PlayStation 4 Pro available at a relatively affordable price, with similar but yet distinctive features that might get you confused as to which system to buy. In this article, we intended to help you decide as we guide you through the differences in terms of specifications, features, and prices between the three consoles.
Sony is well known for its method of releasing a “slim” version of the PlayStation sometime after its initial release. These slimmer consoles usually provide a physical difference rather than a functional one and such is the case with Sony’s latest generation as well. The substantial feature and performance come with the PlayStation 4 Pro but you will only experience it at its fullest/maximum if you own a 4k TV ideally with HDR support.
Hardware Specs and performance
Supposedly the biggest difference between consoles is not the GPU (graphics processor unit) because both the standard PS4 and PS4 Slim have identical GPU but the Pro version outclasses both because it offers two times more powerful GPU (an integrated AMD Polaris graphics with 4.2 teraflops of performance). Another benefit of Pro’s GPU is 4k resolution along with HDR support which enhances the whole gaming experience.
When it comes to the CPU, the standard PS4 and PS4 Slim have the same AMD Jaguar 8-core 1.6 GHz CPU while Pro comes with an upgraded processor which has seen a 30 % boost in clock speed going from 1.6 to 2.1 GHz. This boost allows games that struggled to run at 30fsp or 60fps on a standard PS4 to play smoother on the latest console. Apart from having a better CPU, Sony added an extra GB of ram (1GB DDR3) which makes PS4 Pro a faster console able to take on 4K gaming coupled with 4K TVs. Unlike the other two models which can run all PS4 games in 1080p, Pro’s powerful hardware allows running a few titles at higher-than-1080p resolutions and near-4K resolution which then upscales the visuals.
There is a major functional difference between the standard PS4 and the PS4 Slim model in terms of power consumption because the former PS4 is rated to consume a max power draw of 250 watts during its heaviest gameplay sessions whereas the latter has a more power-efficient design featuring only 165w. PS4 Slim is the smallest (11 x 10 x 1.5 inches) and lightest (4.6 pounds) of the bunch and it is slightly quieter and cooler than the other two consoles (PS4 Pro draws out 310w max).
Networking and ports
When it comes to networking, both PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro now support 5 GHz Wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.0 which are superior in terms of power and audio performance to the 2.4 GHz Wi-fi band and Bluetooth 2.1 supported by the standard console. Compared to the original’s 3.0 ports, Slim features two USB 3.1 ports whereas Pro features a total of three USB 3.1 ports. The Slim model does not have an out port and that may or may not be an issue depending on the type of equipment you want to hook to your PS4.
As opposed to the standard’s SATA II-based storage interface, Pro uses a SATA III-based solution. All flagships have replaceable HDD, Pro even benefits by the addition of an SSD to run faster and reach high speeds of 6 Gbps. Pro comes with a hard drive and offers 1 TB of storage which is twice more than the previous models.
Release date and prices
The original PS4 was released on November 15, 2013, and the other two were launched in the last part of 2016. PS4 Pro does offer a superior performance but it is pricey than the alternatives. It currently costs $100, €50, £50 more than the previous consoles which retail for $299.99, €349.99/£299.99.
As of 2016, all PS4 SKUs support HDR visuals thanks to a software update released by Sony but only the Pro model is capable of outputting enhanced HDR content which is usually linked to 4K content. It all comes down to what you are looking for in a gaming device (price vs features vs size).
Therefore, if you’re looking for bundles & sales then the standard PlayStation 4 would be the best choice especially if you don’t own a 4k TV and you don’t care about the size of your console. If you are interested in a small-sized gaming device that draws less power, then go for the PS4 Slim. However, if you have an impressive 4K TV and you want a gaming platform to take full advantage of it by having a full 4K and HDR support then definitely look no further out for the PS4 Pro.