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REVIEW: My first 7 hours with the PS4 Pro 
Posted on November 10, 2016 at 02:32 PM.
Hi. My name is Jared and I have been a big time supporter of the PS4 Pro (or NEO, as it was known back in the summer) basically ever since the first info leaked.

I was able to pick up my system last night from Gamestop at 10pm MTN time, along with Dishonored 2 (which I have not had a chance to even play yet! Ahhh!!!!)

I have posted numerous impressions in the PS4 discussion thread and I figured I would kind of wrangle everything together in a single post regarding my first 7 hours with the system. Every video/stream I have produced with the PRO, and every screenshot I have captured on the PRO, is at the bottom of this post in spoilers (for size).

In regards to my perspective, I game on non-HDR 1080p BenQ gaming monitor, it is the xl2720z. A very highly regarded model, but at this point it is outdated. If you have a 4k display, an HDR display, or a 4k HDR display (double whammy!) you will definitely experience much bigger gains than I have at 1080p SDR

One thing that needs to be repeated OVER and OVER again in regards to the Pro is that Pro Mode Enhancements all depend on the devs of each game and will vary heavily from game to game. It is NOT one size fits all.

I think a factor in whether or not people will enjoy their Pro can also be looked at from a "are you a PC guy" view (mostly talking about 1080p here as 4k guys will probably notice large leaps in EVERY game, unlike 1080p guys where it varies so much)

I prefer consoles for any game multiplayer related, and the last year or so my focus has shifted to multiplayer games so I have been on my console more than PC. That being said, I am a "PC guy" for the most part and I am used to hunting for FPS and tweaking individual graphics sliders for the best tweaks for performance everywhere. For a console only player, this won't feel like going from PS2 to PS3, or Xbox to Xbox 360. It isn't a new generation. It is like upgrading your graphics card on your PC. Going from medium to high or high to ultra (again strictly talking 1080p) depending on the game

Quick rundown game by game of what I have experienced so far.

TF2 - This has been the crown jewel of my experience so far. For 1080p users on the Pro, TF2 presents clear and substantial image quality gains. It is a super crisp, clean, and sharp image. Performance is top notch as well, never seems to dip below 60.

Ratchet and Clank - This was already one of the best looking games on PS4 and it is even better looking on the Pro. The super sampling and temporal injection (whatever they call it) is clear and presents a tremendously crisp and clean image at 1080p. No jaggies. Fresh as hell. Looks amazing. Frame rate appears unchanged

Paragon - I have played this on both PS4 and PC since it's early alpha and the leap this game takes on Pro at 1080p is substantial. It looks just like the game dose on my decent gaming PC which has most settings at high, couple at ultra). Looks super crisp, a big leap in clarity over vanilla PS4, and runs great.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
- ROTTR doesn't present quite the 1080p leap I thought it would, but there is a tangible difference on the Pro.

If you are looking for the smoothest gameplay, go with unlocked frame rate. It feels great, butter. Silky smooth.

Three options for 1080 displays

Unlocked frame rate , which feels great
Enhanced visuals, which I guess just adds those little extra details
4k resolution , I assume this is just the regular 30fps game with supersampling . It's a clear improvement in picture clarity and I prefer it over enhanced visual mode on my 1080p BenQ but the unlocked frame rate mode feels so smooth it's hard to resist

If you want improved image, go with 4k resolution. The enhanced visuals mode doesn't do anything extra with AA or clean up the picture at all, just adds small little details in various hard to notice spots. The 4k resolution mode which is super-sampling for 1080p owners (at 30 fps), cleans up the image a decent bit and smooths out the edges all over the screen, improved sharpness in distant objects very noticeable.

Regardless which way you go, game looks great on vanilla PS4 and even better on Pro.

Infamous
- The enhanced resolution mode offers some better shadows and lighting and slightly sharper image but honestly it isn't a big leap on any of those counts. The uncapped frame rate mode is the better choice IMO. Game still looks great and the extra frame rate boost is AWESOME

CoD Modern Warfare Remastered, Infinite Warfare

Neither of these games showed much improvement at all for me at 1080p.

Some more thoughts


I don't like the hand holding approach Sony has taken with downclocking the system for non-Pro games. One of the best things about the Xbox One S is the stealth boost they gave the GPU to help all games run a little bit better. It makes no sense to me that a premium product designed for enthusiasts is being handcuffed to the vanilla PS4 user base. You get what you pay for. PS4 Pro gains should not bother vanilla PS4 users.

Also, I don't like the stance that the Pro shouldn't enhance MP games. Maybe it is the PC gamer in me, but I just feel that is part of the deal. Although, it should be noted, that many people have reported that BF1 runs much smoother in conquest on the Pro.

ALSO, I have to mention, I have not noticed any improvements in hard drive performance so far with the Pro. I am using the same 1TB SSD with the Pro as I used with my Slim and I have not felt any boosts at all. My SSD has gone through two reformats so far so hopefully that hasn't hampered the performance of it already.

Heat and Noise wise this feels and sounds about the same as my original launch PS4.


BOTTOM LINE AFTER 7 HOURS

At 1080p SDR have I noticed huge gains across the board with the PRO? NO. I have not.

Do I feel this is a necessary upgrade for everyone at 1080p?
Nope, I sure don't.

Do I feel like every 1080p user needs to go out and buy a PS4 Pro RIGHT FREAKING NOW!?!?!?!?!?

No, I do not.

First thing, don't go off of screens or vids. Go to a BB or Walmart, or GS, or wherever, and play on a Pro to see for yourself. Only you can be the judge if the boost at 1080p is enough for you.

I know it is kind of convenient to say "YO THERES A BIG GAIN BUT YOU WONT SEE IT IN MY VIDS OR SCREENS." I get that. But, sincerely, the only way you can truly accurately judge is if you see it in action, live, yourself.

As with all consoles I expect games to take futher and further advantage of the Pro benefits moving forward and this time a year from now there should be a great catalog of PS4 Pro Enhanced games with numerous games showing big gains. Until then, we only have what we have.

Are you a PC guy? Are you a graphics fiend? Do you count pixels and frown over every dropped frame? Then you are like me. This is a console for you. I love it. If you are strictly a console guy who is used to generational leaps from system to system, at 1080p you may not find what you are looking for quite yet.

Off to test BF1, and then finally play some Dishonored 2!

PS4 Pro vids and streams



SCREENSHOTS

If there are multiple screens of the same scene or pose it is because I was switching between rendering modes

EDIT

Ok so I tried to put all my screens here but it said there was a 20 screen limit, so I tried splitting it up and it just was a mess, putting them in spoilers in the blog format just wasn't working.

Here is a link to my imgur with all my PS4 screens. PRO screens start with TF2

http://jaredlib.imgur.com/all/
Comments
# 1 rudyjuly2 @ Nov 10
Nice work!
 
# 2 Tomba @ Nov 10
wonderful review.

IN my VERY brief play PES 2017 is cleaner and crispier without any patch. that means when you set the ps4 to 1080p anf HAVE a 1080p tv the ps4 pro downsamples from 1440p TO 1080p for ALL games regardless if its had a patch it seems so far
 
# 3 The JareBear @ Nov 10
Some further thoughts without posting a whole new blog

BF1 is definitely improved on the Pro. Maintains a better resolution on 1080p and better framerate in multiplayer

Shadow of Mordor looks FANTASTIC. One of the better upgrades I have found so far

Dishonored 2 is decent at best. Updated my imgur (link in the blog) with more pics
 
# 4 cam21224 @ Nov 14
Are the download and upload speeds any different or still throttled on either PS4?
 
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