PS4 Pro Reveal–Good for Gamers, Bad for Sony

playstation-4-pro-vertical-product-shot-01-us-07sep16The big PlayStation Meeting event yesterday was pretty much a disaster for Sony, and one that didn’t need to happen. If you missed the press event (and you did not miss much), you can read the details over on the PlayStation blog.

My takeaway from the PS4 Pro reveal was that if you don’t own a 4K TV, there is literally no reason for you to even care about the new version of the console. That, and the fact that Sony is leaving it up to developers to take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s additional capabilities to me means that there will be a whole lof of devs that don’t even bother (see Kinect, Move, the WiiU tablet, etc.).

Sony did a lousy job of messaging the PS4 Pro, and actually gave Microsoft the opportunity to cut the legs out from under them immediately following the PlayStation event:

So, if you’re interested in 4K gaming, you can grab the Xbox One S for $100 cheaper than the PS4 Pro will be when it launches November 10th. If you’re interested in 4K gaming and are planning on getting the PSVR, then your best option is the Pro.

I feel like this is a completely unnecessary error on Sony’s part. There is absolutely no reason for them to be launching the PS4 Pro right now. They are winning the console war. They have their VR headset coming out in October, and it will be compatible with existing PS4s. The only good reason to reveal the Pro would have been if it had the PSVR capability built in and you didn’t need the external box that comes with PSVR. But that’s not the case. Sony is saying PSVR will be “better” with PS Pro, but with the exception of improved visuals, what exactly does that mean? Any way you cut it, the PS4 Pro seems unnecessary, especially from the company that is already winning the console war. The slim reveal would have been just fine. The PS4 is already great. I love mine and do most of my gaming on it.


So why is this actually good for gamers, then? Because the PS4 Pro is not going to fracture the PlayStation user base like it could have, any more than the Xbox One S did to that user base. Both of these consoles are mainly graphical improvements over the originals, similar to one PC gamer having a slightly better graphics card than another. At the end of the day, unless you are a 4K TV owner and care about such things, there is not much reason to care. And, if you’ve been waiting on getting a PS4, you now have more options. If I was just jumping in, I would be keeping my eye out for a price drop or some sweet bundles on the original models, as stores get rid of their existing stock to make way for the slim.

Now the Scorpio? That’s a whole different story, and that’s much closer to an Xbox 1.5 from what we’ve seen so far. That will have the potential to split Microsoft’s user base, and they should be watching everything that happens in wake of this PS4 fiasco. The difference for Microsoft is that they are behind, so they need to shake things up.

Sony did not. We’ll see if this comes back to bite them.