Ryan Tablada

Christian, UX Tycoon, Instructor at The Iron Yard

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A Story about PS4 Pro

I come home, throw the week's mail on the counter grab a glass of water and start to head towards my gaming options. On the table is my PS Vita charging for my weekend trip and in front of me is my 3 year old mid-tier gaming PC. I ignore both of these, grab my Dual Shock 4 and instinctively hit the PS button.

It's almost 11PM so as the home screen boots up, I have a choice to play a few competitive matches of Overwatch, explore some planets in No Man Sky, or start the second half of episode one of Life is Strange that I've been meaning to go back to. As I drop on to the couch and take a sip of water, I choose to work on some public matches and try a new hero in Overwatch. Right as I enter my first match and get killed with a Hanzo "headshot" that lands at my ankle, I get a message on Discord.

I don't even check the message because I know what it is going to ask "Hey do you want to play Overwatch with us on PC". In my mind I'm thinking of the great times I've had with some PC games: 52fps (yeah I have a European monitor) is a slight noticeable improvement over 30fps on my PS4 and the better draw distance and texture detail do look really nice. At the same time, I remember when PC gaming has been pretty bad for me: a random background process spins up and suddenly the game crashes, the framerate drops because the fans don't seem to be working super efficiently today, I seem to have to download new drivers and settings for every new AAA release. As I weigh the pros and cons, I yell at my public match team to get on the payload.

It gets me thinking, I think I'm exactly who the PS4 Pro was designed for. It's not for the traditional early adopters and it's not for the PC master race. Instead the PS4 Pro is aimed at the young professional market.

For me, I want a consistent easy to use and reliable platform to play on. I don't have a ton of time to fiddle with settings and when I get home I want to boot up my game and get started. Sure, the PS4 Pro is more expensive than the AMD 480 or Nvidia 1060. But for my PC those cards aren't the answer to the smooth gaming I actually want.

While my last update to my PC hardware was 2 years ago, alot of the bones are actually older than that. The CPU is starting to reach its limits for single thread output (I purchased the 6 core AMD originally for linux development). But, to upgrade this CPU I will actually need a new motherboard as well since the CPU was actually my third in this build and is near the max capable for my chipset. Now that I have a new motherboard, I'll likely have to upgrade my RAM to match speeds for the new motherboard. All of this and I still haven't ACTUALLY guaranteed a smooth running system.

Tonight I have about one hour to play a game, and this is the case most nights. I really can't be guessing if I'm going to get a silky smooth 60 FPS (because let's upgrade my monitor since we're throwing in a new build) or 15 chunks per second based on the weather and depending on if the label of my bourbon bottle is turned five degrees due north. This is why I'm probably going to get the PS4 Pro within the first few months.

On one side I'm looking at $400 even, being able to give my current PS4 to a friend or family member who does not have the money to buy their own (or I could sell it too), and getting an improved experience that still feels familiar and has all of my friends. On the other side, I have the bet that $250 of raw GPU power will solve all of my problems, but if the bet fails I'll be starting on a solid $400-600 more to get everything upgraded on my PC.

To be completely fair from the specs and stuff it looks like the PS4 Pro will just outperform my current PC build.

But...

If you want to come over and use a compass and rearrange my liquor cabinet, I'll be over here hitting the PS button.

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