There Are Some Big Issues With the New PS4 Pro

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Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro came out yesterday and while we’re not quite ready to review the system there are some big issues with the new hardware.

I got my system yesterday and immediately replaced the stock 1TB HDD with a 2TB one. That’s still the highest you can go with expandable storage on the system as it needs a 2.5″ drive that’s 9.5mm or smaller. It’s easy to replace the drive, maybe a little easier than on the launch system, and after I put the full firmware on I was ready to transfer the contents from my base PS4 (also with a 2TB drive) over via ethernet.

With about 1.2TB of data it took about seven hours to copy. Aside from the time, it’s rather painless. Both systems need to be on the same WiFi network (be sure to not sign into a 5ghz one on the Pro just yet, the base PS4 can’t do that), and the 4.0 OS does the transfer pretty easily.

Then when going to configure the PS4 Pro for 4K HDR, I ran into a very bizarre issue. I have a 44″ Sony XBR 850D. It does 4K HDR, but no 3D like the next model up does. I also have a Sony DH770 receiver, which does full 4K HDR passthrough and HDCP 2.2. Ever since its launch in August, I’ve had the Xbox One S hooked up through the receiver with 4K HDR working flawlessly. In order for that to work, on a Sony device, the HDMI ports on both the TV and Receiver must be set to “Enhanced”. Without that you don’t get HDR (but you of course get 4K).

With the HDMI port the PS4 Pro is connected to set to Enhanced, the system won’t output a video signal to it. The Xbox One S doesn’t have this issue at all, and it’s strange that a Sony console would have that problem going to a Sony receiver. So I had to bypass the receiver completely and connect the system directly to the TV to allow it to do 4K HDR. Perhaps this is something that will be fixed in a future firmware update.

Digital Foundry has a video illustrating some of the serious frame-rate problems with games that run worse on the new hardware than on the standard PlayStation 4. Specifically, The Last of Us: Remastered, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Deus Ex show off some really bad performance when compared to how they run on the base system. Deus Ex is one of the worst offenders with the game dropping to 20fps in the first level of the game.

On the other hand, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered show strong improvement on the Pro. I was very happy with how Battlefield performed in multiplayer last night. The annoying resolution bug on the standard PS4 is gone and the frame rate is much more stable.

Even worse are the issues people are seeing with World of Final Fantasy. A user on NeoGAF found that the game is basically broken visually when playing it on the PS4 Pro. They took these screen shots, the top is a base PS4 and the bottom is a PS4 Pro:
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The depth of field looks to be broken, among many other issues.

These are likely things that can be fixed with patches and firmware updates, but it flies in the face of Sony’s claim that the PS4 Pro will play all PS4 games the same or better than the base hardware. As the Digital Foundry video points out, it’s actually in the technical requirements for every game that they run the same on the base PS4 and the PS4 Pro. As of right now they don’t.

When you spend $400 on an upgraded PlayStation 4 you expect to at least run all games as good as the older PS4 did. Hopefully Sony can get this ironed out pretty quickly.