With the PS5 on the horizon, is now the time to buy a PS4? This is a serious question. let take a look at PS4.
The PlayStation 4 came out almost six years ago, and Sony’s already started detailing a lot of info on what the next generation is going to look like. On the other hand, the end of a life cycle is almost always a great time to buy a console.
Not only has the hardware become cheaper since launch, but it’s almost always getting better, which begs the question, is the PS4 worth in 2019?
If you’ve never owned a PS4 or maybe you have the original model, then there have been some pretty substantial upgrades over the last few years.
First of all, is the PS4 Slim. Now, this is very much the standard slim model that most consoles get. It’s a little bit smaller, quieter, and cooler than the OG PS4. but besides faster Wi-Fi, it’s the same experience.
PlayStation 4 Pro
Next up, we have the big guy, the PlayStation 4 Pro. Now, this is an actual upgrade over the PS4, as not only does it have much better specs. but that enables it to run games at 1440p or even 4K in much higher resolution than the 1080p of the standard PS4.
Pricing is interesting. So the base PS4 today is $300, which is only $100 less than the launch model sic years ago. and generally speaking, it is pretty rare for the PS4 to go on sale. which is a huge contrast to the Xbox One, which lives, like, $75 less than its MSRP at all times.
The PS4 Pro has an MSRP of $400, and while it does sometimes go a little bit below that. generally speaking, that is the price you’ll pay. However, I think this is a very reasonable upgrade. For only 75 to $100 more than the base PS4. you’re getting a lot more power, which, in my opinion, is
well worth the upgrade.
Now that’s all on the new side, but typically speaking, when you buy a console this late into the generation. the used market is a great option to save yourself a bunch of cash. However, that’s not the case with the PS4. Using GameStop as the benchmark, you’re only saving about $50 by buying an original used PS4 as opposed to a brand-new Slim.
Now you can go to eBay and save a little bit more money, but still, you’re generally paying around $200. which to me just isn’t that great of a deal when you can buy an Xbox One S brand-new with a bundled game all day long for about the same money.
Now, this isn’t crazy. The PS4 has pretty much become the standard de facto console this generation. With almost 100 million sold, it’s an easy argument to make that the PS4 is the best
a place to play right now.
If we go back to the PS3, the last generation, Sony struggled. Now, the PS3 was a technically-superior console, but it was expensive and complicated. which meant that a lot of people and developers focused their attention on the Xbox 360. and while they were able to recover toward the end.
Sony most certainly learned their lessons when they came to building the PS4. Sony made sure that the PS4 was as focused as possible on gaming.
So while both the PS4 and Xbox One share a very similar AMD-based PC hardware inside. the PS4 not only has a bigger GPU but also faster memory, which means that it is straight-up faster than the base Xbox One.
Many games run at 1080p on the PS4, whereas on the Xbox One, they have cuts to either resolution or quality. Now usually these cuts are somewhat minor. but Who wants to have the inferior experience, right?
Ps4 for a very long time has been the obvious choice. Now today, things have changed a little bit with the introduction of the Xbox one x, which is more powerful than not only the ps4 but importantly, it’s more powerful than the ps4 pro.
That being said, though, a ton of people still have the base consoles, and here it’s just not a fair fight.
The ps4 is a superior device. The ps4 does have another key advantage, upgradeability. With the Xbox one, it’s kind of a box. I mean, there’s no reason to open it up unless you’re looking for easter eggs. But the ps4 has full access to change out the internal hard drive.
On all of the ps4 models, there is a single screw as well as a door that will allow you to get access to the 2.5-inch hard drive. And from there, it is very simple to swap it out and reinstall the operating system. The main advantage here is that you get the ability to upgrade not only the storage but also the speed. So for only about $90 or so, you can upgrade to a two-terabyte SSHD. Which would give you more speed and capacity Or if you want to go all out. you can pick up a two-terabyte SSD for 210 bucks. It is a huge, huge upgrade, and it’s super-simple to do on the ps4.
Now, this is not completely necessary. As both the ps4 and Xbox support USB 3.0 hard drives or SSD, which is a much simpler way of doing it. But I do appreciate the fact that the ps4 allows me to upgrade my console and swap in whatever drive I want.
While the ps4 is no longer the obvious choice. When it comes to multi-platform games since the one x exists. However, when it comes to exclusives, sony has a Microsoft beat.
Games like uncharted 4 or god of war, horizon zero dawn, gran Turismo and spider-man are all completely exclusive to the PlayStation. And these are some of the best games of the generation.
It’s easy to say that, oh, look, PlayStation’s the obvious place to play, but I mean, these games really
Do give you a great reason why you should pick up one of the consoles.
This is where the used market can come in clutch. A lot of these games can be found for $20 or less. Now, this is the generation where a lot of people, myself included, had switched over to all-digital. However, if you’re buying a PlayStation 4 in 2019. You should go spend a few bucks to get a lot of these excellent games for a super-cheap on the used market.
I haven’t even talked about the non-exclusives, either. So you’ve got games like call of duty, destiny, and of course GTA 5. Which while it got its start on the last generation, really came into its own with the ps4 as well as the Xbox One.
Another terrific game this generation is red dead redemption 2, which while it looks pretty decent on the ps4 and ps4 pro. It’s still better on the one x. But there is no getting around that any of these options are a lot better than the base Xbox One.
Is Xbox A better Buy?
All that is to say that there are some legitimately good reasons to pick up an Xbox. If you don’t have an Xbox One or PS4, I think it’s a pretty easy bet to say that the Xbox is the better choice to buy right now.
First of all, the value is here. So at just over $200, the Xbox One S does lag behind
the standard PS4 in visuals, but it’s not a massive difference. and it does have some key upgrades of its own, including an Ultra HD Blu-ray player that you can’t find on any version of the PS4.
The One X is also a surprisingly good value. So while the MSRP is $500, you can find this guy on Amazon for less than the PS4 Pro right now. Considering that it’s a better console in almost every single way, it is hard to argue with that.
I also prefer the Xbox controller to the PS4. Not by a lot, mind you. Both Sony and Microsoft did
a good job this generation, and stuff like the touchpad are nice on the PlayStation.However, I feel like Microsoft completely nailed the ergonomics. I love the way the controller feels.
Probably the biggest upside to the Xbox though is backward compatibility. Even the original Xbox one can play a lot of 360 titles and even some OG Xbox ones. Step up to the one x, and not only can you play all the same games. But a lot of them can be upscaled to 4k, and it is an incredibly cool feature to see these old-school games being run at a proper high resolution. And a lot of times with much better texture filtering than they ever did on original consoles.
Now sony does have some backward compatibility, but, well, it just really can’t compete. So there are some ps2 games which have been upgraded to work on the PlayStation 4. And using PlayStation now, you can stream a fair few PlayStation 3 games. But the issue here is that, first of all, the library isn’t as good. And second of all, you have to pay for all of these.
Now while Microsoft does sell a lot of the original Xbox and 360 titles in the store, you don’t have to buy them.
If you have the original discs, all you do is put it in your Xbox, allow it to download an update, and you’re up and running for absolutely zero dollars and zero cents. Free 99, as the kids say.
All this brings me to one of the most important points on whether or not you should buy a PS4.
You might not have to. Sony’s already confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will support not only PS4 games. but importantly, a lot of the accessories such as PS VR.
If you could pick up a PS4 for a bargain-basement price, I think it would be a no-brainer. But if you haven’t bought a PS4 yet, I think, really, for most people, you’re better served just waiting for that PS5.