Mid-gen upgrades, PS4 Pro, Scorpio etc.
The newest console hardware trend seems to be mimicking phones and tablets with mid gen upgrades with marginal benefits but for the cost of a whole new device. The “New” 3DS, PS4 Pro and (possibly) the upcoming Scorpio are the same devices with slightly better or overclocked hardware that hardware makers are pushing out for whtaever reason. To me, a console is supposed to be simple, game goes in, fun comes out, no messy complications and complications are all that seem to be added with these irritating mid-tier upgrades.
Let me put it this way, PS4 Pro so far hasn’t been around to have too many games to complain about. As it stands, most games either get upscaled to 4k or have a more stable framerate if the game supports it. However one of their latest games “The Last Guardian” confirms my fears of Sony mimicking the New 3DS and that really makes things complicated for consumers.
The Last Guardian runs like crap on a standard PS4 or Slim unit, it’s framerate bounces from 20-30fps nearly constantly making it a very choppy game that feels unresponsive. However on the PS4 Pro it runs at 30fps more reliably. This is something we saw happen on the New 3DS, where games ranged from better load times, framerates & textures to something like Hyrule Warriors which isn’t worth playing on original 3DS but on the New 3DS it’s probably the definitive version of the game. It not only runs MUCH better (15fps vs 30fps)but has vastly improved gameplay due to the enemy count being far higher like it’s supposed to be.
PS4, Slim, Pro, New, old, getting confused yet? To those who’ve got their heads in the game that paragraph probably made sense, but there’s those who thought the WiiU was a tablet upgrade to the Wii that probably have NO idea what I’m talking about and that’s what’s part of my point. This is like PCs with GPUs, to the unsavvy, what’s the difference between a GTX 890 Ti and a GTX 1060?
With the “New” 3DS there was at least some tangible upgrade to the controls, the 3DS was severely hampered by a lack of a 2nd analog stick, and while it should have been included in the first place it’s nice to have something. The …nub, they added is alright at best. It helps games like Monster Hunter and Resident Evil which, like most games benefit from that second stick helping in camera movement. They added two shoulder buttons which in my experience haven’t seen much use. Maybe 2 games, ever used them.
In years past, yes, we’d see other versions of consoles but typically they would be cost reduced. Cheaper to the customer and manufacturer alike. With the last Gen there was less power usage, less heat put out, but there wasn’t really a notable power difference.
Before with the PS3 vs 360 you’d wonder which of the competition got the better port of a game, now you have to worry about how it will run on the same brand, but different model of a console??. I’m aware of Sony’s promise to have games run on PS4 units but judging by the Last Guardian – they aren’t trying too hard.
Horizon Zero Dawn is a game I was looking forward to, I thought it looked pretty neat and Sony has a REALLY nice looking special edition that I want. But, I have no faith in preordering, nevermind buying it till I see not only reviews of the quality of the game, but also comparisons explaining how well the game will run on the PS4 Slim I own vs the Pro.
In all likelihood they’ll have pushed the visuals to such an extent that it will run like crap on the regular units, somewhere between 20-30fps while the pro will do it at 30 constantly. Call me a snob in this regard but I prioritize framerate over visuals, I got a 144hz monitor for my PC games and if I can’t get them running at a nice FPS I’ll lower visuals to get it going. So if they’re not going to try to get the game running at a stable 30fps at least, then that’s really comically bad and aggravating considering the PS4 hasn’t lasted 1/3rd the time the PS3 had.
Take my article? Rant? For what it’s worth. Really I think that the mid-gen upgrades are a mistake, not working within the hardware to make good games has already been an issue, but now it’s just made more taxing to see if your version will be good.
Consoles really have become PCs at this point. First with DLC, weird DRM and lengthy codes that need to be entered now we’re at a point where you have to check if your PS4 will run a game well or if it’s time to upgrade to the PS4 pro. Prior, to me consoles were like the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and PS1 and 2 where you put a game in, played it and it was fun. Sometimes the competition had a better version but never would you be looking at another PS2 running the game better.
These are my thoughts on these bonkers mid-gen upgrades of consoles, let me know what you guys think in the comments. Are you not a tech-head/nerd like me and find the PS4 Pro and such confusing? I’d like to hear your thoughts especially.