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Credit: Sony

With the anticipated arrival of the PS5 this holiday season, there seems to be a debate between the PS4 vs PS5. PlayStation fans who already own a PS4 or a PS4 Pro are met with the tough decision of keeping their current console or upgrading to next-gen. Then, new buyers who have never owned a PlayStation console have to decide whether the PS5 is worth the extra money or if the PS4 Pro will satisfy their gaming needs.

Whichever console you choose is surely going to provide you with countless hours of gaming fun. But you have to decide what is more important to you: saving money or splurging on an upgraded gaming experience. Take a look at the major differences between the consoles to help you decide which route you want to take.

Check out: Sony PlayStation 5: price, rumored release date, and more

PS4 vs PS4 Pro vs PS5 specs

Compared to the PS4, the PS4 Pro boasts upgrades in its GPU and CPU and can display in 4K resolution. Both consoles now come with a 1TB HDD, and although there is more memory in the PS4 Pro, it’s not significantly more. The main thing that makes the PS4 Pro $100 more expensive than the PS4 is the upgraded GPU and CPU. Games are able to run smoother and faster with these upgrades.

Although the PS5 is upgraded from the PS4 Pro in almost every way, the upgrade I’m most excited for is the switch from HDD to SSD. The 825GB SSD will have less storage space than the 1TB HDD in both the PS4 and the PS4 Pro. But developers might be able to make game download sizes smaller and call more from short-term memory to load things.

Because of how quickly worlds can load in games running on the PS5, developers don’t have to build static things into a large initial download; instead, things can load as you’re going through the game and you won’t even notice. So although the PS5 has less storage space, players most likely won’t fill up their SSD anytime soon. Or at least, they’ll fill it up at the same pace as they would with the 1TB HDD on the PS4 or PS4 Pro.

If you want a more in-depth look at how impressive the PS5 specs are, click here.

playstation 5 dualsense ps5 controller official

PS4 vs PS4 Pro vs PS5 price

Of course, one of the biggest differences between these PlayStation consoles is price. Right now, you can pick up a PlayStation 4 (1 TB) for $299.99 and a PlayStation 4 Pro (1TB) for $399.99. And while the price of the PS5 has not been revealed yet, the widespread speculation is that the normal version will start out at $499.99; the digital version is suspected to be slightly less, at around $449.99.

For $100 less, you can still get a great console with the PS4 Pro and a vast library of games to play.  For $200 less, you could get a PS4 console with upgraded storage space and the same vast library of games. With that extra money you save on the console, you could buy a few games to get you started.

With that being said, a console is an investment. You don’t pay hundreds of dollars for a new console to just play one game on it and then be done. You buy a console to last you for years. So if you own a console for 3-5 years, or maybe even longer, will a $100-200 price difference really matter that much to you?

If you have the ability to spend the extra money for a PS5, or you can wait until the PS5 drops in price in a year or two, that’s the route I would go.  The PS5 has such drastic hardware changes; your games will run better, look better, and feel better on the PS5. To me, that’s worth the extra $100-200 investment; that, plus the PS5 exclusive games that will be releasing after the PS4 and PS4 Pro are phased out.

PS4 vs PS5 games

The PS4 has a large library of games, with fan favorites like God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn. You can, of course, play all of these games on both the PS4 and the PS4 Pro. And although some of the release titles for the PS5 may also be released for PS4/PS4 Pro as well, eventually they will be exclusive to the PS5.

Check out: Best upcoming PS5 games – Release dates, latest trailers, and more

Sony doesn’t want to immediately alienate their dedicated PS4/PS4 Pro fan base, or those who cannot upgrade to the PS5. But at the end of the day, Sony wants to turn a profit. And the best way for them to do that is to give you an incentive; in other words, if you want to play this awesome looking game, you have to buy our new console.

The great thing about the PS5 is backwards compatibility. You will be able to play all of the new games that come out, eventually exclusively, for the PS5 AND almost all of the games that came out for the PS4. If you have already purchased PS4 games and you upgrade to the PS5, you can still play them. Or if you’re buying a PlayStation console for the first time, you can easily add PS4 games to your library and experience them on upgraded hardware.

Related: Is the PS5 backwards compatible with PS2, PS3, and PS4 games?

playstation 5 hardware

If I’m a new buyer, should I buy a PS4 Pro or wait for the PS5?

If you are completely new to the world of PlayStation consoles, I would personally recommend purchasing the PS5. For a few extra hundred dollars, you get a console that comes with all upgraded hardware and an entire backlog of games from the PS4 generation.

Even if you don’t see any PS5 games that you want to play right now, and all you want to play are PS4 games, I think it would still be worth it to purchase the PS5. There could be PS5 games that come out later down the line that you end up wanting. Plus, many PS4 games will be enhanced for the PS5 with a free downloadable update.

And if you don’t want to or can’t shell out an extra $100, you might consider waiting to purchase the PS5. Historically, the price usually drops a few years after the console’s initial release. Then, you might be able to pay the same amount you would have paid for the PS4 Pro.

It’s also worth mentioning that after the PS5 launches you can expect the price tag of the PS4 and PS4 Pro to likely decrease. This goes especially for used models, which will flood the market as gamers upgrade. So if you want to save money and don’t plan to buy the PS5 until a bit later in its life, this is another potential option.

If I already own a PS4 or PS4 Pro, should I upgrade to the PS5?

This is more of a tricky situation. If you already own a PS4 or a PS4 Pro, you could sell your current console and offset the price of the PS5. By upgrading, you would get to experience enhanced visuals and faster loading times.

Or, if you didn’t want to spend the money, you could just stick with the PS4 or PS4 Pro that you currently have, and wait for a PS5 price drop. Plus, this way, you’ll be able to avoid some of the nasty hassles that come with working out console launch kinks.

At least in the beginning of the PS5’s life, most games (I would hope) will be released on both consoles. I’m not sure how long Sony would continue to do this for games; but at least for the first few, you can probably snag them for either console. You could plan to just hang on to your console until a game comes out on the PS5 that you can’t live without. Then, you could sell your old-gen console and invest in next-gen.

Wrapping it up

In the battle of PS4 vs PS5, there’s really no right option.

The PS4 and PS4 Pro are not bad consoles by any means. The PS5 is just better. You’ll have a more immersive gaming experience, with ray tracing, haptic feedback on the DualSense controller, a lightning fast SSD, and so much more. If you have the ability to go for the PS5, that would be my recommendation.

But it’s not the end of the world to wait either. Console launches are not always all they’re cracked up to be, so you could avoid that while peacefully gaming on your PS4 or PS4 Pro. And probably save some money while you’re at it.

Next: PS5 and Xbox Series X look great, but you might want to wait to buy one

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