The arrival of the PS5 in November has led to a lot of awkward questions about the future of the PS4 Pro. It currently retails for $399, which is difficult to justify, given that’s exactly the same price as the vastly more powerful PS5 Digital Edition.
In short, it’s hard to imagine anybody buying a PS4 Pro in 2021. Those that want top performance will surely put their $399 on a PS5 Digital version, or spend $100 more to get one with a disk drive. Those that just want access to the PS4’s huge game library would be more inclined to save $100 and buy a $299 PS4.
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Now we have the first hint that Sony is thinking the same thing. As spotted by our sister site GamesRadar, Sony’s PlayStation Direct website lists both the PS4 and PS4 Pro as “out of stock”, but there’s an additional line on the latter: “there are currently no plans to restock this item in the future.”
While Sony hasn’t formally announced the discontinuation of the PS4 Pro, it’s likely only a matter of time. Production of the the Xbox One X has already ended, and while Sony has signaled its plans to support the PS4 for “several years after the launch of the PS5”, that was always likely to be in the form of cross-generational software rather than via hardware.
You could make more of a case for the PS4 Pro’s continued production if it weren’t for the excellent backwards compatibility provided by the PS5. Something like The Last Guardian, for example, managed 30fps on PS4 Pro – a marked improvement on the stutterfest that it was on regular PS4 hardware – but unpatched and running on PS5 it achieves a steady 60fps.
A more current example is Cyberpunk 2077, which is a bit of a trainwreck on last-generation consoles, but runs at its best via backwards compatibility on Xbox Series X and PS5. And that’s currently the only way to play it on a console: technically, the next-generation versions won’t even arrive until next year.
As things stand, the PS4 Pro is in a strange place: it’s neither the power nor the value option, leaving it with basically no market left. With that in mind, if Sony hasn’t already unofficially discontinued it, it wouldn’t be surprising if a decision to formally pull the plug wasn’t far away. After all, the company really needs to concentrate its efforts on making sure that PS5 supply can match players’ continued ravenous demand.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.