The PlayStation 5 is fresh on the market. Is it still worth buying the PlayStation 4 and if so, at what price?
The gaming world knows hardly any other topic than the Sony console, which is fresh on the market: The PlayStation 5. For weeks, however, reports of delivery bottlenecks have been increasing. Anyone who wanted to afford the new top console for Christmas is now partially looking into the tube. Reason enough for those without a console to squint at the previous model, the PlayStation 4? TECHNOLOGY BUTTON is checking under which aspects it might be worthwhile to buy a PS4.
A new generation of consoles in the chaos of delivery
Fans of the Sony PlayStation console had to be patient for a while: the basic version PS4 appeared in 2013, followed by the further development, the PlayStation 4 Pro, at the end of 2016. In October 2019, Sony announced the successor, which we had to wait over a year for. The PlayStation 5 has been officially on the market since November 19, 2020 – but it is not that easy to get one of the coveted consoles. Even in advance sales, the demand was so high that many went empty-handed. And many of the successful pre-orders had to wait for their new PS5 even after the official start of delivery. In Germany, too, large electronics stores such as Media Markt and Saturn have delivery problems. The contingents supplied by Sony were smaller than expected.
A similar picture emerges with Microsoft’s competition, the Xbox Series X, which appeared almost at the same time . So anyone who was expecting a new console under the Christmas tree is slowly starting to sweat. Is the PlayStation 4 (Pro) an alternative for those who do not yet have a console or who are on a completely outdated version? Some even speculated on the price drop of the PS4 at the start of their successor. Ebay classifieds and co. Also have offers for used copies. Should you strike there?
PlayStation 4 vs PlayStation 5 – the comparison
Of course there is a technical leap between the two generations. In detail: The PlayStation 4 has an 8-core x86-64 AMD CPU and a GPU with 1.84 TFLOPS. The Pro version even has a GPU with 4.20 TFLOPS. The PS5 comes up with a proud 10.28 TFLOPS and is therefore faster and more high-resolution than its predecessor. Speaking of resolution: The PS4 is 1080p to 1440p, the PS4 Pro can also have 4K resolution with the appropriate screen and game performance. Here, too, the PS5 goes a step further and offers the theoretical potential for 8K games – if the appropriate technology is available at home.
8GB of RAM are available on the PS4 (Pro), 16 GB on the PS5. But the storage capacity of the older models is larger. Up to 1TB are available to users; with the PS5 it is “only” 825GB. However, the use of storage space on the PS5 should be more sustainable. In the future, it should be possible to store games granularly; only the parts of the title that are actually played are downloaded. It is also interesting for gamers that ray tracing is also possible on the PS5, a technique with which lighting conditions in the game seem particularly realistic.
There is also a big change in appearance. While the PS4 relies on a classic, inconspicuous design (black and angular), Sony is breaking new ground with the PlayStation 5. The case is larger, heavier and, with its shape and white color, also more conspicuous than its predecessor. It can no longer be placed inconspicuously under the TV, but it can be placed next to it all the more beautiful. In the larger housing there is accordingly more space for cooling and ventilation .
New controller for the PS5
The controller for the PlayStation 4, the DualShock 4, was and is known and loved. For the PS5, Sony has taken another step forward with the so-called DualSense . The controller looks a lot with its white cover, which is adapted to the housing. As the name DualSense already suggests, an essential point is the haptic feedback, which improves the gaming experience via vibration motors – compared to the DualShock 4, not a must, but pretty cool.
The games are of course an important aspect. As usual, at the launch of the PS5, some titles were released exclusively for the console. Including, for example, “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart”, “Horizon Forbidden West” and “God of War: Ragnarok”. Big titles like “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” will also appear directly for the PS5, but will also be available for other platforms in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, these games do not work on the PlayStation 4. Conversely, the PS5 is backwards compatible , so that with a few exceptions all games on the PS4 can be played on the new console. However, Sony boss Jim Ryan hasannounced that the PlayStation 4 will be supported for at least four years. So big titles are likely to appear for both consoles in the near future, so as not to annoy the PS4’s large user base. Crossplay is also possible, which makes it possible to play together with PS4 and PS5.
It is no surprise that a much newer console looks more modern and can do more than its predecessor. The decisive factor, however, is the price for the new technology. 399 euros are charged for the digital edition of the PS5, which has no drive. The version with a drive costs 499 euros, a proud price! However, the speculation in the run-up was in significantly higher price segments. The 500GB slim version of the PS4 is currently available from 279 euros, the PlayStation 4 Pro with 1 TB from 329 euros – still cheaper than the driveless version of the PS5.
You can of course really save money on the second-hand market, because if you get a new PS5, you often give the PS4 away – with plenty of accessories and games. A look at the eBay classifieds portal shows, for example, some new offers from 120 euros (as of December 9, 2020).
Conclusion: is it still worth buying the PS4?
In a direct comparison, the PlayStation 5 does of course better than the PlayStation 4 (Pro). But it also costs 70 to 170 euros more. However, the money is well invested: faster computing power, better picture, new games, an improved controller and modern design. Above all, however, the PS5 is a good future investment, considering how long the PS4 has lasted. So if you don’t really need a functioning console, you should wait until the PS5 is reliably available for purchase.
However, for those who do not care whether they have the latest gaming technology and who would like to save money, the PS4 is definitely an option. Sony has announced that the PlayStation 4 will be supported for at least four more years. If necessary, manufacturers and developers from all over the world take the step to the newer console beforehand. So if you want to buy a PS4 now because the PS5 is still too expensive or simply not available, then hit the used market. Paying more than 200 euros for a console that may soon be outdated is not recommended. In this case, however, make sure that the used hardware does not have too many years under its belt.