Sony caused outrage when the PS4 Pro was announced and didn’t have an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. In this week’s Head-to-Head, deputy editor Andy Vandervell argues it doesn’t really matter, but home technology editor Ced Yuen begs to differ. Whose side are you on?
Was I disappointed when the PS4 Pro was revealed without an Ultra HD Blu-ray player? Sure. But I understand why it doesn’t and, in the long term, I don’t think it matters a huge amount.
Ultra HD Blu-ray is fantastic for AV enthusiasts, but for most of us it’s a stop-gap to a more convenient 4K streaming future. It’s telling that the likes of Netflix and Amazon started streaming 4K long before Ultra HD Blu-ray was ready for the mainstream. That’s where the future lies.
The PS4 Pro is, first and foremost, a games console and what Sony is offering for the money is hugely impressive. It’s vastly more powerful and will improve all the games you play on it. 4K Blu-ray would’ve hiked the price up and, I think, in a year’s time we’ll all be wondering what the fuss was about.
It was a mistake for Sony to leave out 4K Blu-ray in the PS4 Pro. For starters, it instantly makes the Xbox One S look like the better console. It doesn’t matter that the PS4 Pro is more powerful – on paper it does nothing new and gives little reason to upgrade.
It’s also bad form to release a machine and extol the virtues of its 4K and HDR capabilities, but then leave out the only existing format that guarantees both. Over the years, Sony PlayStations have pushed the boundaries of media – the PS2 had DVD, the PS3 had Blu-ray – and this is a step backwards.
Yes, people like Netflix and Amazon Video. But those services don’t have that much 4K and HDR content right now, and most people don’t have a good enough internet connection for that anyway. I want to see high-quality movies without buffering.
Want to make a games-only console? That’s fine, but there’s nothing “Pro” about it.
Have your say
Were you disappointed that the PS4 Pro was missing an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive? Share your thoughts in the comments below.