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PS5 vs PS4 – is the PS4 still worth it?

Is the PS4 still in the same league as the PS5?
Last Updated on November 30, 2023
PS5 vs PS4. Image shows the PS5 and PS4 console with a red 'VS' sign, on a light grey gradient background.
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The PlayStation has been a household name since the release of the first PS console in the 90s, and today we’re comparing two of its most iconic consoles – the PS5 vs the PS4. The release of the PlayStation 5 marked a new era in gaming, boasting powerful hardware and exclusive games. However, many gamers still wonder if it’s worth upgrading from the PlayStation 4, Sony’s previous flagship console, that’s still going strong after 10 years in the market. 

Next-gen gaming consoles have their advantages, but are they worth it over the powerful and decently priced performance of the last-gen? In this article, we’re delving into the differences between the PS5 and PS4, exploring factors such as price, graphics and performance, storage space, game availability, and overall value.

PS5 vs PS4 specs

Disc driveUltra HD Blu-ray (standard model only)Blu-ray
CPUAMD Zen 2-based 8-core CPU at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)8-core x86-64 AMD Jaguar
StorageCustom 825GB SSD with 5.5GB/s (raw), typical 8-9GB/s (compressed), 1TB for PS5 Slim1TB HDD
GPU10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency) with RDNA 2 architectureAMD Radeon with 4.2 teraflops
PS5 vs PS4 specs comparison table

PS5 vs PS4 features

The console gaming industry has seen significant advancements in recent years, with Sony’s PlayStation brand leading the charge. So, let’s explore the differences in the features of the PS4 and the PS5, to see what generational leaps separate the two consoles.

PS5 vs PS4: graphics and performance

One of the most noticeable differences between the PS5 and PS4 is their graphical capabilities and overall performance, and in this regard, the PS5 delivers a substantial upgrade. With support for 4K resolution and advanced visual features like ray tracing, the PS5 offers a more immersive gaming experience. It can also output video at up to 120 frames per second, resulting in smoother animations and more responsive controls, and there’s the potential promise of 8K resolution support for the console in the future. In comparison, the standard PS4 is limited to 1080p output and 60 frames per second, which was impressive at the time of its launch, but 1080p has become the industry standard in today’s world.

There’s even a performance boost in terms of the console’s controllers. The PS5’s DualSense controller enhances gameplay with haptic feedback, providing a more tactile and immersive experience as opposed to the aging rumble packs of the DualShock controllers that were paired with the PS4 and older consoles. Furthermore, we’re even seeing the PS5 get even more advanced peripheral accessories, such as the PS Portal streaming device – naturally, this isn’t compatible with the PS4.

PS5 vs PS4: storage space and load times

Another significant difference between the PS5 and PS4 lies in their internal storage capabilities and load times. The PS5 features a solid-state drive (SSD) that significantly reduces loading times compared to the PS4’s traditional hard disk drive (HDD): games that took 30 to 60 seconds to load on the PS4 can load almost instantly on the PS5. The PS5’s internal SSD starts at 825GB, while the PS4 comes with a slower HDD and either 1TB or 500GB of space. Although the PS5’s storage capacity may seem smaller, the speed and efficiency of the SSD make it a more appealing option, and it’s one of the huge generational leaps between the two consoles.

However, you can of course upgrade the internal storage of both consoles, so it could be worth checking out the best SSD for the PS5, as well as the best SSD for the PS4 Pro. The PS5 has an NVME SSD slot, and while the PS4 might not have compatibility with these next-gen cards, fitting it out with an internal SSD can give it a significant performance boost and reach those faster load times.

✓ Marla’s thoughts

Is the PS4 Pro worth your time?

The PS4 Pro presents several benefits over its PS4 predecessor, mainly in terms of its graphics capabilities. With a GPU that’s just over twice as powerful as the PS4, gamers looking to play games at 4K without investing in a PS5 could find the PS4 Pro just the console to meet their needs.

PS5 vs PS4: Home Entertainment Features

When it comes to streaming and media playback, both the PS5 and PS4 offer similar features and a wide range of media apps, including popular streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. However, the PS5 once again has the advantage of being capable of streaming at 4K resolution, while the PS4 is limited to a humble 1080p output.

The standard PS5 also includes a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive, allowing users to enjoy physical media in higher resolution. The PS5’s user interface also provides improvements in navigation and faster access to games and apps, making it a more streamlined and user-friendly experience compared to the PS4.

PS5 vs PS4: Game Availability

Game availability is a crucial factor when considering an upgrade from the PS4 to the PS5. While the PS5 initially had a limited library of exclusive titles, more games are being developed exclusively for the PS5, and its library of AAA titles only continues to expand. However, many new releases are still available on both the PS4 and PS5, allowing gamers to enjoy the latest titles regardless of their console choice.

The elephant in the room here concerns one of the biggest advantages of the PS5 – its backward compatibility. The PS5 can play most PS4 discs and downloads, and through a PlayStation Plus subscription, you can get titles from across the whole range of the PlayStation family, including the PS3 and the PS2. So, not only will investing in Sony’s flagship console get you a wealth of PS5 exclusives, such as the highly rated Marvel’s Spider-Man, but to your library of existing PS games and more.

PS5 vs PS4 price

When it comes to price, the PS5 and PS4 ultimately cater to different budget ranges. The PS5 is available in two versions: the standard edition, priced at $499, and the digital edition, which lacks a disc drive and costs $399. However, following the release of the PS5 Slim, perhaps we might start to see the price of the original PS5 dip as Sony gradually phases out the console in favor of the Slim model. On the other hand, a brand-new PS4 is priced at around $300, with used or refurbished models available for around $220.

While the PS5 is more expensive, it offers significant upgrades and future-proofing features that may justify the higher price tag for some gamers.

PS5 vs PS4: which one is better?

The PS5 offers significant advancements in graphics, performance, frame rates, load times, and overall gaming experience. Its solid-state drive, improved visuals, and features like ray tracing and haptic feedback make it a worthwhile investment for gamers seeking the latest and most immersive gaming experience. However, if budget constraints are a concern or if the current PS4 library meets your gaming needs, the PS4 still offers a solid gaming experience at a more affordable price point.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.