"Is it worth buying a PS4 Pro in 2021?"
That is the question on the mind of every gamer who wasn't able to or still can't get their hands on a PlayStation 5.
The former Sony flagship console was released back in 2016 and retailed for $399, with the price going down as far as $299 in subsequent years.
Although not many were sold on the more powerful hardware that it possessed that was capable of running certain games at either 4K resolution or 60 fps, it was still considered a commercial success and it continues to make up a sizable chunk of the roughly 115 million units (and growing) of PlayStation 4 that has been sold.
With that said, even though Sony has since confirmed that they will continue to support the PlayStation 4 for the next three to four years following the release of their latest flagship console, it's a statement that remains vague at best.
After all, Demon's Souls is available only on the PlayStation 5.
It's only a matter of time before Sony and other studios making exclusive PlayStation titles decide that it'll be easier for them to develop a game exclusively for a console with much more powerful hardware than to make sure that it works on both the weaker PlayStation 4 Pro (and PlayStation 4) and the PlayStation 5.
So, this begs the question, is it still worth buying a PS4 Pro in 2021?
Why the PlayStation 4 Pro Is Still Worth Buying in 2021
The PlayStation 5 launched in late 2020 and retailed for $499.99, with a slightly cheaper version, the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, selling for $399.99.
Now, both of these consoles are already available worldwide. Well, except for China, which will receive the PS5 sometime in Q2 2021.
In terms of price, the PlayStation 5 costs more than the PlayStation 4 Pro did at launch ($499 vs $399).
That's understandable. PlayStation 5 houses cutting-edge hardware, and the digital version -- the one without the disc drive -- sells for as much as the PlayStation 4 did when it first launched years ago. But, here's the catch, the price of the PS4 Pro often goes down to around $299 if not lower, often with bundles of games available.
No matter how you look at it, the PS4 Pro is the cheaper option, and not to mention, it's easier to get.
The Great PlayStation 5 Shortage
So, this isn't an actual term, but it's the best way to describe it.
The PlayStation 5's launch was highly anticipated, but Sony just couldn't keep up with the demand.
Due to the pandemic affecting the production, there simply weren't enough PlayStation 5 units to go around for everybody at launch. It also doesn't help that scalpers were quick to take advantage of this, jacking up the price of the PlayStation 5 by as much as 100% if not higher.
The worst part is that the PlayStation 5 shortage is expected to continue.
You see, the entire tech industry is affected by a worldwide chip shortage. This means that, even if Sony were able to keep up with the demand, there just aren't enough materials to make a PlayStation 5 available, as dedicated chip-makers like Qualcomm and AMD are having issues.
On that same note, another popular tech product, the iPhone 12, as well as its entire lineup, was affected by this as well.
There aren't any signs of things getting better anytime soon, so don't expect a significant uptick in stocks anytime soon.
Buying a PS4 Pro in 2021
If you buy a PS4 Pro right now, you're not exactly going to be short on games to play.
The PlayStation 4 Pro will give you a handful of exclusives to enjoy at their former best. This includes award-winning exclusive titles like The Last of Us and The Last of Us 2, Bloodborne, Marvel's Spider-Man, as well as former exclusives like Death Stranding and Horizon: Zero Dawn.
What makes the decision to get a PlayStation 4 Pro even better is that the PS5 has backward-compatibility.
Most titles that you can buy and play on the PlayStation 4 will also work on the PlayStation 5, often with some next-gen improvements. In fact, some titles, like Grand Theft Auto 5 and Destiny 2, will get larger overhauls exclusively for the PlayStation 5 so that the games can take better advantage of the power of the next-gen consoles.
So, if you buy a PlayStation 4 Pro right now, you can still enjoy it for multiple years and not have to worry about your games going to waste once you do decide to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 when it becomes more readily available.
Why You Should Wait for the PlayStation 5 Instead
It's wise not to expect more stocks of the PlayStation 5 to become available anytime soon. However, it's not like Sony's not doing anything about the stock shortage.
Already, fans who weren't able to get the PlayStation 5 at launch was finally able to get the console just a couple of months later. More and more stores already having them in stock. Some countries around the world are even contemplating taking steps to prevent scalpers from taking advantage of similar situations in the future.
So, what does this mean? Well, for starters, as long as Sony continues manufacturing units of the PlayStation 5, it's safe to say that, if you're patient enough, you should be able to get your hands on a PS5 really soon.
Besides, there are a couple of reasons why the PlayStation 5 is worth the wait.
Although more expensive, Sony is giving consumers more of an incentive to get a PS5. This includes adding an extra free game for PS Plus subscribers on the PlayStation 5 and the PlayStation Plus Collection.
TLDR; you're getting more free games for the PlayStation 5 for not a whole lot more money.
Should You Buy a PS4 Pro in 2021?
Well, that depends.
Can you wait? If not, get the PlayStation 4 Pro now. It's an excellent value for a console, especially if you can get it for $299 if not lower.
If, however, you can wait for a couple of weeks or months, we recommend getting the PS5.
The PlayStation 5 is just a better value proposition, but that's only IF you can get your hands on it.