PS4 Pro VS Nintendo Switch

Intro

When two Japanese giants combine you’d be forgiven for thinking of a Godzilla movie. Perhaps another time maybe, as this is a story about giants of industry, not radioactive monsters.

For the longest time it seemed like Nintendo had fallen short of the ‘hard core gamer’ race, but since the launch of the Switch, that seems to have changed.

Despite the lack of comparable specifications, the Switch has so much more to offer than just a specced out beastly console. But if you had to choose one or the other, which one would it be?

Unless you’re Zelda mad or Crash bandicoot crazy then your options are most likely open. So allow me to help by breaking down a comparison between the PS4 Pro and the Nintendo Switch.

Design

Looks are important when it comes to paying the premium we do for our consoles. The Pro and the Switch are very different consoles and this is represented in their designs. After all, Nintendo’s switch can also be used as a handheld device.

The PS4 Pro keeps much of the same design as the standard PS4. There isn’t too much difference except its slightly larger and has an extra rim when compared to the slim version. The PS4 was already a good-looking console and Sony has opted for the traditional ‘it’s what’s inside that matters’.

The Nintendo Switch looks great, with its stylish dock and sleek design. It’s innovative and trendy, you can’t argue with that. My issue is with the controllers. Unless you invest the controllers are ugly and awkward when playing the device on a TV. They’re rather small and weightless and it all just doesn’t feel right. When they’re clipped on to the handheld device, that’s where they really shine. If you’re planning to play the Switch on TV you need to invest in the Switch Pro Controller.

Specs

When comparing the specifications of both consoles, there’s no competition here really. The PS4 Pro out shines the Switch in almost every department. The Pros CPU is almost double that of the Switch clocking in at 2.1GHz, whereas the Switch clocks at 1.02GHz. Although they are both octa-core processors, the same can not be said for the rest of the hardware.

The theme of doubling power continues to both systems RAM. The Pro has 8GB and the Switch 4GB. But it’s worth noting that the PS4 Pro is really aimed towards supporting VR, which is the reason for its sheer power in comparison to a console which is essentially a handheld console.

As standard, the PS4 Pro comes with a 1TB hard drive, which is fast becoming the standard these days. The Switch has a measly 32GB flash drive, which sounds almost joke like. But the Nintendo’s aim here is for users to upgrade this to the potential 2TB respectively.

Graphics

The GPU modules in both consoles are rather impressive but in vastly different ways. It has to be commended that despite the Nintendo Switch’s Nvidia 1.3tflops GPU, the graphics on the console are really impressive. There’s no 4K support for the Switch, but who needs that when you can play The Legend of Zelda on a plane?

The Pro has a very impressive AMD 4.2tflops GPU meaning playing VR & 4K content will be a walk in the park. It’s a GPU most PC gamers would be happy with as well as it being a huge upgrade on the PS4 Slim.

Games

Nintendo’s Switch hasn’t been out as long as the PS4 so there are far more games for Sony’s console than there are Nintendo’s. It’s an obvious point to make, but one I’ll make anyway, and it leads me onto my next point. Although the Switch is still in its infancy some might say, it already has some very impressive titles on its roster. Most notably is clearly The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But it also has some really great ones coming soon. Mario is one name that springs to mind.

Sony has the fortune of having a selection of really talented developers who provide exclusive games; Naughty Dog being one of them. The problem I have with PS4 games is that Sony has this incredible back catalog of classic titles just waiting to be tapped into. But without the inclusion of some form of backward compatibility that catalog is going to waste. The recent Crash Bandicoot remastered showed there is still a market for classic games.

Extras

Now for the extra little bits on the console and here is where they differ vastly. The PS4 Pro and the Switch are essentially aimed at different markets. The Switch focuses on that handheld, portability selling point, whereas the PS4 is immersive in its VR capabilities.

Both consoles have access to online services, which require a monthly subscription fee. You can currently play online on the Switch for free, but this will change to a paid service in 2018, is priced at $3.99 per month. This is cheaper than the $9.99 Sony charge, but the audience is much larger there. You also get a few free games every month for being a PlayStation Plus member. They’re not always the game you want, but hey, it’s a free game right?

Price

There’s not a vast difference in the consoles for the base models, roughly $100 dollars or so. The PS4 Pro is priced around the $400 mark and the Switch $300, which are fair prices for a good kit.

The cost can be substantially increased when you add all the optional extras. Larger memory and a better controller for playing on the TV will cost you on the Switch. Likewise, purchasing the VR kit for the PS4 Pro, although this is likely to be more than the cost of your Switch Extras.

For the base consoles, they’re pretty comparable when you look at the specs, the PS4 is especially well priced and the Switch hasn’t been out too long, meaning it’s likely to be reduced in the future.

Summary

Overall each of these consoles offers something a little different. When comparing the Switch and the Pro it almost felt like trying to compare a PC to a home console. Yes, they both play games, but they’re different machines almost entirely. You can’t easily take your PS4 on your vacation, but you sure can with the Switch. You also can’t be totally immersed in a Virtual Reality world or play in super high definition 4K on a Switch.

It’s clear to see the market for both of these are different and in their own way, they are both excellent consoles. Once again it really comes down to the games you want to play, as they are wildly different. Whereas the Xbox and PlayStation have a lot of the same games, the same cannot be said for the Nintendo Switch.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.
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