It seems that PS4 owners may be getting a helping hand compared to vanilla PS4 players in some online titles.
Digital Foundry found that in EA shooter Battlefield 1, on PS4 Pro the game at times was running at a framerate nearly 50 per cent higher than on older hardware, and at a higher resolution. This leads to a more fluid experience, better detail – especially at distance – and decreased latency, meaning sharp players are technically able to react faster than they would otherwise be able to.
This is potentially problematic for Sony as it has gone to great lengths to stress that PS4 Pro is an optional upgrade and that games would work seamlessly across both old and new hardware. If it becomes the case that the difference in performance across systems goes beyond purely the aesthetic, complaints are almost certain to arise.
Of course, in reality this is no different to the situation on PC. A gamer playing at 60, 90 or 120 frames per second at a high resolution has a definite advantage over someone with a lower framerate and resolution. A shift to iterative console upgrades was always going to bring consoles more in line with PCs. Whether gamers will see things in such a light is another question altogether, however.
In other matters that might pose a PR issue for Sony, the site has also found that some games actually perform worse on the PS4 Pro than they do a regular PS4.
Watch Dogs 2, for instance, attempts to inject some additional graphical touches but that brings with it screen tearing and FPS drops on the new hardware. Skyrim and The Last of Us were also said to run better on base hardware.
Remember though, it’s very early days and there’s plenty of times for problems to be addressed.