Gaming Console 101

Do You Need a 4K TV for PS4 Pro?

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PS4 Pro is the first gaming console that brought with it support for 4K resolution. While the vivid graphics it promises are sight a to behold, it has left many gamers questioning whether do you need a 4K TV for PS4 Pro as a mandatory requirement.

Fortunately, the answer to the question is no. You DO NOT need to have a 4K TV in order to play your PS4 Pro. You can hook up your PS4 Pro to any 1080P TV or monitor and still enjoy the gaming experience.

But the real question is, would you benefit from having a PS4 Pro if you do not have a 4K TV to accompany it? For some, the answer to the question can be yes, for others, not so.

In the following article, I will discuss the question at hand and also talk about whether it is worth it to have PS4 Pro with a 4K TV.

Gameplay Modes Support by PS4 Pro

Before we start discussing the topic, it is important to first understand all the gameplay modes supported by this console.

This is an important bit of information because unlike on gaming PCs, the gameplay modes on PS4 Pro or any of its variants must be strictly adhered to.

The following are all the gameplay modes the console supports:

  • 1080 @ 30 FPS
  • 1080 @ 60 FPS – Primary
  • 4K @ 30 FPS – Primary
  • 4K @ 60 FPS

While PS4 Pro DOES technically support 4K @ 60 FPS over HDMI 2.0, very few games actually do support this mode. These include less demanding titles like Overwatch.

The primary modes that games play on PS4 Pro are either 1080P @ 60 FPS or 4K @ 30 FPS.

So Do You Need a 4K TV for PS4 Pro?

Fortunately, you do not need to have a 4K TV as a mandatory requirement for PS4 Pro.

As can be seen from the display modes above, PS4 Pro supports 1080P resolution TV just fine.

However, this does open up a few more related questions:

Is PS4 Pro Worth it Without a 4K TV?

Well, the answer to that question is that it depends on what kind of gamer you are. Are you someone who prefers quality or someone who prefers performance?

PS4 Pro can be worth it for you if you prefer performance (FPS) over quality.

Performance Over Quality – 1080P @ 60FPS is Worth It

You see, for the vast majority of the titles, PS4 Pro supports games at either 1080P@60FPS or 4K@30FPS.

Now if you are someone who prefers high-quality visuals at the cost of frames per second, then 4K TV is the way to go for you.

However, if you are someone who prefers performance, higher frames per second, at the cost of quality, then 1080P TVs are still worth it for you.

It should be noted that 1080P @ 60FPS gaming mode is a significant upgrade over the 1080P @ 30FPS cap offered by the Original PS4 and PS4 Slim.

The higher 60 FPS can the visuals butter smoother as compared to 30FPS and is also of significance for competitive first-person shooters or fast-paced games.

Supersampling Another Benefit

Do You Need a 4K TV for PS4 Pro
Native rendered (Left) vs SuperSampled (Right). Notice how the edges are smooth on the super-sampled image. Source: Wikipedia

Supersampling is the feature that takes a high-resolution frame and then downscales it to a lower-resolution frame.

In the case of PS4 Pro, supersampling is done when PS4 Pro renders a game frame at 4K resolution and then downscales it to 1080P.

This results in smoother and a better quality image as compared to a native 1080P rendered frame.

So while you may not be able to enjoy the goodness of 4K resolution if you have a 1080P TV, with the supersampling feature you will still see some benefit in visuals.

Not All Games are Updated to 4K Resolution

It should also be noted that when upgrading from the original PS4 to PS4 Pro, do not assume that all of the previous games will run at native 4K resolution by default.

That is hardly the case.

The developers of the game have to either remaster or launch a patch in order to support the native 4K resolution on PS4 Pro.

Games that have not been updated will run at 1080P resolution by default anyways.

So whether the upgrade to 4K TV is worth it or not on PS4 Pro also depends upon whether your favorite games support 4K resolution in the first place.

Final Words

So the answer to the question “Do you need a 4K TV for PS4 Pro?” is a big no. You can still play your games on 1080P TV.

You will still see much benefit from PS4 Pro as compared to other variants in the form of either higher frame rates (i.e 60 FPS) or supersampled graphics (if you choose the quality option).

Atif Qazi

Atif Qazi is the founder of and a huge gaming nerd. Thanks to the vast gaming experience under his belt, you can often find him writing detailed pieces of content on gaming hardware and console. But in all honesty, nothing gives him more pleasure than 'one-shotting' everyone as a stealth archer in ESO: Skyrim.

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