A mid-generation console refresh seems like an odd thing from major console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft. However, the duo are doing exactly that with the Xbox Scorpio and PS4 Pro. According to Sony, however, the mid-gen refresh isn't because of the Scorpio, but due to PC gaming.
According to the Guardian, the head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House, explained why Sony has opted to give a small boost in the PS4 Pro's hardware and their aim to provide gamers with 4K gaming in some capacity. According to House, the electronics giant was compelled by the mid-gen move from consumers to take up PC gaming instead of console gaming, saying...
According to House, they wanted to keep the migrates within their grasp by upping the PS4's graphical capabilities. He claims it's to give the PlayStation ecosystem the "highest" and "best" performance quality.
Realistically, if House made the comments in relation to competition from Microsoft and the Xbox brand -- which has made a huge turnaround since the disastrous debut in 2013 -- I think he would have a point. Trying to compete with the PC ecosystem is a silly and disastrous move for Sony. Right now you can get a $500 PC that outperforms a PS4 when it comes to 1080p and 60fps gaming. In fact, you can get a $90 GTX GPU if you shop around that completely trumps the Xbox One and PS4 in terms of raw performance. Trying to compete on the graphics front is just a bad move all the way around.
A lot of people look for consoles for easy-of-use, playability and originality. The problem is that consoles have adopted one too many of the ways of PC and have diminished the integrity of their identity within the living room ecosystem. You now have to regularly update your PS4 or Xbox One to make use of them, and this sometimes includes having to wait for those updates to load before using the systems. It's identical to the automatic updates that PCs receive... only on PC you can turn off the auto-updates and still play your games and use most services.
Consoles also now have game patches, something that used to be exclusive to PC. Now both console and PC gamers have to wait for day-one patches to be installed before playing the game.
Previously you could just put in a console game and boot it right off the disc; now you have to install every console game just the same way you have to install a PC game.
Some console games even include graphical settings to tweak, like Project CARS. In the past graphics tweaking was limited mostly to PC titles.
In a bid to be more like PC, the consoles are slowly losing their identity. Patches, updates, graphics tweaks, system requirements... those are all things you have to deal with on PC. For some consumers it turns into a question of why not just get a PC? At $399 the PS4 Pro still undercuts most PCs that would easily outperform it for just a $100 or $200 more. But Sony should be focusing on creating unique new ways to have fun with the PlayStation brand, not trying to compete in the graphics race against PCs, which have moved several generations beyond consoles based on the current crop of high-end GPUs on the market.