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Should I buy a PS4?

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A look at Sony’s ecosystem before the holidays

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The front of the PlayStation 4 Pro, featuring 2 USB 3.0 ports Scott Nelson/Vox Studios

We told you not to buy a new console in May of this year, due to the fact that we had little concrete information about what was coming down the line at E3.

We knew that new hardware would be released, and perhaps even new controllers on the Sony side. Price drops might or might not happen. It has all been a bit turbulent but, leaving aside the Microsoft end of things, we can absolutely say we’re back at the point where it’s safe to buy a PlayStation 4, if you’re so inclined.

The PlayStation 4 Pro is out

You can pick up a PlayStation 4 Pro for $399, and here is a pretty detailed analysis of whether you need to buy one. If you don’t mind spending the extra money for some better visuals — especially if you have a 4K television — the Pro is the best way to jump into the PlayStation 4 family of products.

There are some drawbacks, though. The most baffling omission is still the lack of 4K Blu-ray support, which makes little sense for a product that’s aimed at early adopters interested in the highest visual fidelity. Streaming 4K content still can’t reliably match physical media, and it chews through bandwidth like a buzzsaw.

In comparison, the Xbox One S supports 4K Blu-rays, and Microsoft has confirmed to Polygon that the upcoming Project Scorpio will as well.

PlayStation VR sitting on top of a PlayStation 4 Pro Vox Studios

We also explored how the Pro will improve things visually if you’re using the PlayStation VR, and so far the improvements are welcome but subtle. We reviewed the PlayStation VR on a standard PlayStation 4 console, and that’s likely how the majority of players will use the hardware.

Better VR performance adds value to the PlayStation 4 Pro, but don’t expect a large step up from the standard experience. And that standard experience is already pretty great.

There may be some limited bundles with a free game or some credit if you buy a PlayStation 4 Pro during Black Friday, but it’s unlikely there will be anything that dramatically changes the value proposition. If you read all this and still want a PlayStation 4 Pro, the $399 price won’t change in the near future and it’s safe to jump in.

It’s open season on the PlayStation 4

Since we know what the PlayStation 4 Pro is, how it performance and how much it costs, you likely already have a pretty solid idea of whether you need one if you’re just now joining the PlayStation 4 family. If the answer is no, congratulations. There’s never been a better time to get a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Slim.

$249 is a great price for the Slim, and with many of the deals above you’ll get some extra games on top of the standard bundles. Those are mostly Black Friday prices and deals though, so be ready to stand in line.

PlayStation 4 Pro / launch PlayStation 4 Scott Nelson/Vox Studios

If you don’t feel the need to stand in line to save the extra money or get the free games, the standard $300 PlayStation 4 Slim price with Uncharted 4 isn’t bad at all. It also doesn’t look like GameStop is dropping the price on non-Slim or used systems that much, so a new Slim seems to be the way to go.

The PlayStation 4 is going to be in plentiful supply, the prices are low and retailers are fighting for your dollar this holiday season. If you don’t need or want a Pro, there are going to be some great deals out there, even after Black Friday.

Wait, does the Vita still exists?

It looks like it does, sure!