With the PS5 on the horizon, is a PS4 still worth buying in 2020?

Quite a conundrum.

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Later this year, Sony is set to release its long-awaited next-gen console, the PlayStation 5. Compared to the PS4, the PS5 is much more powerful thanks to a new chipset as well as a blazing-fast SSD. The PS5 also features a revamped controller called the DualSense, and it packs impressive new tech such as triggers with haptic feedback. To top it all off, the PS5 will be backwards-compatible with a selection of PS4 titles, meaning major PS4 games should run fine on the next-gen PlayStation.

The PS5’s backwards compatibility is no doubt a great feature, especially as it means PS4 users who upgrade will be able to play titles in their existing PS4 library. Backwards compatibility also means that waiting for the PS5 to release might seem like a better deal. After all, if you wait to get the PS5, not only will you be able to play next-gen games, you’ll also have access to acclaimed PS4 titles.

This now begs the question: Is the PS4 still worth buying right now?


A PS4 is still worth getting right now

The start of a new console generation is always exciting, but it doesn’t mean the previous gen console will immediately be dropped. For instance, back in September 2015, Metal Gear Solid V released on the PS4 as well as on the PS3 – that’s nearly two years into the release of the PS4. Another game is Persona 5, which released on the PS3 and the PS4 in 2017. Looking back over a decade ago, PS2 games also continued to release even with the PS3 already out on the market for a couple of years. What this means is that even if you buy a PS4 right now, you likely won’t miss out on new games in the next couple of years.

There’s also the fact that during every new console release, games that take advantage of the powerful new hardware only usually release a couple of years into the console’s life cycle. Take for instance Uncharted 4, a game praised for taking full advantage of the PS4’s power graphics-wise; that game was released in May 2016, around two-and-a-half years since the PS4’s release.

As for price, while we don’t know how much the PS5 will cost upon release, it will for sure be more expensive than the PS4. Sure, cross-gen titles will probably not look as good on the PS4, but if you just want to game, the PS4 is still very much worth it. If you do decide on getting a PS4, buying either a PS4 slim or Pro will be entirely dependent on your budget, as well as your display. If you have a 4K TV/monitor, then the PS4 Pro is a great option. If not, the base PS4 might be a better deal.


Waiting for the PS5 is also a valid option

The PS4’s strong lineup of games is why getting a PS4 this year is still worth it, but it’s also the reason why waiting for the PS5 might be the better option for some. While a PS5 will definitely cost more upfront compared to a PS4, it will able to access major PS4 titles all while providing a true next-gen experience.

Sure, the PS5 might not get the killer exclusives (the likes of God of War or Horizon Zero Dawn) during the first year or two; but when the time comes that the truly great PS5 exclusives release, you’ll be able to play them ASAP if you bought the PS5 early. Because of this, you can think of buying a PS5 as an investment for the next few years. If future PS5 games match (or even exceed) the quality of the recent Unreal Engine 5 tech demo, investing on a PS5 will prove to be a good choice. Plus, if game development does become faster thanks to the new tech of the PS5 (as mentioned during the Unreal Engine 5 showcase), we might see killer exclusives come out earlier than expected, making for an even stronger argument for the PS5.

A possible design of the PS5 dev kit.

There’s also the fact that we don’t really know what to expect right now regarding the PS5’s launch lineup. Who knows, Sony might just surprise us with a strong list of exclusive launch titles. If that happens, getting a PS5 at launch will be much more tempting.

If you want to play PS4 games now or if you just want to get the cheapest possible PlayStation option, getting a PS4 right now is a great choice. On the other hand, if you’re excited for the next generation and can see yourself playing next-gen games in the coming years, then waiting and investing on a PS5 might be the better option. At the end of the day, getting a PS4 in 2020 or waiting for the PS5 to release will depend entirely on your preference (and budget).

So what do you think? Is a PS4 still worth buying now, or would you rather wait for the PS5 to release? Sound off on the comments below!