After months of leaked info and teasing images, today brought the long awaited official announcement of the PS4 Pro console by Sony. Once known as the PS4 Neo, the PS4 Pro is exactly what it sounds like: an upgrade on, but not complete reinvention of, the PS4 hardware. The Pro will retail for $399, the same price that the original PS4 console initially sold for. The Pro will also hit shelves nearly three years to the day of the original PS4's North American launch. A new slim version of the standard PS4 will arrive in stores next week as well.
After a time spent in third place during the PS3 generation, the PS4 has been a huge success for Sony, dominating the console market against competitors the Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U. As of early this summer, the PS4 had already sold over 40 millions units, and that number has likely climbed even higher in the months since. The PS4 Pro isn't the only upgraded console to see release in 2016, with the Microsoft Xbox One S officially launching on August 2.
Unfortunately, Sony has now reportedly confirmed that while gamers are definitely in store for an upgraded experience with the PS4 Pro, movie lovers aren't so lucky. For some inexplicable reason, Sony has opted to not upgrade the capabilities of the PS4's disc drive for the Pro, effectively ignoring all the customers who've long since wanted the console to play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Most assumed implementing this upgrade would be a no-brainer for Sony, as the Xbox One S is fully capable of playing 4k Blu-rays.
In response to the news, Xbox Live bigwig Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb fired off this stinging counterpoint to those disappointed by the PS4 Pro's lack of 4K Blu-ray support:
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) September 7, 2016
One reason this decision feels so odd is the fact that Sony as a company was heavily instrumental in not only the creation of the Blu-ray standard but also leading it to victory in a short-lived HD disc format war with the Toshiba and Microsoft backed HD DVD. In fact, a major factor in Blu-ray winning that war was Sony's decision to include a Blu-ray drive in the PS3, which launched only a few months after the initial wave of Blu-ray movies became available to the masses. This ensured that anyone who purchased a PS3 console also - even if it wasn't their main reason for buying - became an early adopter of Blu-ray discs.
With Sony's strong efforts to support the market share of standard Blu-ray, it seems quite perplexing that the company has chosen to not even try and do the same for the burgeoning 4k Ultra HD optical disc format, especially when its chief console rival has already done so with the Xbox One S.
While it's true that the physical media market has dipped quite a bit in the last decade, it's far from completely dead, even with the rise of streaming. Sure, the PS4 Pro can stream Netflix in 4k resolution, but no streaming service out there can match the quality of a full bitrate Ultra HD disc. Until that happens, some folks will continue to prefer the disc option, and Sony has taken a big risk by leaving those people out in the cold.
The PS4 Pro will be available starting November 10th, 2016.
Source: The Verge