After months of anticipation, rumors and leaks, Sony has finally officially revealed the first upgraded version of the PlayStation 4, which until today had been dubbed the PlayStation 4 Neo. The console is actually called the PS4 Pro, and as previously reported will support gaming on 4K and HDR displays, as well as offering more power thanks to an improved GPU and CPU, a 1TB hard drive, 60fps gameplay and, according to lead system architect Mark Cerny, will make VR experiences “more immersive.”
The announcement came during Sony’s PlayStation Meeting 2016, which took place today at New York’s PlayStation Theater, and also included the reveal of new gameplay footage from highly-anticipated sci-fi RPG sequel Mass Effect Andromeda, as well as demonstrations from Horizon: Zero Dawn and Watch Dogs 2. The PS4 Pro will retail at $399 (the same as the original PS4 when it launched) and will release on November 10th, 2016
In addition to the PS4 Pro, Sony also officially announced a new slim version of the original PS4, which will release on September 15th with a price point of $299. This wasn’t much of a surprise, as slim PS4 units had already found their way into the hands of consumers, and one game journalist had already published an unboxing video confirming the console’s existence. During the event it was also announced the current PS4 owners won’t have to buy the PS4 Pro in order to experience games in HDR, as a firmware upgrade coming next week will make all PS4s HDR capable.
The gameplay footage shown demonstrated that the PS4 Pro provides a noticeable improvement in graphics from its predecessor, and while it may only be of interest to gamers with 4K displays, or those who are also planning to buy PlayStation VR, it should convince quite a few PS4 owners to make the upgrade (and long-time holdouts to finally make the leap from PS3).
Of course, the usefulness of 4K displays in a home setting is still a matter of debate, since most TV screens are too small for people to be able to notice the difference in the number of pixels (during a live blog Ars Technica quipped, “On the huge, central projector screen, you get more out of the 4K resolution“). With that said, the PS4 Pro does seem to come with an overall power upgrade, so even if the 4K isn’t worth it then the other features could well be.
The PS4 Pro will be available to buy from November 10th, 2016.
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