Sony held its Playstation Meeting event in New York City yesterday and they finally broke their silence about the future of their trademark console.
First off, after numerous leaks over the last couple weeks leading up to the event, Sony announced the Playstation 4 Slim. This will now serve as the base model of the Playstation 4 and will retail at $299 in the U.S. None of the specs have changed from the current Playstation 4 with the Slim model, however Sony also announced that next week they would be releasing a firmware update that would enable every single Playstation 4 sold since day one to take advantage of HDR (High Dynamic Range) gaming. I think this is amazing news to gamers that maybe have a HDR capable television but aren’t quite sold on upgrading consoles yet.
Next Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, discussed Sony’s decision to pursue 4k and HDR in gaming. Which lead to the moment we all had been waiting for. The upgraded PS4 codenamed ‘Neo’ was finally unveiled under the name Playstation 4 Pro. The Pro will come fully capable of true 4k and HDR gaming, a GPU that is dounle the power of the one in the current PS4, the CPU ‘clockspeed’ has been boosted allowing for faster processing speeds, and a 1tb hard drive. These allow the PS4 Pro to reach resolutions “not thought possible on consoles” in 2016. Lead Architect Mark Cerny took the stage to show off a few games running on the PS4 Pro. Cerny said that Sony’s vision is to “take the PS4 experience to extraordinary new levels. Our goal is to deliver high-fidelity graphical experiences,” he added. “We aim to provide developers with tools to further their visions.” Cerny showed footage from games such as the upcoming Spiderman game from Insomniac and Ubisoft’s For Honor, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Cerny described the new resolution capabilities of the PS4 Pro and its impact on games as “transformative.”
Sony Bend’s Days Gone was used to show how HDR can deliver “a level of photorealism that you’ve never experienced in a game.” Cerny said Sony doesn’t expect developers to support HDR from the outset, but believes those that do will see huge visual improvements. Cerny clarified that PS4 Pro isn’t just for people with 4k or HDR-capable displays, as developers can make use of the extra power to improve visual fidelity on standard 1080p TVs. Games will know what display you use and developers can tailor their experiences to fit. The extra power can be used to boost visual density or make other tweaks to visuals that can be enjoyed on non-4k TVs. Patches for “over a half-dozen Sony titles” are in the works to take advantage of PS4 Pro and many third-party developers are also working on releasing patches to take advantage of the new hardware.
The same discs and downloads will run on both models of PS4 but play in different ways. Sony has said it is asking publishing partners to consider how they can best use PS4 Pro on standard HDTVs and 4K. Activision appeared on stage during the event to announce both Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare 4 Remastered will support PS4 Pro when the hardware launches. Additionally, a title update for Black Ops 3 will also allow for Treyarch’s game to harness the new horsepower. EA followed, confirming FIFA 17, Battlefield 1, and Mass Effect: Andromeda will support PS4 Pro. New gameplay for Mass Effect: Andromeda was shown running in 4K, it offered a look at the game’s new protagonist exploring a dark cavern using a jetpack. At the end of the conference, House announced that Netflix and YouTube are developing apps that will take advantage of the 4k and HDR capabilities. House ended the meeting announcing that the PS4 Pro will drop on November 10th of this year at $399.
Overall I think it was a good conference. Sony announced everything I was hoping they would including a price and release date. I was a little hesitant that it might have been like Microsoft’s announcement of the Scorpio at E3 where they didn’t show the console or give us a solid release date outside of saying Holidays 2017. I think the fact that Sony is releasing the firmware update next week that will make every single PS4 HDR capable will prove to be a beneficial design decision. With that announcement you almost have to wonder, ‘what is the point of the PS4 Pro then?’ Well obviously you are also getting 4K but as I said earlier, Cerny said that even if you don’t have a 4k HDR-capable TV you will still see a vast improvement in visual fidelity and processing speeds. It’s just that with a 4K HDR TV you are reaching the consoles full potential. I for one can not wait for this new console to launch. I have been planning on upgrading my display to 4k HDR for a little while now so this just gives me another reason to do so. I believe that Gamestop is already taking pre-orders for the PS4 Pro.
Keep it here on SportsNerdWeb for more on the PS4 Pro in the coming weeks. Let me know what you think of the new console in the comments and dont forget to follow! CHEERS!!