After the shock announcement that Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 Pro does not act as a 4K Blu-ray disc player, Sony reveals its reasoning behind a lack of 4K Blu-ray support.
The fact that Sony has been diligently working on an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4 is one of the worst kept secrets in video games. Finally, the company confirmed that the project was on the way, and that this beefed up PlayStation 4 was going to be known as the PlayStation 4 Pro. However, even though many knew that the console was coming, the official reveal of the device threw up some rather surprising design choices.
Immediately, some Sony fans noticed that one particular feature appeared to be missing, as the PlayStation 4 Pro would not support 4K Blu-ray playback. This came as a shock to many, particularly given Sony's history with Blu-ray support. However, the company has now revealed exactly why 4K Blu-ray support is not on the cards, and it comes down to a growing trend in video media.
According to Sony Interactive Entertainment head Andrew House, there is simply a lack of enthusiasm for physical 4K video. "Our feeling is that while physical media continues to be a big part of the games business, we see a trend on video towards streaming," explained House to The Guardian. "Certainly with our user base, it’s the second biggest use case for people’s time on the system so we place more emphasis on that area."
Indeed, Sony does seem to be taking 4K video seriously when it comes to streaming. Alongside the launch of the PlayStation 4 Pro, the device will also have access to new Netflix and YouTube apps, which will allow console owners to stream video from both sources in 4K. Nonetheless, many gamers may still find the decision a bit odd - particularly when even the streamlined Xbox One S is going to include Ultra HD Blu-ray functionality.
Indeed, Microsoft was quick to pick up on the apparent larger scope of features for its upcoming Xbox range, taking the time to respond to the PlayStation 4 Pro reveal. Apparently Microsoft is feeling confident in the additional choices that the Xbox One S will give players, and in the more powerful hardware of Xbox Project Scorpio. Of course, with Scorpio still a long way from being released, the PlayStation 4 Pro could pick up plenty of owners in the meantime.
It's also worth noting that the PlayStation 4 Pro is hardly a pushover, with almost twice the power of the original PS4. Nonetheless, pure power is not always enough for a console to succeed, and Sony will be hoping that the lack of 4K Blu-ray support does not act as a sticking point for gamers. Instead, the company will be expecting that the focus on gaming, as shown by the trailer for Horizon: Zero Dawn, makes the console a must-have device.
The PlayStation 4 Pro will be released on November 10, 2016.
Source: The Guardian