Sony finally confirms the existence of its upgraded console, unveiling the PlayStation 4 Pro as a higher-end model of the current-gen console with 4K capabilities.
The development of an upgraded PS4 console has been less of a rumor in recent months and more of an eventuality. Although Sony initially attempted to diffuse the news reports swirling around what insiders termed the PlayStation 4 NEO, it has never truly been in doubt that the gaming industry giant was hard at work on a brand new console. Just what that new console was capable of and how it worked alongside the already existing PS4 models, however, was the true basis of gamer speculation – just how would Sony approach a mid-generation console upgrade?
Those questions finally have answers, as Sony unveiled the PS4 Pro at the PlayStation Meeting 2016 today. Sony was quick to point out that the PS4 Pro is not intended to “blur the lines between console generations”, instead suggesting that the current models of the PS4 already push gaming on 1080p displays to their limit. In order to continue pushing forward, then, Sony has designed the PS4 Pro, a console that supports both 4K and HDR displays.
Mark Cerny, the PS4 Pro’s lead system architect, delved deeper into what gamers can expect out of the PS4 Pro. Cerny stated that the PS4 Pro more than doubles the current power of the PS4 GPU, while the base model of the new console will also come equipped with a 1TB hard drive. Cerny also stated that the PS4 Pro would make PS VR experiences “more immersive”, although given that the technology has yet to debut it is difficult to ascertain just what that means. While both of these features obviously represent a significant upgrade to the current default model of the PS4, the PS4 Pro has also been designed to work with existing games.
Cerny also addressed potential concerns over save game data and previous progress for those PS4 gamers interested in switching over to the PS4 Pro model. Cerny stated that Sony was already hard at work on developing methods to transfer data between the two consoles. Sony’s presentation of the PS4 Pro also featured demonstrations of games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Watch Dogs 2, and the difference in quality was notable enough that Sony’s desire to support a native 4K resolution seems more grounded in a genuine desire for progress rather than a smaller upgrade, like many consider the newly announced PS4 Slim to be.
The PS4 Pro looks different enough from the PS4 that it should entice a large number of gamers to at least consider upgrading their current console situation. Sony clearly believes in its new product, and even coupled brand new footage from Horizon: Zero Dawn at the end of the announcement to show just how drastic the graphics upgrade truly is. Time will tell just how much gamers are interested in 4K technology, but for now, the future looks bright for Sony.
The PlayStation 4 Pro will be available worldwide on November 10, 2016 for $399 USD.
Source: PlayStation Meeting 2016