As expected, Sony has revealed their new 4K enabled PlayStation 4 during tonight's PlayStation Meeting conference held in New York. Previously known as the PlayStation Neo, the new console has been officially named the PlayStation 4 Pro. It will be released on November 10th 2016 and retail for £349/$399 which was the same price point as the original PS4 in 2013.
Sony is pitching the PS4 Pro to hardcore gamers, with support for 4K televisions and HDR technology which delivers higher resolutions and richer colours (HDR support is also coming to standard PS4s in a firmware upgrade next week).
The PS4 Pro will be a more powerful machine with more than double the CPU power of the original PS4 allowing support for 4K resolutions for more detailed graphics, and a higher clock-rate which will improve frame-rates. It will also ship with a 1TB hard drive compared to the 500GB hard drive of the standard PS4.
Future games that will support the benefits of PlayStation 4 Pro include Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Days Gone. Existing PS4 games such as Uncharted 4 will also receive a patch update that will enhance the visuals and performance. Sony confirmed that "a number of games" are being patched to support the PlayStation 4's spec, including half a dozen first party titles. All existing PS4 games will work on PS4 Pro however in what Sony calls "Forward Compatibility", regardless if they are patched or not.
PlayStation VR games will also heavily benefit from PS4 Pro, with higher frame rates and improved visuals compared to the standard console.
Support for 4K streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube were also confirmed, but the biggest surprise is that the PS4 Pro will not include a 4K Blu-Ray player which was probably a factor to keep the price down.
Sony insists that the PS4 Pro is first and foremost a gaming machine, but it could still have been another selling point for both the console and the 4K Blu-Ray format - particularly as the PS3 was instrumental during Sony's format war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD. The Xbox One S releasing this month does include 4K Blu-Ray support, however, but cannot run games in a higher resolution - you'll have to wait until next year for Microsoft to join the 4K gaming era when they release their next console known as Project Scorpio.
Also announced was the PlayStation 4 Slim targeted at the entry-level market. It will offer the same functionality of the current standard PS4 and is due for release on September 15th at a lower price of £259/$299. It will replace the existing PS4 as the standard model.
It will be interesting to see how future racing games will harness the extra horsepower. Low frame-rates have been a common complaint of ours in many racing games of this generation, which could no longer be an issue on PS4 Pro.
What is your reaction to Sony's announcement of the PS4 Pro? Are you willing to upgrade your console mid-generation?