Sony’s long-anticipated upgraded model of the PS4, previously called Neo, has now been officially revealed as the PS4 Pro. It boasts 4K output capabilities, a 1 TB hard drive, and a GPU that’s over twice as fast as in the original model.
Mark Cerny promised PS4 Pro “is not intended to blur the lines between console generations,” but he also said 4K on consoles is “unheard of in 2016,” so I wouldn’t put that much trust in his words. He also talked a lot about a display feature called HDR, for “high dynamic range.” Basically it enhances colors and makes them bolder. Like 4K, you would need a display that’s capable of showing such a thing to see it. BUT you won’t need a PS4 Pro, because as Sony revealed later, a coming firmware update will make every PS4 HDR capable in a week.
All PS4 games optimized for PS4 Pro will play on the original PS4, but there’ll be special graphical enhancements applied when played on the new machine. To illustrate this point, demos were shown from the PS4’s upcoming Spider-Man game, Watch Dogs 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider and others. Some games that have already been released will be patched to take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s extra power. Infamous: First Light was announced as one of those games (because of all the glowy effects that can be enhanced on an HDR display).
Activision CTO Andy Hendrickson took the stage and spoke a few words of silence before realizing his mike wasn’t on. Once he was handed an extra one, he began talking about how PS4 Pro enhances Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. We were then shown the first glimpse of a new mission that takes place on a space station NEAR THE SURFACE OF THE SUN populated by killer droids that charge in waves. Even without all those graphical enhancements, it’s gonna be nuts. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will get a graphics boost from PS4 Pro too, through a new patch.
As the current pervasive pace of technology stands, only those who own the newest and most expensive displays will get anything noticeably different out of PS4 Pro. Those interested in Playstation VR should think about the investment as well, but for the majority of gamers, it’s not a necessity yet.
PS4 Pro launches November 10, 2016 at a price of $399.