When news of the upgraded Xbox One (the rather grandly-named Project Scorpio) dropped at E3 this year, there was one question on the lips of every Sony fan; where the bobbins is the Playstation Neo? The Neo was the codename given to the potential PS4.5, and there was not even a hint of it at E3, so it was a genuine surprise to everyone when it was officially announced yesterday as part of the “Playstation Meeting” stream as the Playstation 4 Pro. It was even more surprising when the release date was mentioned. November 10. Considering the Microsoft Scorpio (or whatever they eventually call it) isn't due to hit shelves until late 2017 at the earliest, this is very encouraging news if you're one of those people who still hold stock in the idea of “Console wars” and chose to back Sony's big black box over Microsoft's big black box.
The Pro has been designed to be the most powerful games console on the planet, with full 4K rendering capabilities, a 1TB hard drive and a clock speed more than twice as fast as the original PS4. PlayStation boss Andrew House said of the new beast: “The Playstation 4 Pro is targeted towards the hardcore gamer or those who have invested in high end display technology, and even if you own an HDTV that does not support either 4K or HDR, PS4 Pro still provides a number of benefits. All games will run in 1080p resolution, and some will even run in a higher or more stable frame rate. If you’re a gamer that wants to be at the forefront of innovation, PS4 Pro is for you.”
In case you're still on the fence about whether to upgrade your current PS4 or wait for the recently announced PS4 Slim, or if you are a PC gamer or casual gamer looking to buy your first console and want to know exactly what it is you'll be getting for your £350, we've collated all the major facts about the PS4 Pro right here. If we've missed anything important, please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
The Games – Several forthcoming titles from Sony and third-party publishers are set to support the expanded features of the PS4 Pro, including Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Fifa 17 and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Sony also announced that many older titles will receive patches to take advantage of the Pro’s new graphical capabilities, including Uncharted 4 and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. There will, however, be no exclusive PS4 Pro titles, which we feel is a very smart move indeed, as the last thing Sony want to do is alienate their existing install base.
Movies and TV – New apps from Netflix and YouTube will bring full 4K content to the PS4 for the first time. The new console will not, however, support 4K Blu-Ray discs, which actually sets it behind the recently released Xbox One S in at least one aspect. The Pro will also feature HDR (high dynamic range) visual support, meaning a far greater dynamic range that needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. HDR is also coming to all original PS4 consoles via an update next week!
Virtual Reality – With the great furore surrounding the release of PS VR, which will launch mere weeks before the new console, it's only natural that the Pro would provide a more refined VR experience. The increased system power will pave the way for true 4K resolution games, as well as more visually detailed virtual reality titles to support Sony’s PlayStation VR headset which is launching on 13 October. The original PS4 will still be able to run virtual reality titles, but with lower screen resolutions and lower frame rates.
The Power – System architect Mark Cerny has promised that the new model has twice the graphics processing power, with a GPU based on, and exceeding, AMD’s new Polaris tech. For those that understand computer jargon, the PlayStation 4 Pro features an x86-64 AMD Jaguar, eight-core CPU and an AMD Radeon-based graphics engine, promising a performance of 4.20 teraflops (floating-point operations per second). Fancy! Size wise, it's about the size of two PS4 Slim consoles.