As Apple brought its iPhone 7 event to a close in San Francisco, Sony took to the stage in New York City today to announce the latest upgrades to its console lineup.
As was rumored in the months leading up to the event, the company has revealed a new, slimmer PlayStation 4 with unchanged internals and an upgraded, 4K-compatible variant called the PS4 Pro. Let’s jump right into specifications, price and release date.
The New, Slimmer PlayStation 4 (PS4 Slim)
The new base-model PlayStation 4 comes boasts a slimmer, lighter design identical to the leaks that preceded the event, with rounded corners and a familiar angular form factor. The cosmetic upgrade reduces volume by 30%, weight by 16%, and power consumption by 28%. Sony didn’t announce any changes to the internals of the console, or give it a new name, which indicates it will be replacing the original. The slim PS4 hits the shelves on September 15 at a tempting price of $299.
It will be HDR-capable on launch while the current PS4 will be receiving the same feature via a firmware update slated for next week.
PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro)
The PlayStation 4 Pro is, as its name clearly implies, an upgrade for the hardcore gamer. The new console takes advantage of the latest display technology in a variety of ways to offer greater detail and richer visuals.
To power said visuals, the new console makes use of an upgraded GPU with more than twice the power of the one in the current PS4 as well as a faster CPU, and to compensate for games that are likely to bulk up on required storage space to offer increased detail, it packs a 1TB HDD.
4K and HDR-Capable Gaming
Perhaps the biggest new feature that the PS4 Pro brings to the table is 4K gaming, the same feature slated for the Microsoft’s Xbox lineup with Project Scorpio next year. The console’s new GPU will allow games to run at UHD on compatible displays and to compliment the level of detail that the resolution offers, it will support HDR (High Dynamic Range), which will add a dash of realism to the visuals with richer colors as well as better highlights and shadows.
Sony demonstrated the experience that the two features offers with demos of current and upcoming games tailored for the 4K and HDR experience, including For Honor, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Watch Dogs 2, Horizon Zero Dawn and the new Spider-Man game announced at this year’s E3.
Watch 4K footage of Horizon Zero Dawn from PS4 Pro below.
The new console opens up the possibility for game developers to update older titles with advanced visuals that make better use of the Pro’s upgraded internals. Sony is calling this “Forward Compatibility” and demoed a couple titles that are already in line to receive such updates.
Streaming Services with 4K and HDR Content
Sony revealed it will be collaborating with streaming services to bring their apps to the PS4 Pro. The first app to come to the console will be from Netflix, which launches alongside the console with 600 hours of 4K and HDR content.
It’s important to note that while PS4 Pro can stream and play 4K and HDR video content from streaming services, and can also play 4K and HDR games, it cannot play video from 4K Blu-rays like the Xbox One S can.
As with all other games, the PlayStation 4 Pro’s improved internals promise higher frame rates, greater pixel count and overall detail for PlayStation VR titles as well.
The PlayStation 4 Pro goes on sale for $399 on November 10. Pre-orders are live already!
Pre-order: PS4 Pro 1TB from Amazon: $399