Microsoft struck first at E3 with the reveal of Project Scorpio, its upcoming Xbox console that will deliver “true 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR.” Now, it’s Sony's turn to reveal its PlayStation plans for VR. For months we’ve known it as the “PlayStation Neo,” but now it has an official name — the PlayStation 4 Pro.
The New Features
The new console is seen as a complement to the original PS4. However, it has multiple caabilities that make it stand out from its older brother. For starters, it will support 4K resolution as well as high-dynamic range (HDR), similar to Microsoft’s new Xbox One S console. However, it also has some upgraded components. The GPU on the PS Pro uses AMD’s Polaris architecture, and Sony also increased the CPU clock rate and implemented a 1 TB HDD for storage.
As far as titles are concerned, Mark Cerny, the lead system architect, showed off some games that will leverage the new PS4 Pro's abilities. For instance, games such as Ubisoft Montreal's For Honor, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Insomniac Games' new Spider-Man will support 4K resolution. Sucker Punch Production's Infamous First Light, which came out in 2014, as well as the upcoming Days Gone from Sony Interactive Entertainment's Bend Studios, will support HDR.
However, every PS4 owner will get to utilize the HDR feature; Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House mentioned that HDR support will come in a firmware update that arrives next week.
The addition of 4K resolution support also means that you have access to entertainment that supports the resolution. This includes 4K content on Netflix and YouTube, both of which will have apps on the new PS4 Pro.
If you don’t have access to a 4K TV, the PS4 Pro still adds some visual upgrades to specific games. One such example was Monolith Production’s Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which utilized supersampling anti-aliasing in its latest footage.
However, the biggest factor for the PS4 Pro is the use of PlayStation VR. According to Cerny, developers can have increased framerates and better texture for their VR games on the new console. Cerny showcased Impulse Gear’s sci-fi shooter Farpoint, which has improved textures on the PS4 Pro.
Support For The Old And New
The lineup of titles that support that PlayStation 4 Pro is impressive, to say the least. Activision CEO Andy Hendrickson mentioned that the new Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered will be playable on the PS4 Pro. Call of Duty: Black Ops III players will also get to play the game on the new console with a future update.
EA also made an appearance and said that the upcoming FIFA 17 soccer game as well as the popular Battlefield 1 will be available on the console. It also showed off some early gameplay footage of Mass Effect: Andromeda, which will also be playable on the new console.
However, the PS4 Pro lineup won’t be strictly limited to a select number of games. House said that all future titles, whether they are disc-based or digital, will work on both the PS4 Pro as well as the base PlayStation 4, so you don’t have to worry about buying a new version of a game that you already own. He also said that publishers and developers should support 4K and HDR features with their titles, although it wasn’t mandatory.
Coming Very Soon
Whereas Microsoft’s Project Scorpio doesn’t arrive until Holiday 2017, Sony didn’t want to wait too long for the release of the PS4 Pro. It will arrive on November 10 with a price of $399, which is near the current price of the original PlayStation 4.
The timing obviously coincides with the start of the holiday season, but more importantly, it comes a month after the release of PlayStation VR. You can still enjoy PSVR content on the old and new PlayStation 4 consoles, but the PS4 Pro offers a slightly better visual experience that you won’t get if you have the original PS4 or the new (and smaller) variant.