Here’s What You Need to Know About Sony’s New PS4 Pro
No longer the "Neo", Sony's new, not-quite-next-gen console is out in November 2016.
The Neo is no more. Despite everyone in the world calling PlayStation's next console by that name since it sort of, kind of leaked earlier in 2016, it turns out that the successor to the PS4 as we know it is simply the PS4 Pro. Makes sense, doesn't it? It does. Don't overthink it. It does.
At the system's reveal at the PlayStation Meeting in New York, a range of Sony personnel and third-party studio heads came on stage to sell the system's tech specs. Long story considerably shorter than it probably should be: all games that support HDR (high dynamic range) and 4K displays are going to look a lot prettier on the Pro than they will a regular PS4. Not that the regular PS4 is hanging around – as of September 15th, the standard PS4 becomes the "slim", as reported here. No more sharp corners; it's all curves from here. (Note that the console isn't formally called "the slim", but we've all been calling it that – it's sold simply as the PS4, as per the previous model.)
Both the "slim" and the Pro – which looks a lot more like the "outgoing" PS4 – will support Sony's PlayStation VR, but certain games will appear sharper in your headset when the studios behind them choose to take advantage of the Pro's capabilities. Likewise, any game that is designed to look super sweet on PS4 Pro will play just fine on an original PS4 – all of which will, via a firmware update in the coming days, become HDR compatible. Which makes all of those (showcased, no less) neon effects in Infamous First Light so sparkly that you can almost overlook that it's not so hot a game.
Sony's Mark Cerny said of the Pro, "it's not intended to blur the line between console generations" – basically, this is very much the "PlayStation 4.5" that a lot of the games media were anticipating, and not a fully blown next step into a new console generation.
Amongst the games showcased at the PlayStation Meeting were Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Watch Dogs 2, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Horizon Zero Dawn and Insomniac's forthcoming Spider Man title. They all looked very splendid indeed – although whether aesthetics alone will turn the heads of those already playing through other means, I don't know. PS4 Pro games running on HDR screens, in all their glorious 4K crispness, feature some amazing-looking fire, that's for sure, so pyromaniacs should form a disorderly queue.
Those wanting to put off the HDR not-yet-a-revolution can pick up the slim model PS4 for $299/£259. Wait a couple of months and the blockier, bigger PS4 Pro comes out on November the 10th, priced at $399/£349. There wasn't any significant mention of PS VR at the Meeting at all, beyond a little PS4 Pro Farpoint footage, but that's also a thing that you can spend money on this side of Christmas. Because that's what we're all made of, obviously.
Any tech-spec questions? Tweet at @MikeDiver, who really didn't want to fill this article with numbers.