In case you live under a rock, a cave on Mars or under a rock IN a cave on Mars – you have missed a pretty big press conference; the Sony meeting. Usually this goes by relatively un-noticed by the general gaming public because, to be honest, nothing really happens for us.
This year is different though, rumours of iterative PS4 (referred to those “in the know” as the NEO or PS$K) had been doing the rounds since last year (remember this post?), on top of the massive leak of the new PS4 Slim model doing the rounds on the socials. Interest was high based on TWO new consoles – and as it transpired this interest was well warranted.
Why is that you ask? Well dear reader, I’m here to keep you from trawling the internet for the details of these new consoles as well as saving you the pain of sitting through lengthy tech talk (that was boring as shit) – here’s what went down at the Sony meeting.
Playstation 4 Pro
This is the NEO! An iterative model of the Playstation 4. Boasting double the GPU power of the OG model, a CPU that has also been boosted and High Dynamic Range colour (that’s HDR to me and you) the Pro is the “new home of 4K gaming”.
The PS4 Pro promises to deliver 4K graphics through a software solution called “checkerboard rendering” through the hardware. This allows the console to display a 4K signal without the massive strain usually associated with the resolution. Apparently it comes at no extra GPU/SPU cost! And it i reportedly hugely effective and an ingenious solution to a very real problem. It is worth stating that the console is capable of displaying games in native 4K, Sony have shown ‘The Last of Us’ being played in 4k at 30 frames per second.
On top of hardware driven 4K we also have HDR or High Dynamic Range, a process that gives the display access to a wider range of colours and tones; it gives the images on-screen a much more realistic appearance that is closer to how we actually view colour in the real world. Simply put, every colour looks much more natural and realistic. The best news about HDR is that it’s being added to EVERY PS4 in September, in a free update!
On top of this the PS4 Pro promises that every game on the current PS4 and on the platform going forward are fully compatible, will receive a performance boost (if the developers patch it in) and will have a number of options available to the player:
- on a 2K TV all content is optimised to 1080p using downsampling
- on a 4k TV all content will display as is – any 1080p content will be upscaled to 4K
- on a 4K HDR TV is the optimal display; everything will be upscaled to this standard if it is supported.
It looks a great update and the price makes it very attractive indeed – the system is priced at £350 and to be honest, it looks to be a great deal. Although it should be noted that to meet this price point Sony have skipped on the UHD Blu Ray drive, so if that’s important to you then please keep it in mind when making your purchasing decision. It does support YouTube 4k and Netflix 4K streaming so there is content to watch in the native resolution (although 4k streaming does require 5Mbps connection). The PS4 Pro will also upscale DVDs and standard blu ray.
One last thing, when you connect the new DS4 controller to the console via USB it acts as a wired controller! Thats right, it communicates with the console via the cable which should make it much more responsive for competitive fight games. Enjoy, SFV fans!]
PS4 Pro is clearly aimed at allowing Playstation players to “have it their way” and it looks to be a great iteration on a great console.
To be honest we didn’t see much in the way of games at this meeting; it was a conference that lasted only 45 minutes after all. However we were treated to snippets of ‘Spiderman’, ‘Days Gone’, ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’, ‘For Honor’ and ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’. All these games looked fantastic and it only whetted my appetite for this console – ‘Spiderman’ in particular (even though it was literally a few seconds of footage) looked incredible – I think I’ll pick it up with a Pro.
The console that has been for sale on eBay for 3 weeks before its official announcement has been officially announced.
It is NOT a new SKU and will not be sold alongside the OG console. Like every console refresh Sony has done, it will replace the OG model. This model is apparently 30% smaller, 25% lighter and uses over 30% less energy when compared to the OG.
Its design is actually very nice, but it does have a distinctly less premium aesthetic. Gone are the low profile touch sensors and in their place are actual, plastic buttons (with lights) so no more shall you be confused about where the eject button is! The remodelled DS4 features a see through strip on the touch pad which creates a forward facing light so the player can see the display functionality more clearly.
Of course it supports HDR like all other PS4 consoles and it goes on sale for £299 – please note that this model does NOT have an optical port so those of you whose headphones or speaker setup that runs on optical, this is not compatible!
Overall this show was no-frills but it was good to finally see the Pro and all those delicious games on the Pro, I think I’m sold on the Pro to be honest but I won’t be purchasing it this year. I’m more than happy with my current PS4 and I cannot justify spending another £350 on Sony products – well that and MrsLuvva would murder me…
…As I said earlier I’ll pick it up with Spiderman.
What are your thoughts on the Playstation Pro and slim?
Tell me in the comments!