13:41, 26 Oct 2016
The PS4 Pro, AKA the PS4 Neo, is now official and will be available to buy in stores and online in November. This is a pretty big deal for Sony, gamers, and the console market in general, as BIG updates usually only happen once in a blue moon. Take the time gap between the PS3 and PS4, for instance.
The reason for this increased frequency is mostly down to the advent of 4K TVs and the demand for 4K gaming experiences. There are other factors too, some well known, others more exotic, but this is the most obvious reason for Sony and Microsoft’s desire to implement 4K gaming as quickly as possible.
Things progress fast in technology. New chipsets come out each year and push forwards what’s possible with respect to gaming. Consoles are still not quite at the level of PC gaming rigs, but with the advancements made by Sony and Microsoft in 2016/17, the point where they’re equal is now closer than ever.
Interested in the PS4 Pro? You should be. Here’s six quick points on Sony’s brand spanking new PS4 console.
PS4 Pro: Price
First and most important, the price… which at just £350 is pretty damn impressive for a new console that features the level of improvements promised by the PS4 Pro.
How Sony managed to keep the price this low or whether they’re taking a loss on it remains to be seen. Either way, £350 for a 4K-ready gaming console is pretty damn impressive. Even more so when you factor in how much a decent 4K monitor will set you back for your PC.
PS4 Pro: Specs – Twice The Performance of The PS4
The specs for the PS4 Pro are damn impressive. Sony has now confirmed it will pack in around 2X the performance of the original PS4.
|Product name||PlayStation 4||PlayStation 4 Pro|
|Product code||CUH-2000 series||CUH-7000 series|
|Main processor||Single-chip custom processor||Single-chip custom processor|
|CPU: x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores||CPU: x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores|
|GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ based graphics engine||GPU: 4.20 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ based graphics engine|
|Memory||GDDR5 8GB||GDDR5 8GB|
|Storage size||500GB, 1TB||1TB|
|External dimensions||Approx. 265×39×288 mm (width × height × length)||Approx. 295×55×327 mm (width × height × length)|
|(excludes largest projection)||(excludes largest projection)|
|Mass||Approx 2.1kg||Approx 3.3kg|
|BD/ DVD drive (read only)||BD × 6 CAV||BD × 6 CAV|
|DVD × 8 CAV||DVD × 8 CAV|
|Input/ Output||Super-Speed USB (USB 3.1 Gen1) port × 2||Super-Speed USB (USB 3.1 Gen.1) port × 3|
|AUX port × 1||AUX port × 1|
|Networking||Ethernet（10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T）×1||Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)×1|
|IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Bluetooth 4||Bluetooth 4 (LE)|
|Power||AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz||AC 100V, 50/60Hz|
|Power consumption||Max 165W||Max 310W|
|Operating Temperature||5 ºC – 35ºC||5ºC – 35ºC|
|AV output||HDMI™ out port (HDR output supported)||HDMI™ out port (supports 4K/HDR)|
|DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) port|
PS4 Pro: How Will It Compare To Microsoft’s Xbox Project Scorpio?
Microsoft will be later to the party with its 4K-ready Xbox, currently codenamed the Xbox Project Scorpio. But coming late has its benefits, as Microsoft’s new Xbox is tipped to be more powerful than the PS4 Pro.
Microsoft claims Scorpio is capable of 6 TFLOPs of processing power, which is around 40% more power the PS4 Pro’s 4.2 TFLOPS. How this translates into actual real-world gaming remains to be seen. But that’s quite a big difference all the same…
PS4 Pro: Will Games ACTUALLY Be 4K?
Yes and No. Ahead of the launch, rumours suggested the PS4 Pro wouldn’t actually do native 4K content. However, after launch we now have a clearer picture of how it will work. Essentially, the PS4 Pro will upscale content and also allow gamers to develop and create affordable 4K content. Both Mantis Burn Racing and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor will run in native 4K, for instance.
“The upscaling technique that Sony built itself uses a native 1440p rendering,” notes Alphr, “with improved textures, lighting and so on, and then takes a 2×2 grid and bumps it to a 4×4 one. This checkerboard-rendering technique results in a stunning 2160p image that, according to Digital Foundry, is almost indistinguishable from a native 4K one, even up close. Apparently, on a side-by-side comparison on a 65in 4K screen, the demo running with checkerboard looked only slightly blurrier when looking up close. From afar, where most people sit when they play, it’s impossible for most people to notice the difference.”
Also: the PS4 Pro will feature HDR gaming and this is a very big deal.
According to Digital Foundry, the inclusion of HDR is as, if not more, important than improved resolution. Many, many current PS4 games are now being updated to support it, so while HDR isn’t a massive marketing angle it is still very important all the same.
There is no Blu-ray support, however, which kind of suggests that Sony believes the format is, like VHS and the cassette tape, pretty much dead.
PS4 Pro: How Will PlayStation VR Work?
The increased power of the PS4 Pro will add multiple benefits to the PlayStation VR experience. Things like improved textures and higher frame rates will combine to make a richer, more engaging experience.
The PS4 Pro is also capable of multi-resolution rendering, which basically means it can lower the resolution of anything you’re not looking and use the power that’s saved to make sure what you’re actually looking at looks brilliant.
Current VR games cannot make use of this feature, though, but you can bet your ass the second wave of VR games coming to the PS4 in 2017 will take full advantage.
PS4 Pro: Games
What games will you be able to play at launch? Will there be ANY 4K native content? Or are we looking at an upscaling-fest? Bizarrely, Sony has said there will be NO PS4 Pro exclusives at launch. Odd stuff, indeed. But the reasoning behind this is solid: Sony sees the current PS4 and PS4 Pro as one in the same with the only distinction being that one can render 4K games.
Nevertheless, virtually ALL PS4 games going forwards will take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s improvements from day one. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, The Last of Us Remastered, Infamous Second Son, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will all receive updates for full support for the PS4 Pro.
New games and content will launch, be available for both, though will run at 4K on the Pro version. Sony has done things this way in order to not alienate its core PS4 users that might not have a 4K TV and are happy with their current set-up. Personally, I think this is the only way Sony could have done it, so I am glad they’ve been as transparent as possible.
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