For months there were rumors about the project internally known as the PlayStation 4 Neo, or the PS4K to company outsiders. The facts were finally confirmed at Sony’s long-awaited Sept. 7 press conference in New York City. Officially revealed as the PlayStation 4 Pro (or PS4 Pro), this updated system comes with stronger tech, a bigger hard drive, and — most importantly — PS4 Pro is all about supporting 4K and HDR visuals. And gamers will be able to own one as soon as November 10, which is shockingly soon.
First revealed by PlayStation boss Andrew House (after first confirming the PS4 Slim), he and Mark Cerny confirmed all the internal tech we previously heard was powering the PS4 Pro. PS4 Pro has stronger CPU and GPU tech thanks to the AMD Polaris, both of which help boost the system’s output of 4K images. It also comes packed in with a 1TB HDD, something the PS4 was really in need of for all the storage most games require. That added power will also help the PlayStation VR run much smoother.
Sony’s execs, again and again, hit on how that improved tech would allow the PlayStation 4 Pro to reliably output incredible 4K footage of games. And for those without a pricey HDR television, a number of games like Shadow of Mordor, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Paragon will offer enhanced visuals thanks to the PS4 Pro’s extra console muscle.
And despite all the stats about PS4 Pro, it really is all about the games, as Sony showed off upcoming titles like the PS4-exclusive Spider-Man title, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and most shockingly, some of the first true gameplay footage of next year’s Mass Effect: Andromeda, featuring a man named Ryder, who we’re assuming is the game’s lead.
The console’s 4K support can be used for all types of media, including both Netflix and YouTube videos. Both of those apps will be updated on the PS4 Pro to allow for 4K displays of hundreds of hours of footage, including over 600 hours in Netflix programming such as the upcoming Luke Cage and Narcos Season 2. And classic PS4s will soon get a system update that will also allow for HDR output in apps such as these. That’s quite a boon for folks who also use their PS4s for entertainment instead of gaming.
The showing ended with the biggest shocker of all, as Andrew House revealed the PS4 Pro would be out in just two months on Nov. 10, retailing for $399, the same price the PlayStation 4 launched at in 2013. While Microsoft’s Scorpio system still has a nebulous 2017 release date, the PlayStation 4 Pro will be out this holiday season. (UPDATE: However, as Microsoft was quick to point out, the currently available Xbox One S model does much of what the PS4 Pro can. And the Xbox One S can play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, the preferred physical media format of 4K entertainment. Despite Sony owning the Blu-ray format, the PS4 Pro doesn’t play UHD Blu-ray, a real disappointment for those still sticking with physical media to see true high-def visuals.)
Will PS4 owners upgrade even if they don’t own a 4K TV? Will this spread adoption of 4K displays? We’ll know soon enough.