Sony Announces PlayStation 4 Pro and Slim
We all knew what was coming at yesterday’s PlayStation Meeting. Try as they might to keep it quiet, the worst kept secret at Sony Computer Entertainment was officially revealed to the world. Sony has officially announced the PlayStation 4 Slim and the PlayStation 4 Pro, which you might formerly know as the PS4 Neo.
The PlayStation 4 Pro will be the new PlayStation flagship console. The console formerly codenamed the Neo will have a more powerful CPU and GPU compared to the current PS4. It will also support 4K output of video (such as Netflix and YouTube but it won’t play 4K Blu-Ray) and games though games are unlikely to run at 4K natively. Instead, games running at 4K will be accomplished by special rendering technology to achieve the high-resolution look.
Sony also says that the benefit of the Pro won’t be limited to 4K TV as the Pro will be able to play all current PS4 games at 1080p (provided they are capable of being played at that resolution and some games will require a patch to do so) and at faster or smoother framerates.
The benefits will also extend to the introduction of HDR to the PlayStation 4 Pro (and soon to the PS4 & Slim via patch). HDR is High Dynamic Range which is an imaging technology that is supposed to allow for the display of a much wider range of brightness and colours to improve visuals before resolution is factored into the visuals.
Back in May, we reported that Sony was targeting a 125% increase (2.25 times the launch PS4’s processing power) in processing power from the PS4’s current 1.84 TFLOPS (teraflops) to 4.14 TFLOPS. During the press conference, Mark Cerny said that the Pro will have a GPU with double the power of the current console. Whether this is rounding for ease of communication or if the PS4 Pro will actually only have 3.68 TFLOPS of processing power remains to be seen. If the PS4 Pro is in the 3.7 TFLOPS range, that means that the Scorpio will hold a 63% power advantage over the PS4 Pro rather than the originally anticipated power advantage of 45%. For what it’s worth, an apparent leak says that the Pro will run at about 4.2 TFLOPS of graphical processing power.
Of course, I point all this out as if it matters. The power difference won’t matter as long as both Sony and Microsoft keep to their promise that there can’t be significant differences between the base console and the higher-power iteration of said console. The only difference is visuals and graphics don’t make or break a game. Now, if the Scorpio runs a game at 60 FPS and Pro runs it at 30 FPS, 1) what is that developer thinking playing at because it’s going to look like Microsoft is paying them off and they’re not giving PS4 gamers a fair comparative experience and 2) that’s a legitimate reason to complain about the lack of PS4 Pro power.
The Pro will be released on November 10th at $399 USD. That places the Pro at the launch price for the PS4 and below the Xbox One’s launch price of $499 (with Kinect). One would expect Microsoft to now be forced into matching the Xbox One’s launch price for the Scorpio, if not the PS4 Pro’s price, but Tech Radar thinks that prices of up to $800 for the Scorpio might not be out of the question. Considering the backlash to the $600 PS3, I’d say that would be the absolute top of the range but $400 – $500 being the smart money for a price.
The new base model in the PS4 lineup is the PlayStation 4 Slim. While Sony tried to keep the Slim’s existence very quiet, they’ve done slim versions of the previous three PlayStation consoles and it was already out in the wild.
Reports about consoles that have landed early in living rooms and from what Sony has said is that the PS4 Slim won’t be any more powerful than the current PS4. It’s just smaller (by about 30% in volume) and less power hungry. Nobody has given indication that there will be inadvertent processing and FPS boosts from the new hardware.
The Slim will release on the 15th of September at $299 USD. The current iteration PlayStation 4 retails for $349 when bundled with a game. Whether the PS4 Slim will be priced at $299 when bundled with a game remains to be seen but it wouldn’t shock me if that’s the case come the Christmas shopping season.
Landing in between the consoles’ launches is the release of PlayStation VR which hits store shelves on October 13th for $399. While many anticipated the PS VR to be launched alongside one of the two new consoles, that’s not the case. We’re still waiting to see if the PS VR will be bundled with one of the consoles at a discount, though. A PS4 Pro VR bundle sounds expensive and delightful.
Source: PlayStation Blog