Sony has officially released Firmware 4.00 for its PlayStation 4 console, bringing high dynamic range (HDR) rendering and a raft of additional features to existing consoles ahead of the PlayStation 4 Pro's launch.

Originally expected to be a feature exclusive to the upgraded PlayStation 4 Pro, high dynamic range (HDR) rendering allows games and video to use a wider gamut than is otherwise possible. In short: both dark and light areas will benefit from increased detail and realism. There is, of course, but one catch: while the installation of Firmware 4.00 will allow any PS4 console to access the HDR output settings, they'll only work if the console is connected to one of a surprisingly small number of HDR-compatible TVs or monitors.

The new firmware doesn't just add HDR capabilities, however. Installation of the upgrade also brings with it a user interface overhaul, improving the accessibility of the What's New display, content information screen, and cleans up the quick menus while also adding the ability to control music playlists without closing down your active application.

Interestingly, the update isn't exclusive to the PS4: improvements to the PS4 Pro are also included in Firmware 4.00, despite the console not being scheduled to launch until early November. When the device does hit shop shelves, upgrading the firmware will unlock the ability to stream and render Full HD 1080p content: all Remote Play streams to Windows, Mac, and Xperia-device clients will support Full HD, as will Share Play streaming. Gameplay broadcast to YouTube will support Full HD at 30 or 60 frames per second, though Twitch - for reasons not detailed - is limited to 30 frames per second.

The final change in Firmware 4.00 is aimed at those upgrading from an existing PS4 to the new PS4 Pro: the ability to transfer saved content from one console to another via a local-area network (LAN) connection rather than having to drag everything back down from Sony's servers.

The PS4 and PS4 Pro Firmware 4.00 update launched today, though its availability is likely to be staggered in order to not overwhelm Sony's servers.
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