Sony reveals PlayStation 4 Pro price, launch date
September 8, 2016 // 10:11 a.m.
Sony has officially unveiled the PlayStation 4 Neo, now known as the PlayStation 4 Pro, alongside the cheaper PlayStation 4 Slim.
Originally rumoured as the PlayStation 4 VR and PlayStation 4K, for its support of the PlayStation VR hardware and 4K video respectively, the PlayStation Neo hasn't been a terrifically kept secret for Sony. Designed as a mid-stream refresh for the PlayStation 4, what is now known as the PlayStation 4 Pro boasts a number of upgrades but offers full compatibility with existing PlayStation 4 games.
Based on a tweaked eight-core AMD Jaguar processor, the PlayStation 4 Pro is claimed to offer 4.2 teraflops of GPU performance - a massive improvement on the 1.84 teraflops of the original PlayStation 4. The processor is linked to the same 8GB of GDDR5 memory as its predecessor, though the default storage has been boosted to 1TB. Three USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports are included as standard, along with a single auxiliary port, while networking connectivity includes gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless, and Bluetooth 4.0 plus Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radios.
The HDMI port at the rear of the console has been upgraded to offer Ultra HD 4K output, though there's a restriction that has quietly been included: while 4K video content streamed via the network will be supported, the PS4 Pro's Blu-ray drive will not support the new generation of 4K Blu-ray film discs. Games, meanwhile, will render in 1080p - and Sony has promised that all PS4 games, including ones that were limited to lower resolutions on the previous PS4, will render at this resolution, boosting the graphical fidelity of existing games.
'Today marks an exciting new milestone for PlayStation as we unveiled the high-end PS4 Pro in the midst of the console lifecycle, catering to gamers who are looking for a heightened PS4 experience,' crowed Andrew House, president and global chief of Sony Interactive Entertainment, at the unveiling. 'By accelerating the innovation cadence at PlayStation, we're introducing choice in the marketplace, enabling gamers to choose the PS4 model that meets their needs. Ultimately, with titles that leverage the potential of PS4 Pro – plus PlayStation VR launching soon – all PS4 owners continue to benefit from having the best place to play.'
House's reference to 'titles that leverage the potential of PS4 Pro' does hint at the possibility of fragmentation for the platform. Although titles released in the near future are expected to be compatible with both the PS4 and PS4 Pro, the door is open for developers to choose to develop for the PS4 Pro exclusively - much as how some games are released exclusively for selected variants in Nintendo's badly fragmented 3DS family.
The PS4 Pro has been confirmed as launching in the UK on November 10th priced at £349. It is to be preceded by the PS4 Slim, which features the same horsepower as the original PS4 in a smaller and more energy efficient package, on September 15th for £259.