Gaming in 4k resolution is finally coming to consoles. At a press conference today, Sony confirmed the much-rumored PlayStation Neo, which is now called the PlayStation 4 Pro. With a new CPU and GPU, the PS4 Pro can now handle 4k resolution and HDR, but it’s not quite a dream console.
The PS4 Pro looks slightly different, with a three-tiered staircase thing going on. The improvements on the inside allow the new console to run games in 4k and HDR. That’s the main difference between the Pro and the original PS4, so this new console is aimed squarely at those who already have 4k TVs — if you don’t, the only reason to buy one is if you’re also planning on grabbing the upcoming PlayStation VR headset.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks even for 4k TV owners. Somewhat surprisingly, the PS4 Pro won’t be able to play 4k Blu-ray discs — considering that one of Sony’s longtime advantages in the console market was Blu-ray playback, paying for a new console and not getting a next-gen Blu-ray player is a bit of a disappointment. On the bright side, 4k Netflix and YouTube apps are being developed for the PS4 Pro, so it won’t totally be devoid of 4k video playback. But, there’s another red flag in the gaming department — besides resolution, frame rate has long been a concern in console gaming. While the new console will enable higher frame rates in 1080p, it won’t guarantee the current holy grail of gaming — 4k gaming at 60 frames per second.
Being that it’s still called a PS4, current PS4 owners can rest assured that the Pro isn’t part of a new console generation. All PS4 games will work on the regular console and the Pro alike, but PS4 Pro owners will be able to take advantage of higher resolution graphics. Sony is saying that many developers are prepping updates for existing games to take advantage of the Pro’s horsepower, and they showed off a handful of new games in development running on the new hardware during the press conference.
The PlayStation 4 Pro will launch on November 10 for $400. In the near term, the PlayStation 4 will be replaced by a slimmer version of the console, which will be 30 percent smaller, 16 percent lighter, and will consume 28 percent less power. The redesigned PlayStation 4 will launch on September 15 and will be $300.