Over three years ago, gamers everywhere were excited as reports of new hardware were finally coming in, therefore ending the seven-year-long seventh generation of consoles. This past week, console generations were blurred with Sony’s announcement of the PlayStation 4 Pro as well as a new standard PlayStation 4.
The improved and slimmer PlayStation 4 will take the place of the original that came out in 2013. This new version will pack the same power as the launch PS4 while reducing the size and the price. Slimmer versions of consoles are no new business for Sony, as they have been doing it since the “PSone” launched four months after the PlayStation 2 in 2000. The PlayStation 3 had not one, but two slim models that each launched three years apart, the same amount of time since the first PS4. The slim PS4 will phase out the original and will be available to buy Sept. 15 for $299.
While the new slim PlayStation 4 was leaked a couple weeks before the meeting, the PlayStation 4 Pro, codenamed “Neo,” had been rumored since Kotaku broke news of a “PS4.5” in March. Despite six months of speculation, the console was shrouded in secrecy up until this past week. Now consumers can finally see what the new console is capable of. Andrew House, president and global CEO of Sony, writes that the PS4 Pro "enhances PS4 games by supporting the latest in imaging technology through 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR), as well as smoother frame rates.” This hardware will not come with exclusive games or special features, but is rather a device that offers more power and better visuals for those looking to invest in new technology.
Although 4K televisions are still somewhat niche, Sony is seeking to future-proof their current hardware by releasing the PlayStation 4 Pro. This is a move that their prime competitor, Microsoft, executed just last month in the form of the Xbox One S. Both consoles feature 4K gaming and streaming along with HDR support, although the PlayStation 4 Pro is conspicuously missing the ability to play Ultra 4K Blu-Ray discs. Regardless, the PlayStation 4 Pro promises to add more capability to their current hardware for a $399 price tag.
The conference and hardware were met with a lukewarm reaction, but there are some who are intrigued by this new development in the gaming world. Sony emphasized that the PlayStation 4 Pro would not hurt the experience of the 43.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles that currently exist.
House notes, “Whether you’re playing on PS4 Pro, the new slimmer and lighter PS4, or the PS4 system you bought at launch in 2013, you’ll have access to the same amazing games with the same features and same vibrant community that make PlayStation the best place to play.”
The slim model of the PlayStation 4 releases Sept. 15, PlayStation VR, Sony’s virtual reality set, releases on Oct. 16 and the PlayStation 4 Pro comes out Nov. 10.