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Everything You Need To Know About The PS4 Pro

What does it do? Should you buy one? What the heck is HDR? Find out here.

So yesterday Sony revealed their much rumored upgraded PS4 codenamed Neo. We now know a lot more about the console today than we did leading up. So lets start with the basics:

  • It’s officially called the PS4 Pro
  • It will cost $399.99 at launch
  • It’s release date is November 10, 2016
  • Yes you can pre-order it now
  • It looks like this

ps4pro

OK but what does it do?

The PS4 Pro is simply put, a super charged version of a regular PS4. It can output 4K graphics (sort of), has HDR, can make your older games look and run better.

That’s cool but I have some questions.

Naturally.

4K sort of?

OK most higher end PC gaming rigs can’t render in full native 4K so for a mass manufactured machine like the PS4, it’s pure fantasy. What it does however is offer a big increase in power and can upscale to 4K. Needless to say it still passes the eyeball test and there is a clear visual upgrade. You can read more about it in this Digital Foundry article.

What do you mean, “Make my games look and run better”?

Well generally, there is a whole lot of upgraded tech inside the PS4 Pro which means more power to makes your games look better. Sony has stated at launch you will be able to download patches that will make your older titles look better.

Is this for all games?

Not all, this is said to be at the developers discretion. Meaning, while you can expect most if not all first party games (AKA exclusives) to have enhancements, don’t expect every game ever to support these new features.

Some games like Rise of the Tomb Raider will even have multiple options to play the game in. Developer Crystal Dynamics explains:

“The first of these is 4K Resolution mode, which targets 30 frames-per-second and runs at a 4K resolution, though it’s unclear if it’s going to be native 4K or not, however unlikely.

Then there’s Enriched Visuals mode, which also caps the frame-rate at 30 frames-per-second, but pairs it with a 1080p resolution. Finally, there’s High Frame-rate mode, which targets 60 frames-per-second at the same 1080p resolution.”

Here is the current list of games that will support PS4 Pro:

Out now or coming in 2016

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Infinite Warfare
  • Killing Floor 2
  • Modern Warfare Remastered
  • Black Ops 3 with day one patch
  • FIFA 17
  • Battlefield 1
  • Dishonored 2

Coming Soon

  • Mass Effect Andromeda
  • For Honor
  • Spider-Man
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Days Gone

The PS4 Pro will also provide a visual boost to PSVR titles.

The PSVR title Farpoint has “doubled the rendered pixel count” using the PS4 Pro.

So I need to upgrade my PS4 to play VR?

No, the company stresses however, that regular PS4 owners will still be comfortable using PSVR.

OK I think I follow so far, but what the heck is HDR?

OK so you know how there’s 4K TVs?

Yeah.

Well HDR is like the jump from a plasma TV to an LED flat screen. It makes the colors pop more, the blacks…. blacker. The screen just looks better overall and it’s an overall improvement that it clearly passes the eyeball test.

But I don’t have a 4K HDR TV am I just wasting my time?

Sort of?

What?

Having a 4K TV is not necessary but it will help like….a lot.

Like I said before, the machine is baseline more powerful so it will still makes games run better and you will gain a somewhat enhanced experience visually.

PS4 games that run below 1080p can be increased to run full native 1080p on any HDTV.

ps4-to-photoshop-later

But generally if you don’t plan on getting a 4K TV with HDR in the near future, you should honestly just hold off.

OK so maybe I am in the market for a 4K TV. Can I just get any one? 

No, it’s stupid and complicated.

Seriously?

Seriously, right now there are two different types of HDR available. HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR. Some TVs only support one format while others do both. There’s a good article over on CNET that breaks everything down

Think the format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVDs.

What’s a HD-DVD?

Exactly.

So what format does PS4 Pro support?

Sony TVs only support the HDR10 which means the PS4 Pro only supports HDR10.

So don’t get a Dolby Vision HDR TV

Hey, get whatever you want, but if you buy a 4K HDR TV with exclusive plans to play the PS4 Pro on it. Do NOT get one that only supports Dolby Vision HDR.

OK More Questions. Simple ones I swear.

Hit me.

Will all my old PS4 games work on the PS4 Pro?

Yes, your physical and digital copies of games will all work on the PS4 Pro. No exceptions.

If I make the switch and trade in my old PS4 for a new one. Do I lose my downloaded games and saves?

No, assuming you have a PSN account, which you most certainly do if you own a PS4, everything is linked to your account. So all you have to do is re-download your games and your save data will be intact.

Alright! I’m gonna do it! I ordered my PS4 Pro and my HDR10 4K TV. I guess I should buy some 4K Blu-rays huh?

I hope you have a 4K Blu-ray player.

But I am getting the PS4 Pro, which plays Blu-rays.

It plays Blu-rays, just not 4K Blu-ray movies which is beyond baffeling.

But didn’t Sony create the Blu-ray format?

Yup.

But.

I know.

Wait…

No it’s stupid. Especially considering that the Xbox One S has a 4K Blu-ray player inside.

Andrew House, the PlayStation big wig did an interview with The Guardian:

“Our feeling is that while physical media continues to be a big part of the games business, we see a trend on video towards streaming,”

They believe that the world is moving towards streaming so while the PS4 Pro will offer 4K streaming, physical 4K movies are out. They are however, offering YouTube 4K and Netflix 4K as an alternative but be warned, most places in America can hardly stream HD let alone 4K. One day we will get there, just not now.

Is streaming on the PS4 Pro getting an upgrade?

Streaming will get an upgrade at 1080p up to 60 fps.

Screenshots of videos will inherently be a higher quality. Some games will support full 1080p video capture and you will be able to take screenshots at 4K.

Was there anything else announced?

Yes, the PS4 Slim is coming out on September 15, 2016 at $299slim

It’s launching with a new updated controller that will also be packaged in with both the PS4 Pro and slim.

The new DualShock 4 has a new light bar that comes from the touch pad which mimics the color of the light bar in the front. It has USB communication 3 as well as the current Bluetooth.dualshock4_2_01_1473280908

There’s also a new camera that comes in a cylindrical form which comes with a stand. camera-2 camera-3

 

They both release on September 15, 2016 and will run you $59.99.

Are there any technical specs I need to know about?

 

This means nothing to me.

Me neither but someone does and they can enjoy the full breakdown above.

Anything else?

If you want you can watch some PS4 Pro footage as well as the PlayStation Meeting below.

Rise of the Tomb Raider 4K Footage

Horizon: Zero Dawn – 4K Footage

Mass Effect: Andromeda – 4K Footage

 

-D

 

Sources: PlayStation, Polygon, CNET, Eurogamer, VG247, The Guardian

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Devon

Devon is a Co-Founder of ANTiFanboy and ANTiFanboy.com He writes weekly articles and is the star of the ANTiFanboy Podcast. You can follow him on twitter @DevonKopec