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Say hello to the next PlayStation, the PS4 Pro

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And its smaller, cheaper buddy

The image above has pretty much covered all the necessary information, but in case our server's acting wonky or you're a details type of person, here's the skinny: After months of rumors, leaks, broken street dates, and speculation, Sony has finally, officially confirmed and unveiled the next versions of its PlayStation hardware.

Yeah, that's "versions", because the PS4 that released way back in 2013 is about to be supplanted by two new models: A slimmer, smaller, lighter model (nicknamed the "PS4 Slim") that carries the same hardware as the current one, and the "PS4 Pro", a new box that's actually bigger than the original PS4, but needs the space to contain upgraded hardware and additional features.

The PS4 slim releases next week, for the reduced price of $299, and the PS4 Pro launches on November 10th, for $399, matching the price of the original PS4 at launch. For more details from today's PlayStation Meeting event, keep reading.

In the lead up to the big announcement today, Sony has been adamant in saying that games wouldn't be compromised by the release of what we then only knew of as the "Neo", and while that remains to be seen in the long run, enhanced hardware will confer some real benefits when it comes to future releases. Some existing games will perform better on the PS4 Pro than on the current PS4 (and PS4 Slim), running at higher frame rates or displaying extra graphical bells and whistles.

Games on the upcoming PlayStation VR headset will also benefit, with a demo of the game Farpoint running at a higher resolution. Sony was quick to assure folks, though, that all PS VR games and the headset would be compatible with the older hardware, and run in such a way that would be comfortable to players. This is important, as frame rate is a key factor in not making people throw up when they try to play games in VR. 

The Pro will also come with double the effective hard drive space, at 1 terabyte. Storage space has begun to become a problem for some avid buyers of digital games, so that should improve the margins comfortably for potential Pro buyers. Then again, it's already a fairly simple process to manually upgrade an existing PS4's hard drive, so that's not such a big deal for the tech-savvy.

One other gaming-related benefit being touted was the advent of High Dynamic Range (HDR), a lighting technology designed to more realistically portray the way games deal with lighting and color ranges, more accurately replicating the way human eyes deal with light and dark areas, in particular. HDR tech is largely restricted to 4K resolution TVs and monitors, at the moment, but the Pro will support it, and following a firmware update next week, even original PS4s and PS4 Slims will be able to take advantage of HDR features on compatible TVs.

Oddly, while 4K-compatible gaming and video were highlight features of the PS4 Pro, the machine itself will not have a 4K Blu-ray player, meaning that people who own ultra-HD Blu-ray films and the TVs to display them will still need a separate machine to actually play them. Microsoft was quick to point out that its own upgraded Xbox One, code-named "Scorpio" would be packing a 4K Blu-ray player. 

I'm yet to be fully convinced by the pitch, but I can see the appeal. For example, my current gaming PC will cost more to upgrade than buying a PS4 Pro when it comes out, and the idea that PS VR - already the only reasonably-priced home-based VR option for many gamers - will perform better on a Pro is a strong point in its favor. Ultimately, it'll be up to Sony and developers to prove that current PS4 owners, yours truly included, won't be left too far behind as this strange console generation moves forward.


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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures


 



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