After nearly half a year of rumors and reports, President and Group CEO Andrew House unveiled PlayStation 4 Pro—codenamed "Neo"—at today's PlayStation Meeting event in New York. PS4 Pro will launch on November 10 for $399, only $100 more than the PS4 Slim announced earlier today.
Sony's goal in developing the upgrade was to pursue both 4K and HDR. House turned the floor over to PS4 lead architect Mark Cerny, who gave a detailed overview of hardware changes that will differentiate (yet bridge) PS4 Pro from the traditional PS4 and today's announced PS4 Slim, due to launch on September 15 for $299. In short, the Sony's Pro system aims to deliver "high-fidelity experiences." The Pro boasts an upgraded CPU, boosted clock rate, doubled GPU tech for AMD Polaris, thereby enabling the console to hit resolutions previously unseen on consoles; and a 1TB hard drive to accommodate consumers' growing preference for digital rather than physical software.
Although PS4 Pro is being optimized for HDTVs and 4K TVs, all older PS4 games will work on the system—a technology Cerny dubbed "forward compatibility." This aligns with rumors that PS4 and PS4 Pro would co-exist in the marketplace.
Sony's working on patches for over half a dozen "Sony titles" to take advantage of PS4 Pro's higher horsepower. Third-party developers are working on patches as well. Cerny showed off Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Shadow of Mordor in HDR to show off the console's high-end capabilities.
Cerny explained that PS4 Pro wasn't designed with "brute force" power that would drive up costs both in production and for end users. Instead, Sony went with an algorithmic approach to scale games up to 4K resolution.
Not that owners of classic PS4 and/or PS4 Slim consoles will get left out in the cold. House returned to the stage to announce that an HDR firmware update will roll out next week.
PS4 Pro will launch on November 10 for $399, a competitive price that should make it an easy choice for consumers still waiting to pull the trigger on a new console.