The PlayStation 4 Pro — originally code-named the “PlayStation Neo” — is slated to launch in November, and aims to disrupt our perception of “console generations.” In the place of machines with concrete, unchanging specifications will be more incremental upgrades capable of playing the same library of games with better performance, more graphical features, and a higher resolution.
Will the PlayStation 4 Pro revolutionize the console gaming space and finally put dedicated gaming systems back on par with powerful PCs? It seems unlikely — Microsoft’s more powerful “Scorpio” console may have a better shot at achieving that task. But the PS4 Pro will offer sharper visuals, a better PlayStation VR experience, and a slim form factor that should keep it from hogging the last shelf space you have left.
The majority of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s appeal comes from its support for 4K HDR displays. Thus if you’re still using an older television or monitor, you won’t benefit from its most obvious upgrade. The system will still offer improvements over the original PlayStation 4, however. Here’s everything we know about the console so far.
Following the PlayStation 4 Pro’s official unveiling on September 7, Sony revealed exactly what’s under the hood of the console.
The system’s CPU is an x86-64 8-core AMD “Jaguar,” and its frequency of 2.1 GHz is slightly higher than the original system. Its GPU blows the original PS4 out of the water, with an AMD Radeon graphics engine and 4.20 teraflops of power. The original PS4 has only 1.84.
The increased power allows the PlayStation 4 to play games in an upscaled 4K resolution. The PS4 Pro will also support high-dynamic range (HDR), a feature that has also been added to standard PS4 consoles via a firmware update. During a roundtable attended by VentureBeat, Guerilla Games managing director Hermen Hulst admitted that most games were “not native 4K” but were upscaling their resolution to the point of it almost being indistinguishable.
The PS4 Pro will receive a slight memory boost, too. While the system still uses 8GB of GDDR5, Sony’s Mark Cerny told IGN that the PS4 Pro will have an extra gigabyte of “slow, conventional DRAM,” which will be used to store games and apps the game is saving in a “sleeping” state. a report from Giant Bomb suggests that its bandwidth will be raised from 176 GBps to 218 GBps. The console also now comes standard with 1TB of storage, double that of the PS4 at launch. Given the large installation size of today’s games, the extra space definitely comes as a welcome addition.
Like both the PS4 and the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 Pro will come with a Blu-ray drive to play games and films. But unlike the Xbox One S, which Microsoft released over the summer, you will not be able to play 4K “Ultra HD” Blu-ray films on the PS4 Pro. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Sony pointed to the trend in streaming entertainment as the reason behind this omission.
PS4 and PS4 Pro will coexist
Though the PlayStation 4 Pro may offer smoother frame rates and increased resolution on existing PS4 games and new releases, it’s not designed to take the place of the standard PS4. Speaking to the Financial Times, Sony Interactive CEO Andrew House assured audiences that all future PS4 games would run on both the PS4 and PS4 Pro. Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida reiterated this in an interview with Gameswelt, saying that the PlayStation 4 Pro wouldn’t shorten the original console’s lifecycle, and the unified design between the Pro and the slimmer PlayStation 4 console appear to reflect this.
As such, not all games will take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s enhanced visual capabilities. Future games that are confirmed to receive enhancements on PlayStation 4 Pro include Mass Effect: Andromeda, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Watch Dogs 2, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Previously released games such as The Witness, The Last of Us: Remastered, Shadow of Mordor, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be receiving their own performance boosts, as well.
Switching from your older PS4 to the PS4 Pro should be a breeze, thanks to the system software’s “4.00” update. By connecting the two systems with a standard Ethernet cable and signing in using the same PSN account on both, you can transfer saved game, captured footage, game installations, and system settings to your upgraded machine.
Should you not want to move over settings or games, you can also download your saves from the cloud, provided that you have a PlayStation Plus subscription and have them uploaded. This process should also be easier due to the PS4 Pro’s faster Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac.
Better VR and better sharing
Sony has remained vague on the exact benefits the PlayStation 4 Pro will offer the new PlayStation VR add-on, but Greg Koreman, co-founder of Farpoint developer Impulse Gear, made it clear that the console can make a huge difference. “Under the hood, we’re rendering twice as many pixels,” Koreman told Digital Trends at Sony’s PS4 Pro announcement event.
In an interview with Upload VR, Koreman also noted specific aspects of his game that would be improved when users paired PSVR and the PS4 Pro.
“It’s important, for example, when you’re looking down the sights. You can see [much more] detail at long ranges,” Koreman said in the interview. “That is a big part of playing a first-person shooter — being able to see and engage with the enemy. And having that extra level of clarity helps us out there.”
The extra power will also give more clarity to the content you share. Using the “Share” button on the DualShock 4 controller, you’ll be able to capture 4K screenshots and 1080p videos at 30 frames per second, Sony told Polygon.
A few accessories will be designed to take advantage of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s slim form factor and provide a better gaming experience. The redesigned DualShock 4 controller, which is now bundled with slimmer PlayStation 4 consoles, will be included in the box. It features a colored light under the touchpad, allowing the player to see feedback that was previously pointed away from them.
Like the other PS4 models, you’ll be able to stand the PlayStation 4 Pro vertically via a stand attachment. Due to the console’s “split” design, however, you won’t be able to use the original vertical stand. In its place is a thin, clear accessory that attaches to the bottom of the console via a single screw. The same stand is also compatible with the latest PS4 model and elevates the console slightly, which should allow for the fans and ventilation to work without interruption.
When can we get it, and how much does it cost?
The PlayStation 4 Pro will be available on November 10 for $400, Sony confirmed during its press conference. This is $100 more than the “Slim” PlayStation 4. Though the console’s announcement made plenty of headlines, it’s still available to pre-order at virtually every major retailer.
These games will receive visual enhancements when running on the PlayStation 4 Pro.
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- The Last of Us: Remastered
- The Last of Us: Left Behind
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Infamous: Second Son
- Infamous: First Light
- The Witness
- Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — Special Edition
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
- Killing Floor 2
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
- FIFA 17
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Battlefield 1
- Dishonored 2
- Watch Dogs 2
- For Honor
- Days Gone
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- Mass Effect: Andromeda
- Final Fantasy XV
- Ghost Recon: Wildlands
- Farpoint (PlayStation VR, not 4K)
- Death Stranding
- Rez Infinite
- Battlezone (PlayStation VR, not 4K)
- DriveClub VR (PlayStation VR, not 4K)
- Hustle Kings
- Mafia III
- Mantis Burn Racing
- NBA 2K17
- Neon Chrome
- PlayStation VR Worlds (PlayStation VR, not 4K)
- Ratchet & Clank
- Ride 2
- RIGS Mechanized Combat League (PlayStation VR, not 4K)
- Robinson: The Journey (PlayStation VR, not 4K)
- Super Stardust Ultra
- The Playroom VR (PlayStation VR, not 4K)
- Titanfall 2
- Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (PlayStation VR, not 4K)
- Viking Squad
- Wheels of Aurelia
- World of Tanks
- XCOM 2
- The Last Guardian
- Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
- Fallout 4
- God of War
- Gran Turismo Sport
Updated on 11-04-2016 by Gabe Gurwin: Added list of supported games.