The PS4 Pro ( previously codenamed "NEO") is official and an upcoming console with a release date of November 10th, 2016 (The PS4 Slim on Sept 16, 2016). This new version of the PS4 is going to have better hardware and thus provide support for 4K gaming, better graphics, improved frame rates, and enhanced PlayStation VR experiences.
The system has been confirmed by PlayStation CEO Andrew House, and was officially unveiled at The PlayStation Meeting in September 2016.
Calculating the PS4 Pro's Release Date
The release date of the PS4 Pro is November 10th, 2016. The console was announced at an event called The PlayStation Meeting.
When discussing the lack of a reveal at E3, Andrew House said:
"We want to ensure we have a full range of the best experiences on the new system that we can showcase in their entirety."
That being said, Nintendo's new console, the NX, is set for a March 2017 release date as well. Sony will surely want to steal some of the Big N's thunder, and releasing the PS4 Pro would be the perfect way to do so. In addition, a major exclusive called Horizon: Zero Dawn was pushed back to February 2017. This was most likely done, in part, to have a great game to showcase on PS4 Pro.
Footage of this game looks very graphically intense, and at the PlayStation Meeting they showed the game running beautifully with HDR support and on a 4K display.
In regards to this sudden change in the cycle, Andrew House had this to say:
"The consumer is attuned to a different cadence of innovation in technology thanks in great part to the upgrades cadence on mobile phones and PCs."
While true, this is still a major change to the traditional cycle we're used to with console.
Sony’s no stranger to fanfare, and what better a day to usher in the next step in console gaming? Now, let’s dive in and see what this new system is like under the hood.
What will the PS4K / PS4 Pro look like?
The Specs of PlayStation 4 Pro (NEO)
Now we take a look at the rumored specs of the PS4 Pro. We've updated this to reflect rumored specs shown in Rumored leaked documents. So far, this is the comparative breakdown of the two systems with the new specs in bold:
- 8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6 GHz vs 8 Jaguar Cores at 2.1 GHz
- AMD GCN 18 CUs at 800 MHz vs AMD GCN, 36 CUs at 911 MHz (4.20 FLOPs)- 60 FPS - 4K
- 8 GB GDDR 5 RAM, 176 GB/s vs 8 GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s
Okay, so looking at the broad strokes here, the PS4 Pro is set to have an improved processor, graphics processor, and RAM with a higher bandwidth. This isn’t a generational leap, but it does give the system power to output in 4K and potentially play games at more consistent frame rates.
View our entire PS4 Pro Specs article.
Beyond this, the rumored console is identical. You will play online with the same people and use the same PlayStation Network you’re used to.
The PS4 Slim: What About This One?
While the main focus of The PlayStation Meeting was to announce the PS4 Pro, we also received confirmation on the PS4 Slim. This new model is going to replace the current PS4 and it's currently for sale. It features the same 500GB hard drive and hardware, but it has a slimmer look, along with a few new features:
- The console is 30% smaller and 16% lighter.
- 28% less power consumption
- Significantly quieter
At the end of the day, the PS4 Slim is a great choice for someone who doesn't own a PS4, and doesn't care about 4K or HDR. It has a nice price point and it improves on the PS4 in several ways, albeit not as much as the Pro.
What Does This Mean For Console Gamers?
This is where things get dicey. As a gamer, I want the best version of Sony’s consoles, but I also don’t have the means to pay $399 all over again. I’m sure many of you feel the same.
That being said, the efforts Sony is taking to keep the market intact and unfractured by exclusive PS4 Pro titles makes me feel a little better. We’re used to “slim” versions of these consoles, but this new potential release suggests that the days of seven-year console generations may be coming to an end.
Sony has a very firm stance that the PS4 Pro is still very much a PS4 at heart. They have also said that the new console will be the standard going forward for several more years before they release anything new.
PC gamers have been holding their upgradeable machines over console gamer’s heads since the dawn of gaming. The PS4 Pro is meant to offer console gamers something comparable to PC in terms of power.
In a recent interview between Oddworld Creator Lorne Lanning, and Game Informer, Lorne revealed an interesting conversion he had with Sony President Shuhei Yoshida:
"I said, 'well, what does the PlayStation 5 look like?' and he said 'you mean if'. [...] I said 'are you willing to say that on a stage?' and he said 'yeah, it's an if'."
But wait, it get’s better!
"It was a really interesting thing and he didn't give me a clear answer, but he's hinting at [needing] to be more agile. None of us know what the future really looks like, so how do we adapt faster? To me that's the way he was thinking about it [...] The idea that you're going to be releasing a piece of technology that lasts seven years into the future, I think, is less and less viable.”
It seems Sony is thinking into the future and joining Microsoft in starting to think about consoles that can be upgraded.
Personally, I would like to see some sort of upgrade program. I don’t own a 4K television, but I do plan on using PlayStation VR and if the experiences are different and one is significantly better, then I’d like the option to upgrade.
PS4 Pro Price
I'm sure retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop will offer their own trade-in programs to upgrade, but I think it would be a gesture of good faith if Sony offered something similar. Personally, if I gave them my used PS4 and only paid $99 to upgrade, I would be inclined to do that more so than paying $399 all over again.
See our full article on the PS4 Pro price.
PS4K Concept Design Video
Time will tell, as it always does. What do you think about PS4 Pro or PlayStation NEO as it’s codenamed? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date - 5/3/16
Updated - 9/7/16