PS4 Pro Reveal: Highlights (And Concerns) From the PlayStation Meeting

Reveals, demos and lingering concerns dot an otherwise solid event.

Posted By | On 07th, Sep. 2016 Under Article, Feature


Sony’s PlayStation Meeting is in the books and for a company known for its bloated media conferences in the past, this year has been fairly sleek. E3 2016 cut down on the flab and with the PlayStation Meeting, Sony kept it simple with reveals for PlayStation 4 Pro (formerly rumoured as PS4 Neo), the PS4 Slim and some short demos showcasing the difference in visuals. Of course, there was a lot more that stood out during the event. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and ponder some of the concerns from Sony’s reveals.

Highlight: PS4 Slim Priced at $299

ps4 slim digital foundry

Sony could have kept the PlayStation 4 Slim at roughly the same price as the default PS4, maybe even sold it for $50 less. The console, out on September 15th, will retail for $299 instead. That’s a hugely motivating price for new users who don’t care all that much for 4K gaming and despite its looks – which are kind of “eh” at this point – the PS4 Slim is more compact and energy efficient.

Highlight: PS4 Pro Pricing

ps4-pro

The real coup de grace for Sony is with the pricing for PS4 Pro. Again, $449 would have been generous while $499 is more realistic. But it will instead retail in November for $399. New players who want to future-proof themselves or get the best visual experience with 4K and HDR can easily pick it up. Meanwhile, current PS4 owners won’t have as high of an entry point for upgrading. It’s a great compromise overall…

Concern: PS4 Pro Appearance

ps4neo_sketch_2

…So it’s weird that Sony went for the appearance that it did for the PS4 Pro. Look at the PS4 Slim and stick another plastic-looking layer on top. Boom, there’s your PS4 Pro. This design may have kept costs down and the telltale blue streak can be seen in one of the edges. However, when we think “premium” and “pro”, this isn’t the design that immediately comes to mind. Looks are subjective though and it’s highly unlikely that potential consumers skip the PS4 Pro because it’s not pretty.

Highlight: PS4 Pro Benefits Outside of 4K Resolution

horizon zero dawn

While many may ask, “Why opt for a PS4 Pro if I don’t game on a 4K TV?” And that’s a pretty good reason to skip the console even with its attractive price. The more powerful hardware is nice and all but what immediate benefits will PS4 titles receive? The answer is HDR which provides dynamic luminescence and caters to a broader spectrum for human eyes to perceive, thus providing for more realistic visuals. It should be noted that HDR will also be coming to PS4 and PS4 Slim in an update next week. However, if a 4K TV isn’t immediately in your budget, the PS4 Pro still presents a nice means of future proofing while still offering better hardware and HDR support.

Concern: Frame rate differences not showcased

For Honor 1

Though Sony did show the differences in resolution and HDR for upcoming games like For Honor and Paragon – not to mention 4K footage of Mass Effect Andromeda and Horizon: Zero Dawn – it didn’t really capitalize on one key point: Frame rate differences. Obviously a CPU and GPU with double the power of a base PS4 would help in that department right? Maybe Sony didn’t want to point how obviously better the PS4 Pro is with frame rates. Maybe the difference is so negligible that it didn’t warrant focus. Regardless, the key selling points are 4K and HDR above all else.

Concern: PS4 Pro VR Demos and Gameplay Benefits

farpoint

Those frame rate differences would have especially come in handy for PlayStation VR demos. Farpoint looked good and all but we would have liked to have learned a lot more about the gameplay benefits that the PS4 Pro offers PlayStation VR. Also, Sony announces a powerful new console for November but doesn’t so much as hint at a bundle for PS4 Pro and PS VR? Granted, the news will come in its own time but it would have been great to hear it now, especially with PS VR releasing in a month.

Highlight: Mass Effect Andromeda Gameplay Debut

Mass Effect Andromeda_Ryder

Bioware finally, finally, finally showcased gameplay footage for Mass Effect Andromeda, its eagerly anticipated action RPG in the vaunted franchise. Yes, it wasn’t all that long and yes, we didn’t get to see how the shooting worked. However, this came across as a demo for the overall in-game visuals and how they look on PS4 Pro. The in-game lighting and benefits of HDR support were readily apparent and serious kudos are to be afforded to Bioware for their environmental design.

Highlight: Updates to allow older PS4 game support on PS4 Pro

Call of Duty Black Ops 3

As rumoured, Sony mandated all PS4 titles to work on PS4 Pro. We already know of several games that will be receiving updates including Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Modern Warfare Remastered and Black Ops 3. What’s more, it doesn’t seem like developers will have to put in too much effort for these updates. The ability to access your PS4 downloads and features on the PS4 Pro is a reassurance that the latter is meant to complement the former.

Concern: The Last Guardian Absent

the last guardian

Sony did mention The Last Guardian but that’s it. The game wasn’t showcased, either on PS4 Pro or in visual comparison demos. Why is this concerning? Because the game hasn’t been scheduled for Tokyo Game Show 2016 either. In fact, with its release on October 25th, we’re yet to hear much of any information on the oft-delayed adventure title. What’s going on? Sony knows the answer but didn’t choose to reveal it at the PlayStation Meeting.

What was your highlight and key concern from the PlayStation Meeting? Let us know in the comments.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


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  • crizz1066

    Interesting they left out the player, have to see if that hurts them. Mind you I’ve not used physical media for a few years now and would make it easierfor manufactureing the disks. So maybe Sony onto something. Do like the specs, so looking forward to it.

    • Mark

      Main thing is people really want the option, to play from discs, as streaming 4k can be less impressive

    • crizz1066

      I don’t see that at the mo. Most of my friends now have NAS systems which we all share. I’m also not going to go out and buy all my films again like I did with DVD & Blu Ray. It really does seem to be an end to physical media.
      My 4k TV arrives today, so guess I’ll get to see how good or bad streaming is. But it will only get better as more adopt it.

    • Mark

      I hear u. But I’ve been all around the net today, and by far most people are pissed, cuz they really want that option. It makes the Pro feel subpar, especially since it’s not even rendering native 4k for games. It looks like a good system, but it’s missing some key features bro, gotta get the 4k player in there if ur gonna advertise 4k….

    • crizz1066

      I agree there is a lot of complaints. But I think it’s consumers expect too much and then when they dont get 100% they want, they cry and make noise. Same with NMS, I really couldnt see the problems with it. Nothing near as bad as Colonial Marines (last time I ever pre-ordered).
      My TV doesnt arrive till today, so I’ll get to see what the streamings like. Untill then I cant really comment.

    • Mark

      Ok, for me, if Microsoft tells me they have a 4k box, but no 4k drive, while the competition has it for cheaper, that’s gonna piss me off. This is exactly how people are feeling right now. It ain’t the end of the PS4, but, it’s defenitely a dent in Sony’s image, big pr mistake. The Pro will be good, but it doesn’t scream “Must Have”, all due to these spec errors

    • crizz1066

      I don’t see it like that, I see the x1 S as the 1st time M$ have created a quality machine. They had to go above and beyond due to consent quality issues with all previous machines and the fact the Xbox seemed dead in the water. They were the ones playing catch up.
      maybe it will bite Sony , we’ll just have to wait and see.

    • efnet

      Lol

    • Mark

      Although that’s ur opinion, I respect it, but here’s the thing, the fact is, that Microsoft made a big mistake with Xbox One at launch by adding the Kinect, which ended up giving the X1 a mediocre GPU, and it cost them the resolution wars. Consequently people made fun of and bashed the Xbox for providing less than the competition. Now, Sony’s making the same mistake with failing to add 4k Bluray, and a GPU that will rarely hit native 4k, while advertising it as a 4k machine. People rightly bashed the Xbox One, and now it’s Sony’s turn. I think that’s only fair, that they get judged equally. People wanted the NEO to have native 4k and a 4k BluRay, in which Sony failed to give, so they’re being called out rightly so

    • crizz1066

      How about we wait and see what it does in the real world. Then if its failing fine bash away. But as of the release date it will be the most powerful console capable to doing VR. That’s not too shabby in my eyes.
      I have only just purchased my 4k TV, I bet a large percentage making noise about this, don’t even have one as yet!
      People always want more than they need etc, its why everyone is in such debt ect.

    • Mark

      Man people are just tribal Crizz. I appreciate ur tone too. I just want each company to be treated equally thats all. The Pro will be good tho have fun Crizz!

    • Wontime

      Yep. I’m a HUGE sony fan (rode out with the ps3 last gen never got a 360, and had all the other PS’s) and I can easily say that sony done fuqed up with the absence of a 4k bluray player. The system physically doesn’t look that great and they should’ve kept the neo name.
      I won’t be upgrading to the pro


 

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