Last night was a big one for tech fans, with Apple showing off their new iPhone 7 – and Sony announcing the next step forward in video gaming hardware
Here’s everything you need to know:
What is the PS4 Pro?
The PlayStation 4 Pro is what is known as an ‘iterative’ piece of console hardware.
Usually, games companies release new consoles every 5 – 8 years, with obvious upgrades between the new and old machines (more powerful processors capable of higher quality graphics for instance).
The PS4 Pro however comes just three years after the original PS4 hit shelves, and while it is more powerful than that model to take advantage of 4K gaming, it’s not enough of a step up to be considered a whole new console.
So what can it do that the standard PS4 can’t?
Essentially, it can take advantage of 4K gaming.
4K is the next leap in fidelty to hit visual media after High Definition, and this will allow future games to look even crisper and have graphics with more detail than ever before.
The console can also output images using HDR – High Dynamic Range – a technique which allows for more contrast between the colours on your display, which basically means you can expect to see more vibrant imagery.
That said, some commentators have expressed doubt that the PS4 Pro will be able to run games at a ‘true’ 4K resolution.
How much does it cost?
The RRP announced by Sony at the event last night set the console at £349. Look out for deals and bundles at your local game retailer.
When will it be released?
A lot sooner than rumours suggested: the PS4 Pro will be available on November 10 this year, well in time for Christmas.
Is my old PS4 now obsolete?
Not at all. Sony announced that all current and future games for the standard PS4 will be compatible on the PS4 Pro. And vice versa. The marketing lingo used to sum all this up? “Forward compatability”.
The PS4 Pro simply squeezes more detail and colours out of standard PS4 games, so while PS4 Pro owners might get a slightly improved experience in terms of visual fidelity, gameplay and content between the two will remain untouched.
Sony also announced that all PS4 machines will become HDR compatible via a firmware update sometime next week, so all PlayStation fans should see a slight facelift to their favourite games regardless.
Do I need a 4K TV?
To take full advantage of the PS4 Pro, you will need a 4K TV. So if you don’t already have one, things could get quite expensive.
The cheapest 4K TVs start at about £300, so you’re looking at at least £600 if you want to make a full upgrade. And that’s before you’ve even bought any games.
Will I notice the difference on my current TV?
If you don’t already have a 4K TV, you will be able to experience a slight jump in graphical quality on your standard televison. Sony were keen to stress that ‘standard’ TVs will still be able to see the difference the Pro will make, although obviously it won’t be the big difference those with 4K sets will enjoy.
You’ll need a 4K screen if you’re looking to take advantage of the HDR capabilities, however.
Isn’t there a cheaper option?
Sony also announced a slimmer version of the PS4 for £259, launching next week on September 15.
The slimmer version leaked heavily in the weeks leading up to Sony’s event, with the company essentially just confirming its existence last night.
At its core it’s just a sleeker, more refined design of the current PlayStation, but the lower price point should be tempting to customers new to Sony’s console.
The PS4 Pro launches November 10, while the slimmer PS4 hits shops on September 15