Sony have finally confirmed what the internet has been talking about for the last 6 months. There is officially a PS4 Slim and the PSNeo is now the PlayStation 4 Pro. What’s more, I have the prices, specs and launch dates for you.
PlayStation 4 Slim
Let’s start with the PS4 slim as it’s a simpler machine to explain. It’s the same as the original PlayStation 4 model only, well, slimmer. It’s lighter and more energy-efficient too. It does everything your regular PS4 currently does, it has a 500GB hard drive and will support PSVR when it launches.
It’s on it’s ways to stores now and you’ll be able to buy the PlayStation 4 Slim for £260/€300 from the 16th September, unless you live in Manchester and managed to buy from Gumtree a few months ago. This model will replace the original 2013 PlayStation 4.
PlayStation 4 Pro
The PlayStation 4 Pro is a little more complicated to explain and I’ll leave out as much jargon as humanly possible.
Compared to the PlayStation 4 Original & Slim, the PS4 Pro will play games at a higher native resolution. If you have a fancy 4K TV, games will look better on the Pro.
To make this extra resolution work, the innards of the console have been improved. It’s a faster and more powerful machine.
This also has a knock on effect if you have a standard HD TV, as any game played on the PlayStation 4 Pro will have subtile improvements to the way it looks and possibly to the framerate of the game.
Netflix and Youtube have already announced that they are bringing 4K content to the PS4 Pro. Like me, if you use your console to watch movies, this is great news. There is a downside though as the console will only include a standard Blu-Ray player and not a 4K UHD one.
It’s worth noting that all PlayStation 4 games will work on the PS4 Pro and that there will be no PlayStation 4 Pro exclusive games.
Sony have been quite clear that they do not want players alienated from each other. Multiplayer games have no impact and all PlayStation 4 games will work on any console.
The only differences between the original/slim models against the PS4 Pro is the picture quality and improved frame rates.
PS4 Pro will launch with a 1TB hard drive for £349/€399 on the 10th November 2016.
Where does this leave the original PS4 owners?
Firstly, you will be fine. There will be no PlayStation 4 Pro exclusive games going forward and you can online play with anyone. If you don’t have a 4K TV, the differences might not even be noticeable.
Sony have announced that with next week’s software update all PlayStation 4 original and slim models will have HDR enabled. This stands for High Dynamic Range-imaging and is a key component in 4K gaming. It allows for improved colours and greater upscaling when playing on a suitable screen.
This doesn’t mean your PS4 will suddenly be a 4K powerhouse. It does mean if you’ve got your console plugged into a TV that supports HDR, then you’ll notice an improvement to your games from next week.
Hold up… That DualShock 4 looks odd
Finally, Sony have ushered in a new look DualShock 4. There’s now a light strip going across the top of the touch pad. This just replicates the light on the back of the controller so you don’t have to flip it up while gaming.
The only other difference is that the new DualShock 4 now supports a connection through USB as well as wireless bluetooth. This is a good thing if you wanted to connect your controller to a PC without having to buy an adapter.
Like the PS4 Slim, this will be the standard controller of choice moving forward and is available from next week.
While we’re on the subject of peripherals, the PlayStation camera has had a makeover and looks more rounded and there’s a new vertical stand for the new consoles.
PlayStation 4 Pro & Slim Round Up
News of the two consoles has been coming for a while. However in Sony’s efforts to keep existing players happy, they come across as safe moves. The PlayStation 4 Slim is being used to entice people who haven’t picked up the console to give it a try.
The PlayStation 4 Pro feels like it could have been so much more. 4K gaming will undoubtably be beautiful but the number of 4K TVs in people’s homes is relatively low.
The decision to make non-exclusive games will also limit the appeal of consumers, the main point being “Why drop another £350 on a console that plays the same games?”
I can’t help but feel that the lack of a 4K UHD blu-ray player will turn a lot of people away, especially since the Xbox One S has 4K gaming and a 4K blu-ray player.
Only time will tell if the PlayStation 4 Pro is a success, but I think it’s up to Sony to show us the reasons why we should upgrade.