Sony has officially unveiled the next big iteration of the PlayStation 4. The console — codenamed Neo, which the company discussed in brief just ahead of E3 in June — upgrades the three-year-old PS4 hardware with a faster processor, better graphics, and support for 4K resolution. It launches November 10th, and it will cost $399. It’s intended to be sold alongside the base PS4 instead of replacing it, and new games will still be playable on the older hardware. The existence of Pro, formerly called Neo, was first reported on back in March.
The PS4 Pro can output 4K and HDR video, which is powered by an upgraded GPU. Sony also boosted the clock rate for the new PS4 Pro. It will also come with a 1TB hard drive. "PS4 Pro is not intended to blur the line between console generations," Mark Cerny, the chief architect for the PS4, said on stage. "Instead, the vision is to take the PS4 experience to extraordinary new levels."
On stage, Cerny showed off actual 4K game footage from games like Spider-Man and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, not just 4K video running through the PS4 Pro. Cerny noted that the PS4 Pro was able to pull new detail out of the scenes from these games, even though they were developed for the original PS4. But he went on to say that select PS4 games will have improved graphics to take full advantage of the the PS4 Pro. Titles like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare: Remastered will be able to support PS4 Pro's extra capabilities out of the box on day one, while Battlefield 1 and FIFA 16 will be supported later this year, and Mass Effect: Andromeda gaining support next year.
PS4 Pro will also improve the PlayStation VR experience, according to Cerny. Developers will be able to increase the crispness of scenes, up the frame rate, and more. Netflix and YouTube are also developing new apps specifically for the PS4 Pro.
While this kind of mid-cycle upgrade isn’t typical for game consoles, Sony isn’t the only one beefing up its hardware. At E3 this year, Microsoft unveiled a new version of the Xbox One codenamed Project Scorpio, which will similarly add 4K support and more power, while also adding support for virtual reality games as well (though what VR headset the console will work with is still unclear). Microsoft is expected to launch Scorpio in fall 2017.