Sony is releasing an update today for its PS4 media player app that enables playback of 4K videos from an external storage device or home server. Unfortunately, content must be in MP4 format, which means you can’t (yet) play 4K videos in the popular MKV container. Also, Sony notes that USB drives formatted as extended storage for PS4 games and other data can’t be used as a source for videos.
The update should also improve watching videos in VR:
For those of you that own PlayStation VR in addition to PS4 Pro, Media Player will also update to support playback of 4K VR video content. PS VR’s display resolution is 1920 X RGB X 1080, so 4K VR videos will be displayed in a higher image quality compared to HD VR videos. Capture stunning 360 degree 4K footage, and then immerse yourself in that footage in VR at home — just as if you’re right back in the scene you shot.
Actually finding content that takes advantage of the bumped up quality might be difficult, as we’re still in the fairly early days of PSVR.
Overall, Sony’s strategy with getting 4K video on its more powerful PS4 Pro is a little lackluster. You can stream UHD from Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu — but can’t rent or buy movies / TV shows from Sony’s own video store on the console. An easy-to-find 4K store might go some way in making up for the console’s lack of a UHD Blu-ray drive. But as always, Sony seems concentrated on the gaming end of things first.