Sony’s planning a one-two punch this holiday season to
take the wind out of Microsoft’s sails. The company on Wednesday unveiled a
pair of new PlayStation 4 consoles, both of which will be out this holiday
A slimmer version of the PlayStation 4 will hit the market next week – Sept. 14 – for $299, replacing the existing PS4 model. And on Nov. 10, the PlayStation 4 Pro – a high-end console that focuses squarely on 4K and high-dynamic range (HDR) video, will go on sale for $399.
Neither was exactly a surprise. Word of the PS4 Slim (which will just be called PlayStation 4) leaked weeks ago – and everything from an unboxing video to a review of the system has already run, despite Sony’s previous refusal to officially acknowledge its existence. And Sony confirmed the existence of the high-end model, then code-named Neo, back in June.
But each system serves a purpose in the company’s fight with Microsoft for dominance in the gaming world.
The PS4 Slim comes a month after Microsoft began shipping the Xbox One S, a slim version of its flagship console. Sony has held a commanding lead in hardware sales this generation – and a refresh of the current hardware at the same time as its competition could help ensure it stays in the lead. (The PS4 has sold more than 40 million units worldwide – an estimated 2:1 margin over the Xbox One, according to estimates from Electronic Arts earlier this year.)
“We know there are still a large number of gamers waiting to join the PlayStation 4 family,” said Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “[The slimmer PS4] will appeal to a wider audience who are looking to buy the best entertainment system for their home.”
Things get a bit more interesting with PlayStation 4 Pro, though. The high-end system is designed to appeal to hardcore gamers and videophiles. Sony hammered its belief in 4K TV and HDR technology, with lead architect Mark Cerny calling HDR “the most exciting advance in TV technology in the past decade”. The enhanced graphics chip in the PS4 Pro will also make experiences in the upcoming PlayStation VR smoother, Sony said.
Not only will future games such as “Spider Man,” “Watch Dogs 2” and “Mass Effect 4 Andromeda” be built around both systems, but several older titles, including “Uncharted 4,” will receive patches to improve their graphical quality when played on a PS4 Pro.
Additionally, Sony said, Netflix and YouTube will offer 4K apps for high-quality video streaming. And to help push HDR adoption forward, a firmware upgrade will go out next week to all existing PS4 units making them HDR (but not 4K) capable.
TVs with both 4K and HDR are still far from common in people’s homes, though. To make the PS4 Pro appealing to those users, Sony noted that the system can detect the type of TV it’s hooked up to. Developers can then use that power to enhance graphics on a standard HDTV by increasing the frame rate and other tricks.
With Sony at the forefront of the 4K and HDR revolution I am sure they wil beat Microsoft to the punch in the gaming market for users of all calibers whether it be pro or amateur stated Jane Suki tech analyst for Empire Asset Investments.