PS4 Pro Explained By System Architect in New Video
"PS4 Pro is not the start of a new generation, nor is it a console that is going to blur the lines between generations."
As it did with the standard PlayStation 4, Sony recruited Mark Cerny to lead development on the newly announced PlayStation 4 Pro. Now, Sony has released a video in which Cerny talks about the strengths of the existing PS4 and how the PS4 Pro model will take things even further.
Cerny started off by making it clear what the PS4 is not. "PS4 Pro is not the start of a new generation, nor is it a console that is going to blur the lines between generations," Cerny said. "That's important, because there is a certain cadence to game development."
The developer went on to say that moving from one console to a new one, traditionally, can be a "disruptive" experience since developers need to familiarize themselves with new tech. However, with PS4 Pro, this should be eased, given that it is not a true replacement for the PS4 as was the case with the shift from PlayStation 3 to PS4.
"PS4 Pro, arriving as it does mid-generation, means that our target is to take the whole PS4 experience to a new level and to do so without the kind of disruption that moving to a new console generation would entail," he said.
The PS4 Pro's increased power will allow developers to deliver better graphics and smoother frame rates. Essentially, the console will make it so the "creator's vision is represented in richer fashion," Cerny said.
Though games running on PS4 will look better on a regular HDTV set, you will want a 4K TV to make the most of the system. Cerny said sales of these TVs are on the rise, stating that one-third of TVs sold this year will be 4K-compatible. HDR uptake is further out, Cerny said.
"But it's great having the console out now because it means that the game experiences will be ready and waiting as HDR penetration increases," he explained.
Cerny also talked about the benefits of PS4 Pro for PlayStation VR. Virtual reality games running on the new hardware should look "crisper" and have more detailed graphics, he said.
Additionally, Cerny discussed the new DualShock 4 controller, which has a lightbar on the touchpad that lets you know which player is which for multiplayer. Another new feature is that the controller sends signals to the PS4 Pro by USB, which should reduce latency. "When you're playing a fighting game, and you want the absolute minimum latency, it's just heaven," Cerny said.
We also learn in the video that Sony started developing PS4 Pro as soon as the PS4 shipped in November 2013. Cerny said Sony was aware that 4K was on the rise and wanted to release a console that supported that. Next week, Sony will release a firmware update for all PS4 systems--including those sold at launch--that will unlock HDR support.
Lastly, Cerny shared a story about when he asked a "very famous director" about what Sony should do next in terms of new hardware. This person, who was not named, laid out a vision for a new console that was basically exactly what Sony was already thinking about, Cerny said.
The PS4 Pro goes on sale in November, priced at $400. The PS4 Slim comes out next week for $300. For more on this week's PlayStation news, check out our roundup of all the big announcements.
Microsoft is also making a new Xbox device, Project Scorpio. This system is about 43 percent more powerful than the PS4 Pro when it comes to teraflops. Microsoft says Scorpio's advantage over PS4 Pro when it comes to performance will be "obvious." The system goes on sale in holiday 2017, though pricing has not been announced.