November 10 marks the long-awaited arrival of the PS4 Pro, and Sony’s mid-gen hardware upgrade headlines this week’s episode of PlayStation Releases and PSN Store Must Buys.
Switching gears to the weekly PSN sale, you’ll find
plenty of PS2 classics on offer, though our tip of the hat goes to Bloodborne: Complete Edition, the definitive version of From Software’s nightmarish RPG. It’s available for $24.99, and even includes The Old Hunters expansion, meaning there’s never been a better time to step foot on the cobbled streets of Yharnam.
When it comes to those titles on offer, you can head on over to
PlayStation Store for further details. Keep in mind, though, all of these promotions will be valid up until Monday, November 14 at approximately 10am PT/1pm ET.
If you have any questions or queries about our sale highlight, or indeed if you have any suggestions for the show, drop us a line: email@example.com.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s YouTube channel is your one-stop hub for all things PlayStation, featuring the latest game trailers and more original content than you can shake a DualShock 4 at.
PS4 Pro Info Dump
PS4 Pro - Everything You Need to Know
We're ready, are you?
What is PS4 Pro?
PS4 Pro is the
latest addition to the PlayStation family. Thanks to a bolstered GPU, it touts the ability to “render higher or more consistent framerates, increased environmental and character model detail, improved overall visual quality, and other related visual enhancements.”
What's in the Box?
Curious to know what the PS4 Pro will come packing at launch? Wonder no more! PSLS has a
handy unboxing video for you right here.
An Incremental Upgrade
Sony continues to emphasis that Pro doesn’t herald the start of a new generation; instead, it’s a premium piece of hardware designed to coexist with the base PS4 model. What’s more, you can rest assured that
there will be more PlayStations further down the line.
“Where we go from there, we’re going to have to wait and see. It’s our first time innovating within the life cycle, so I’m not exactly sure what impact that will have on our plan going forward. But there will be more PlayStations.”
High Dynamic Range
So, what’s all this fuss about HDR? It
stands for High Dynamic Range and is considered as a “ real step forward” for visual imagery. It has its roots in photography, and essentially heightens a picture’s range between darkest blacks and brightest whites allowing for a richer, more engrossing display.
Checkerboard Rendering, Explained
From teraflops to checkerboard rendering, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the technical jargon swirling around PS4 Pro.
When it comes to the latter, Lead System Architect Mark Cerny explained the ins and outs of
how Pro achieves 4K via checkerboard rendering.
"First, we can do the same ID-based color propagation that we did for geometry rendering, so we can get some excellent spatial anti-aliasing before we even get into temporal, even without paying attention to the previous frame, we can create images of a higher quality than if our 4m colour samples were arranged in a rectangular grid… In other words, image quality is immediately better than 1530p.
"Second, we can use the colours and the IDs from the previous frame, which is to say that we can do some pretty darn good temporal anti-aliasing. Clearly if the camera isn’t moving we can insert the previous frame’s colours and essentially get perfect 4K imagery. But even if the camera is moving or parts of the scene are moving, we can use the IDs – both object ID and triangle ID to hunt for an appropriate part of the previous frame and use that. So the IDs give us some certainty about how to use the previous frame.
"[With] checkerboard rendering, the first two pluses are the same: crisp edges, detailed foliage, storm fences, but also, increased detail in textures, increased detail in specular effects. But we’re doubling pixel shader workload, there are other overheads as well and it may not be possible to from 1080p native all the way up to 2160p checkerboard."
But don’t fret! Not all PS4 titles will be left in the dust. Soon after PlayStation Meeting 2016, it was confirmed that existing games
can be retroactively enhanced for PS4 Pro via post-launch updates in a strategy that Sony is referring to as “forward compatibility.” The buck ultimately stops with the developer on this one, but already a host of first and third-party studios have pledged their support.
No 4K Blu-Ray Support
Arguably the big point of contention, PS4 Pro
won’t include 4K Blu-ray support whatsoever — and there’s no plans to add the feature post-launch.
Said Sony: “Our feeling is that while physical media continues to be a big part of the games business, we see a trend on video towards streaming. Certainly with our user base, it’s the second biggest use case for people’s time on the system so we place more emphasis on that area.”
No 4K TV, No Bueno?
Why buy a PS4 Pro without owning a 4K TV? That's a question
our own Keri Honea asked, and her overview is nothing short of a must-read.
42 Games to Have PS4 Pro on Day One
Battlefield 1 and Bound are among the titles that'll take full advantage of the PS4 Pro come release.
full rundown of all 42 titles and remember, the likes of Horizon Zero Dawn and Watch Dogs 2 will all support Sony's hardware refresh out of the box.
Battlezone Bound Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Driveclub VR FIFA 17 Firewatch Helldivers Hitman Hustle Kings inFamous First Light inFamous Second Son Knack Mafia III Mantis Burn Racing Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor NBA 2K17 Paragon PlayStation VR Worlds Ratchet & Clank Rez Infinite RIGS Mechanized Combat League Rise Of The Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Robinson: The Journey Smite Super Stardust Ultra The Elders Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition The Last Of Us Remastered The Last Of Us: Left Behind The Playroom VR Titanfall 2 Tumble Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Until Dawn: Rush of Blood Viking Squad Wheels of Aurelia World Of Tanks XCOM 2
PlayStation VR is an impressive piece of kit on its own,
that much we know. But with PS4 Pro, Sony's head-mounted device will receive a technical boost, and the platform-holder is actively encouraging game developers to tap into the console's enhanced innards.
Should a studio take this course of action, “there’ll be a big boost to performance with no noticeable impact to image quality in the HMD [head-mounted display].”
“We’re just asking for them to take advantage. We’d like for them to take a look at what the hardware can do and do something with it."
Frame-Rate Parity in Multiplayer Titles
Fearing that bumping multiplayer frame-rates will lend PS4 Pro owners an unfair advantage, Naughty Dog noted recently that it
fully intends to cap performance at a select threshold — be that 30 or 60 frames-per-second.
“The main thing that we’re making sure of is that the frame-rates are the same; there’s definitely no frame-rate advantage. You can’t run one at 60 and one at 30. You want to make sure the updates are exactly the same.”
If you’re out to upgrade come November, PS4 to PS4 Pro data transfer is
possible via an Ethernet Cable and firmware 4.00, allowing you to port over games, saved data, and Share content from one console to the next.
Said Sony: "PS4 Pro exists in the same digital ecosystem as the standard PS4 in all regards; two PS4 console systems, one PlayStation Network, one PS4 community."
4K Gaming Always in the Cards
It seems Sony was mulling over the possibility of 4K gaming pretty early on —
just after the PS4 shipped, in fact.
High-End Streaming Support
The Netflix and YouTube apps on PS4 Pro will
boast 4K streaming support.
What About Non-4K TVs?
If you aren’t one of the fortunate few to own a 4K TV, PS4 Pro still opens up notable performance boosts. PS Blog writes: “Depending on how the developer chooses to use the increased processing power, games with PS4 Pro support are able to render higher or more consistent framerates, increased environmental and character model detail, improved overall visual quality, and other related visual enhancements.”
Pre-Orders Open & Hands-On
now open ahead of the system's November 10 release date.
On the fence? Have a gander at our
hands-on impressions piece for more insight.
Our Early Thoughts
The PSLS crew weighed in on the Pro announcement late last week via our
latest edition of Now Loading. The consensus? Mixed, with a dose of cautious optimism.
If you'd rather content for your ears, PS4 Pro was also a point of discussion on a
recent episode of The Clickbait Podcast.
A Tale of Two Consoles
recent episode of Versus here on PSLS, we pit the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro against one another to weigh up their respective pros and cons.
HDD Can Be Replaced
Though PS4 Pro-ready titles won't necessarily be bigger than their PS4 counterparts, early adopters will be pleased to note that the HDD can be upgraded -- just keep in mind that support
doesn't include external hard drives.
Launching alongside the remodelled DualShock 4 pad, Sony has stressed that it
has no intention of rolling out a premium controller in the vein of the Xbox One Elite.
"We want to keep PlayStation 4 as a single unified audience. We need to be quite careful to the enhancements we add to the controller. But it’s not the sort of thing that’s going to create haves and have nots."
4K Capture Card Incoming?
Hardware manufacturer Elgato Gaming has been
dropping hints that a 4K capture device is in the works. We'll have to make the jump up from 1080p at some point, right?
Price, Specs & 8GB of RAM
PlayStation 4 Pro will launch on November 10 for $399.
In anticipation of its release, here you'll find
all the technical minutia you'll ever need regarding PS4 Pro. Sony, meanwhile, recently levelled on its decision to keep the RAM at 8GB.
Though Andrew House seems more concerned with the PC market, Microsoft’s Project Scorpio is
purportedly more powerful than the PS4 Pro.
Will that make a marked difference come release? Or is the one-year headstart enough for Sony to bolster its market dominance?
Anthony Severino, the founding father of PSLS, is handling our review of the PS4 Pro. Find his final verdict here.