"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Sony Reveals the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro

After months of speculation, yesterday Sony finally revealed their new Playstation 4 hardware. Previous codenamed Neo, the PS4 Pro is essentially a 4.5 version of the hardware. It still plays existing PS4 games, still plays Blu-rays, but under the hood it has a much more powerful processor and graphics chips. The result is ability to play games in 4K resolution, assuming you have a TV that displays at that resolution (most TVs currently are 1080p which is equivalent of 1K. In addition this will allow those interested in playing in the virtual reality space to be able to do so without having to drop some money for a new desktop computer setup that would be necessary to handle the burgeoning technology. Because of that new power, it means that existing games will get a bit of a graphical bump in quality when playing on it while future games will be able to take full advantage of the new hardware, at least up to a point as the games are required to be playable on the PS4 Slim also.

As for the PS4 Slim, its what the name suggests. Just a smaller version of the current PS4 console. Its actually official name is simply the "PS4" since it will be replacing the current model. Same chip specs, same graphics, same capabilities just in a smaller device that uses less power and runs a bit quieter. The key difference between the two comes down to graphical detail. If you love crisp details in your games, you want the pro. If you don't care or phone and handheld graphics have long suited you without much thought then the $100 price difference and it being about the same size as the regular PS4 may make it not worth it to you to upgrade. If you already own a PS4, the Slim also may not be worth it unless you really need to take advantage of its smaller footprint, less noise and power usage.

One caveat of weirdness is while both systems will be able to display HDR videos. However while only the Pro does 4k, it cannot run 4K Blu-rays. Therefore if you want to watch 4K videos on the PS4 Pro, you will have to stream it and since those files are enormous, be aware that means if your ISP has data caps, it could become a problem. Sony has not explained why they have chosen this rather odd hardware limitation considering the specs of the machine.

The price of the PS Slim is $299 with 1TB hard drive, set for release on September 15th. The PS4 Pro will be released on November 10 for $399 with 1TB hard drive. You can pre-order the PS4 Pro now.

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