At a (very) short and concise event in New York City, Sony revealed to the world what it already knew for the most part. Head of PlayStation Andrew House and lead system architect Mark Cerny were on stage to talk about Sony's new hardware.
First up was the PS4 Slim. It's smaller than the original PlayStation 4, officially hits stores starting September 15th, and will cost $300. It was also mentioned that this will be the new standard PS4 model going forward. Other than that, nothing else was said about it.
What we really care about though is the long rumored Neo hardware. Officially called PlayStation 4 Pro, this noticeably bigger box was built with 4K and HDR displays in mind. Confirming leaked documentation, the CPU's clock speed has been increased over the original PS4 and the GPU is using AMD's new Polaris technology. It launches November 10th with a 1TB hard drive for $400.
As expected, all existing PS4 titles will work on the Pro, and all new games will work on both systems for the foreseeable future. Some previously released games will be receiving updates to take advantage of the new hardware, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, and Sony plans on updating at least six of their own titles, including Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. They also showed upcoming games like Mass Effect: Andromeda and Insomniac's Spider-Man game running on the new hardware.
When addressing the new potential for visuals with games running on the Pro and 4K displays, Cerny said, "Brute force rendering techniques can of course be used to support these displays, but they have unfortunate consequences for console cost and form factor. So with PS4 Pro our strategy has instead been to foster streamlined rendering techniques that can take advantage of custom hardware. When coupled with best in breed temporal and spatial anti-aliasing algorithms, the results can be astonishing."
To me that sounds a lot like the Pro won't render games at a native 4K resolution, and will instead use new development techniques to upscale content for these new screens. In fact that makes sense given the new GPU. Earlier this year a lot of technical information was leaked about the PS4 Pro. Now with new graphics cards from AMD out using the same technology as what's found in the Pro, an approximate system using PC hardware can already be tested.