Nearly two months after Microsoft announced its new Xbox One S at E3 2016, Sony introduced a new Playstation 4 Pro along with a slimmer Playstation 4 model at an event in New York yesterday. Sony's new $399 PS4 Pro will support both HDR and 4K TV sets, but the new console also features more powerful hardware to deliver better performance in games. In a press release published yesterday, the Japanese company shared that the new console will deliver 4.2 teraflops of computing power, which is more than twice the power than the 1,84 teraflops of the original PS4.
Just like the Xbox One S, the PS4 Pro will be able to upscale current Playstation 4 games to 4K and also support 4K video streaming:
By boosting the performance and capability of the system architecture including the CPU and GPU, PS4 Pro allows games to deliver graphics with far more detail and unprecedented visual precision. Users with 4K TVs will be able to enjoy all PS4 titles in higher quality, such as 4K quality*1 resolution and faster or more stable frame rates. In addition, PS4 Pro supports 4K video playback to deliver 4K streaming video services such as Netflix and YouTube.
Additionally, Sony claims that the new console will enable High Dynamic Range for "supported games and other entertainment content with visuals that are more realistic, strikingly vivid and truer to the way the human eye sees the real world." However, while the $399 PS4 Pro will be more powerful than Microsoft's $299 Xbox One S, Sony's new console is also bigger than the previous model and it also lacks a 4K Blu-ray player. As noted by the Xbox team on Twitter yesterday, the Xbox One S remains highly competitive:
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 7, 2016
Albert Penello, Senior Director of Product management and planning at Xbox marketing echoed this sentiment in an interview with Polygon yesterday:
I feel good about what we've done with the Xbox One S. Both we and Sony are investing in 4K as the future of the console space, and we have a history of adding features to our hardware.
Sony's PS4 Pro will be available on November 10, 2016, in Japan, North America and Europe, and Microsoft won't release its more powerful Project Scorpio until late 2017. However, the Xbox team is still confident that the upcoming console which will deliver 6 teraflops of computing power (roughly 43 more than Sony's PS4 Pro) and enable true 4K gaming will provide a much better gaming experience. Penello added:
We know it's important to deliver an experience that demonstrates the power gap between [the PS4 Pro and Scorpio] at a price that makes sense to console gamers. The performance delta will be obvious."
We'll have to wait for the first reviews to see if Sony's PS4 Pro is a valuable upgrade over the original Playstation 4. While we don't know all the details about Project Scorpio, Microsoft's strategy seems slightly more clear today: the Xbox One S brings many improvements over the first Xbox One (it's 40% slimmer and it supports modern TV sets features such as 4K and HDR) while Project Scorpio is expected to push console games to the next level with true 4K support.
As of today, the message around the Playstation 4 Pro may be a bit confusing: just like Microsoft's Xbox One S, the new console can upscale games to 4K and support HDR, though it's still not clear if the more powerful hardware will be that much appreciable in both current and upcoming games.
Do you think Sony is right to introduce an incremental update to its gaming console right now, or do you think the company should have waited to introduce a more future-proof console that can compete with Microsoft's Project Scorpio? Let us know what you think by dropping us a comment below.