PlayStation Meeting Recap

A higher GPU! PS4 Pro! The Slim! HDR Hair! 4k Support!

The PlayStation Meeting in New York  was an interesting affair; we learned more technical words and phrases than a first-year university lecture (remember that thing about luminosity that Mark Cerny said? Me neither). Here’s a recap of the shenanigans from Andrew House and co.

So, firstly, the PS4 Slim was announced as a sort of “everyone already knows about it so let’s get it out the way quick.” We’ve come a long way from seeing the console on a Gumtree ad in Manchester. Yeah, I know. Andrew House promptly introduced the WeightWatchers version of the PS4 and noted that it would be available on September 15th at a price of £259.

House stated that the company believed that there is a number of players still wishing to join the PlayStation community and the announcement of the Slim is the perfect opportunity to join now and at an affordable price. No drivel, just straight up unveiling. Not really how the rest of the hour meeting went…

A lot of the event was dedicated to selling the update revolution resolution of the new machine – the PS4 Pro. Now. I’m not sure what to think of the title. Was I not a pro player before? What does “pro” mean? Professional fidelity? It’s the most academic the console has ever sounded. Oh well, it makes Lara Croft’s hair look pretty in the wind so anyway.

In a sleepy hypnotic cadence, Mark Cerny took the stage to dreamily talk about the capabilities of HDR, 4K resolution and “forward compatibility.” At the risk of sending you to sleep here is a tidy bullet-point list of what Cerny was actually chatting about:

  • Current and upcoming PS4 releases will support High Dynamic Range and an updated resolution
  • The PS4 Pro will have an updated GPU
  • The console also comes with a bigger 1TB hard-drive so you don’t have to delete all those PS+ free games every time new ones come around
  • “Forward compatibility” was Nu-Nerd Speak to describe that any game released in the future as well as previous releases will make use of High Dynamic Range
  • Sunsets will look better, night skies will look more star-y, texture mapping will be improved and graphical fidelity on a whole will be improved
  • These improvements will be most noticeable on 4k TVs or other 4k moniters but HDTV users (pretty much most of us then) will still see the differences
  • Mark Cerny was hypnotised himself by Hideo Kojima (probably) and this explains his comatose vocal delivery

The actual PS4 Pro looks like a cross between a Big-Mac and a Big Tasty. It also looked too heavy for Andrew House to actually carry. It probably resembles a Big Tasty in ethos too. More expensive with an upgraded “meat” of the actual machine. The PS4 BT is even a better name. The developers who have embraced HDR and 4k resolution so far make a worthy side order of fries to the machine. Anyway. That’s enough McDonald’s rhetoric.

So far, Sony still haven’t released any specs for the PS4 Pro even though, well, it’s on sale soon. November the 10th to be precise. It’s priced at £349.

Early reports seem to indicate that the machine will not read 4K Blu-Ray discs which is pretty disappointing. The Xbox One S does, HA – in your face Sony.

The event left two lingering questions in the air (aside from why the event felt like a invitation to a cult/the plot to Season 3 of True Detective):

  1. Will mid-generation innovation and upgrading become the norm of the console development cycle?
  2. Will PS4 Neo really make a difference to HDTV users or will it only be the big spenders with their 4K TVs that will benefit/simply, is it worth the money?

The answer to both is: I don’t know. But we’ll probably know the answer to both once the console hits shelves later this year. But for one thing, Horizon: Zero Dawn looked SO GOOD. Thanks for tuning in.