The new powerhouse PlayStation 4 (PS4) Pro dropped today as one of the latest 4K HDR Gaming Consoles. But while the renowned PS4 gaming console that’s sold 40 million worldwide is going pro, it features a few 4K oversights.
This PlayStation ‘Update’ is a Powerhouse among 4K HDR Gaming Consoles, with 4K video streaming as the focus; but it lacks in 4K Blu-ray and 4K recording capabilities.
For the most part, the launch is the latest attack in the battle with Microsoft for who can keep up with new graphical rendering technology and new 4K HDR TV technology. Microsoft recently released the Xbox One S with 4K streaming, upscaled 4K gaming, HDR, and a Blu-ray 4K disc player. The company is also working on ‘Project Scorpio,’ which they’re promoting as ‘the most powerful console ever’; it has six teraflops, and should be available in late 2017.
Why the fierce competition? ‘The requirement for the latest games in terms of graphics and processors are growing exponentially,’ explains George Jijiashvili, of CCS Insight, ‘[In] order to deliver the latest gaming experience, Microsoft and Sony have felt they needed to keep up with the latest developers, and deliver hardware that can deliver this content.’
And deliver the PS4 Pro will. An eight-core Jaguar AMD CPU and a 4.2 teraflop AMD Polaris GPU deliver twice the speed of the regular PS4 and a mammoth 1TB hard drive, the PS4 Pro provides plenty of storage for saving, downloading, and playing back games.
4K HDR Gaming Console Delivers Brilliant Booms and Shading
With all the new power and storage, the PS4 Pro can run 4K HDR games to 4K, 4K HDR, and HD TVs and monitors through gaming as a service (GaaS) programs such as PlayStation Now. The U.S. install base of 50 million 4K TVs and global shipments of 4K HDR TVs that’ll hit 4.2 million in 2016 and nearly 40 million in the year 2020. So, developers are creating games to be played on the constantly improving TVs and consoles. The 4K TV offers wicked-sharp resolution; and the 4K HDR TV delivers more color range for more depth and brilliance in daytime scenes and more clarity and detail in nighttime scenes.
‘Part of why image quality improves so much with HDR is that it’s possible to have key areas of a scene [such as explosions] that are dozens of times brighter than what a conventional TV can display,’ explained Mark Cerny, lead system architect on PlayStation hardware, at the PS4 Pro presentation in September.
These new developments don’t mean that you’ll have to toss your regular PS4 Blu-ray discs. Considered by many to be an optional replacement to the regular PS4, which has an install base of more than 40 million, the PS4 Pro delivers more detail from certain older PS4 games. ‘Super-sampling and advanced anti-aliasing will take the jagged edge off your games that are pushing standard hardware to the limit,’ adds Cerny.
PS4 Pro Enters the 4K HDR Gaming Consoles
Market with Weaknesses
The new PS4 Pro enters the 4K HDR gaming consoles market with features such as a regular Blu-ray player, not the Blu-ray 4K player. This presents a few problems. First, you can’t play Blu-ray 4K movie discs, you can only stream 4K video content. While Netflix and YouTube are rolling out special PS4 apps that will allow gamers to take a break from gaming and watch hundreds of hours of 4K content, streaming exposes gamers who want to watch movies to the lag time, buffering, and halo artifacts caused by bandwidth-constrained networks. Second, some old and some future unsupported PS4 titles will have to be upscaled, meaning you won’t get a real 4K gaming experience. Third, you can only record and replay saved gameplay footage at 1080p and 60 frames per second (FPS).
If only there were some emerging technology that could help improve the performance of the PS4 Pro and other 4K HDR Gaming Consoles.
There might be.
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