Upgradeable consoles would be a huge change to the current console slate, but according to President and Global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House, isn't going to happen on his watch - at least not yet.
House recently talked with DigitalSpy about the upcoming PS4 Pro and Sony's goals with the PlayStation VR headset - which launches next month, where House was asked if he could see a future where the PlayStation would be upgradeable, like a PC. House replied: "It's very tough for me to envisage that at this point".
If we rewind to just last week, I wrote an article where House himself said that one of the driving reasons behind the beefier PS4 Pro consoles was that so gamers didn't jump to the PC for 4K gaming goodness. House said: "I saw some data that really influenced me. It suggested that there's a dip mid-console lifecycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC, because that's obviously where it's to be had".
Sony thinks that gamers will migrate to the PC for better graphics, yet it doesn't want to make an upgradeable console - but it is completely fine with releasing two mid-cycle PS4 refresh consoles, without jumping to the PS5. Sure, Sony... keep playing the game like this, but when Xbox Scorpio drops next year, then what?
Crytek seems to be happy about the new PlayStation 4 Pro (check out my rant on that here) and Xbox Scorpio consoles from Sony and Microsoft, respectively, with some new comments on the refreshed consoles where the studio says the additional horsepower helps remove some of the limitations of current-gen consoles.
In a post on Crytek's official blog, Crytek Game Designer Niklas Walenski said that developers are limited to some extent. This limitation is normally due to various hardware limitations in consoles, but the additional horsepower inside of the new PS4 Pro and upcoming Xbox Scorpio will remove some of these limitations.
Walenski said: "We are always limited to some extent in videogame development, and we have to work within certain constraints that are usually related to the power of a system versus what we would like to do. But new hardware inevitably removes some of the limitations. We can create bigger worlds, render much more, and have more complex systems running our ideas".
A few days ago I sat in front of the camera and talked about Sony's new PlayStation 4 Pro in a FB Live video, and for the first 20 minutes or so, I went on a huge rant about it. I had a few people tell me to make it into a separate video, and here it is.
In the video I point out that Sony Interactive Entertainment's President and CEO Andrew House said: "I saw some data that really influenced me. It suggested that there's a dip mid-console lifecycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC, because that's obviously where it's to be had. We wanted to keep those people within our eco-system by giving them the very best and very highest [performance quality]. So the net result of those thoughts was PlayStation 4 Pro - and, by and large, a graphical approach to game improvement".
Yeah, well I wasn't about to take that lying down. I had a personal rant in the original story, and continued in the FB Live stream from a few days ago. It's truly ridiculous that Sony think a Radeon RX 470 level graphics card inside of a constrained console can pump out 4K games - and that gamers will buy the new PS4 Pro over the PC if they want "the very best graphical experience".
The Last of Us was one of the best-received games on Sony's console, with the news of The Last of Us Remastered running at 4K 30FPS on the new PlayStation 4 Pro to keep fans happy. Remember that Sony made the PS4 Pro so that gamers wouldn't be incentivized to jump over to the PC. Ugh.
The news broke during the recent PlayStation Meeting where Sony unveiled the new PS4 Pro, with Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter saying that The Last of Us Remastered "clearly wasn't running at native 4K on the demo they were showing. They could do the HDR toggles on/off, they could turn off and turn on 1080p and yeah, you could see the difference there. But it was actually talking to the developer that things really became interesting".
He continued: "The PS4 version has that 30Hz mode which has higher-resolution shadow maps but otherwise it's just a locked 30fps. Now that mode on the PS4 Pro, well you keep the enhanced shadow map detail but you also get native 4K. So we have actually got a confirmed case of full native 4K game that will be available for PS4 Pro at launch, which will be The Last of Us Remastered".
Imagine being in the boardroom when Sony decided to start planning the mid-cycle refresh console that started out as the PS4 Neo, and turned into the PS4 Pro. At the time, Sony reportedly decided in favor of making the PS4 Pro as they were scared that gamers who wanted the "very best graphical experience will start to migrate, because that's obviously where it's to be had".
During an interview with The Guardian directly after the recent PlayStation Meeting where Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 Pro, Sony Interactive Entertainment's President and CEO Andrew House said: "I saw some data that really influenced me. It suggested that there's a dip mid-console lifecycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC, because that's obviously where it's to be had".
House continued: "We wanted to keep those people within our eco-system by giving them the very best and very highest [performance quality]. So the net result of those thoughts was PlayStation 4 Pro - and, by and large, a graphical approach to game improvement".
It looks like Nintendo could reveal details on their next-gen NX system early next month, something that was kind of hidden in a new article from The Wall Street Journal that covered Nintendo's jump into mobile gaming with Super Mario Run on iOS revealed during Apple's recent iPhone event.
In the report, WSJ's Takashi Mochizuki said: "The challenge now for Nintendo is leveraging all the attention into sales of the next-generation NX console, which it has said will go on sale by March. The company hasn't given any details on the NX, but people familiar with the matter say it is likely to be designed for use both as a living-room console hooked up to a television and as a portable device to carry around town. Analysts said they expect Nintendo to release NX details by early October".
That last sentence is the golden nugget, with analysts expecting Nintendo to reveal details on NX early next month - which isn't long away now. With increased competition from Microsoft in the form of the Xbox One S and the upcoming 4K-capable Project Scorpio console in 2017, and Sony's newly refreshed PS4 Slim and powerful 4K-ready PS4 Pro consoles, can Nintendo stand away from the competitors with NX?
Sony may have had the headlines this week with the introduction of the PlayStation 4 Pro, but there's still the console war between the current Xbox One S and the PS4 - which Microsoft finally started to get some traction this week in the US.
The new 2TB model of the Xbox One S was released on August 2 for $400, and sales of the new console are included under the Xbox One banner. This means that the Xbox One/Xbox One S have outsold the PS4 for two months in a row, but things will change with the introduction of the PS4 Pro in the coming months, and especially over the holidays.
Xbox Marketing CVP Mike Nichols told Engadget: "Thanks to our fans and their excitement for new Xbox One games and the recently launched Xbox One S, which is the only console available this holiday with built-in UHD 4K Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and HDR for video and gaming, Xbox One was the best-selling console in the U.S. in August, according to NPD Group".
Sony has started detailing the various console bundles for its PS4 Slim console, with the PS4 Slim bundles including the newer, fresher console as well as the controller and usual accessories.
There will be various bundles available starting on September 15, where you can pick up the new PS4 Slim and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End for $300. A limited time Canada exclusive PS4 Slim bundle will see NHL 17 bundled, for the same $300 cost, while Europeans will have various options to choose from.
- Launching October 5: 1TB PS4 Slim bundle with digital copies of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, plus 30 days early access to the Modern Warfare Remastered single-player campaign.
- Launching November 4: 1TB PS4 Slim with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition (disc version of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare plus downloadable Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered).
- Launching November 4: 1TB PS4 Slim with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on disc.
Sony will also have a Watch Dogs 2 bundle on November 15, which will include the 1TB PS4 Slim, the original Watch Dogs, and Watch Dogs 2.
Sony is going to make it very easy to know which games are enhanced for the new PlayStation 4 Pro, with the company using a "PS4 Pro Enhanced" sticker or icon on the PS4 packaging.
Sony says: "You can check PlayStation Store for games that take advantage of PS4 Pro specific features, or look for the PS4 Pro Enhanced icon on software packaging. PS4 Pro Enhanced features vary by game. Select titles may have enhanced visuals, frame rate, HDR 10 support, or increases in resolution".
Some of the new games that are enhanced for the new PS4 Pro include Battlefield 1, Horizon Zero Dawn, Elder Scrolls Online, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Watch Dogs 2, Mass Effect Andromeda, and more.
UPDATE: In addition to the 14 games listed here, the following games will also feature upgraded performance on Sony's PS4 Pro: Titanfall 2, The Last of Us Remastered, Paragon, Shadow of Mordor, Infamous Last Light, Uncharted 4 and Elder Scrolls Online. More games will be added as well.
There is a list of games that will have built-in support for the upgraded PlayStation 4 Pro console, with some of the biggest new games of the year making the list. These games include Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Watch Dogs 2, and more.
The games that have PS4 Pro support will use the additional horsepower and 4K output for better looking games that will also run better on the PS4 Pro, so we should expect most of these games to [hopefully] run at 60FPS on 1080p HDTVs. Sadly, it's up to devs how these upgrades are applied, so not every game will run at native 1080p 60FPS on PS4 Pro. Older games will need to be updated with Forward Compatibility updates to leverage the PS4 Pro's new hardware, and Mark Cerny affirms that more older PS4 games will be supported in the future:
"You may have noticed that several of these titltes including Paragon, Infamous: Last Light, and Shadow of Mordor are already released. That's another aspect of the PS4 Pro experience. A number of games you already own may have been patched to play better on the console. We're referring to this upgrading of your library as Forward Compatibility. Patches for over a half dozen of our first-party titles are in the works, as well as quite a few from our third-party partners," Cerny said during the PS4 Pro's reveal.