As you are no doubt collecting your thoughts regarding the PlayStation Meeting, which just ended minutes ago, we already have some of our own to share. The biggest issue with today’s event is and always was PS4 Pro and its 4K, HDR focus.
Unless you were attending the event in-person and had the chance to see the visual differences, it’s impossible to know what exactly we are dealing with. While Sony said they’ll release the footage shown on VOD shortly, it was always a problem to try and showcase 4K and HDR via an online stream when millions of viewers cannot view the images and video clips themselves in 4K and HDR.
I’m sure the Horizon: Zero Dawn, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Mass Effect Andromeda demoes were impressive to see in-person, but they looked no different from gameplay footage we saw in June at E3. This was always going to be a problem for Sony and quite frankly, I’m a bit surprised they didn’t have more to show that could have compensated for the underwhelming presentation that just ended.
It all really feels like a presentation that happened a year too early and was ultimately rush. PS4 Pro I’m sure will be a technology worth investing in eventually, but there’s not too much justifying the purchase this coming Nov. 10.
Sony stated that they will be sending out “patches” to a “half dozen first party games” to bring them up to PS4 Pro quality, and they said a number of other third party titles will do the same. Infinite Warfare, Modern Warfare Remastered, FIFA 17, and Battlefield 1 are games that will support PS4 Pro Day One. Kudos to EA and Activision for supporting it.
However, “hundreds” of gameplay hours doesn’t exactly justify a $399 purchase this fall. How big of a difference will PS4 Pro truly show and does it justify the kind of money you’ll need to put down to get one?
Oh and it’ll be more than $400 if you don’t have the TV and HDMI cords to support that already.
There were no new games shown off during the presentation, which is something that could’ve compensated for the viewers at home who really didn’t see much of a difference. Even though Sony showed quite a few new games at E3, they should have saved games like God of War and Days Gone to be shown off during this event. Those would have at least taken some of the attention off of the fact that just about all of us watching at home can’t see the difference in visuals, and now we have to rely on the word of those who were there in-person.
PS4 Pro feels like it has a bit of PS VR problem, in that you need to see for yourself in order to truly believe it. And will the launch lineup, which seems extremely thin, justify a $400 purchase?
Mark Cerny even said it himself during his presentation that developers are still trying to figure out how to best utilize HDR. So why is PS4 Pro launching this year then? If it’s a technology you don’t fully understand, then don’t release it two months later and expect people to pay $400 for it. Don’t tell us to buy something you can’t fully grasp or utilize.
The $399 price tag is really the only redeemable thing I’m taking from this event. It otherwise feels like a move that was rushed by Sony because they know Project Scorpio is coming next year and it is going to grossly overpower PS4 Pro. Don’t you wonder why we didn’t get an exact figure for PS4 Pro’s GPU power?
PS4 Pro in 2016 feels like a quick cash grab for Sony and I’m frankly disappointed in the lack of games that seem to be coming to the system at launch. They said “hundreds of hours of gameplay” because they didn’t want to give the exact number of games. Saying “12” doesn’t sound too good when a fourth of them are yearly franchises.
There are a number of topics Sony didn’t address today such as trade-in programs, whether they are or are not happening. Hopefully more concrete information comes out in the coming days because what we have to go off of now is underwhelming and not worth shelling out another $399 for.
We Write Things recently talked to Strategies Analytics’ Digital Media Strategies Director Michael Goodman about possible PS4 Pro trade-ins, console stratification and visual jumps. Stick around for more thoughts on PS4 Pro in the coming days and let me know what you thought of the event in the comments below.