Sony recently held a little conference where they finally announced the PlayStation Neo, now officially called the PS4 Pro. The announcement has been a long time coming; regarding this particular item, Sony has been leakier than a sieve. It’s set to be released on the 10th of November, and will cost €400. Alongside the Pro, a new slimmer PS4 was announced, simply called the PS4. This will be the standard PS4 moving forward, and it’s actually already out at a cost of €300.
Given that the original PS4 only launched in November of 2013, this short turnaround between consoles seems rather premature. Of course, back in the days of the Megadrive we had the Sega CD and 32X, but those were add-ons to the console you already owned, and were priced as such; the same could be said for the Nintendo 64DD and the Expansion Pak, and there was a degree of sense to them, as ridiculous as they may seem now with the benefit of hindsight.
This is not the case, however, with the PS4 Pro. Though it does boast an upgraded GPU & CPU, allowing for limited 4k gaming, improved PSVR functionality and improved framerate with certain games, the price seems very steep. If it was simply a case of buying a €150 box that I could slap onto my current PS4 then I would seriously consider getting that; but to spend €400 to buy something that I essentially already have is out of the question. That would be like if the only way to get the DLC for a game was to buy the whole game again at the same price you paid for it, but this time you get a little extra.
Though it may to seem like it, I actually don’t care about these new features all that much. My trepidation stems from the fact that I am incredibly worried that instead of games being made for the base PS4, then beefed up for the Pro, games will instead be designed for the Pro and then made to work on the base PS4. The official directive from Sony is to target the base PS4 and then work from there for the Pro, but some developers and publishers will undoubtedly ignore this and just do whatever they want.
We already saw this exact situation when Nintendo released the New 3DS. Hyrule Warriors runs acceptably on the New 3DS, but on older models it drops so many frames that it’s basically a slideshow. I doubt that the situation will ever get that bad on the PS4, but with developers already making games that perform far less than optimally on current hardware, I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to see them leaving the old PS4 in the dust.