I’ll try to make this quick, Sony finally announced the system we have known about for almost a year formerly known as the Playstation Neo. It is now officially called the Playstation 4 Pro, it has double the strength of the current PS4 and allows for 4k and HDR gaming for those that own a 4k and HDR enabled televisions. The presentation itself was very uneventful, it wasn’t the normal big presentation we have come to expect from Sony. The highlights of the show were the unveiling of the console itself, getting a price and release date, and the first gameplay footage for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Unfortunately the cons out weigh the Pros in my opinion.
While everyone was clearly assuming we would be finding out more information about the, as it was known at the time Neo, I was a little surprised that they had the console to show and how soon it was coming out. The price was another pleasant surprise seeing that most were worried that the Neo and Scorpio would have premium price to match their premium specs. At $399 the PS4 Pro is very fairly priced and won’t break the bank for most, the only issue becomes is it worth it. The presenters at the presentation weren’t the most entertaining bunch of folks, I even found myself checking my phone instead of paying close attention to what was being said. Another flaw in the presentation was not being able to show most of the improvements due to the fact that you need a 4k display to see the upgrades. To be fair to Sony this is impossible situation to be in and they took many steps to try to get the message across, but to the majority of us watching live streams most of the presentation was falling on deaf ears. Third party support played a huge role in the show, with most major publishers showing their support for the PS4 Pro, the biggest of these was the first gameplay of Mass Effect Andromeda being shown at the Presentation. We have been dying to see anything on this game and to finally see gameplay was really the highlight of the show.
The show and Sony in general failed on multiple fronts, as the creators of the Blu-ray format, to allow your competitor to have a better 4k Blu-ray drive in their mid and High tier models while not having a 4k drive in any of your models is insane to me. Leaving the only way to get 4k content to be through digital, which most don’t have the internet to support. Microsoft announced at E3 2016 that they have their own high tier Xbox One with their Project Scorpio. Scorpio is the most power console ever according to Microsoft and we all expected Sony to attempt to close that power gap since they hadn’t officially announced their high tier until this show, but that didn’t happen and now instead of comparing the Pro to Scorpio it is being compared to Microsoft’s mid tier console the Xbox One S. Since the show we have also learned that some games may charge for the 4k or HDR upgrade patch.
In my opinion Sony just shot themselves in the foot, they were dominating this generation, outselling Microsoft’s Xbox One 2 to 1. Since E3 2016 Microsoft has outsold the PS4 in the 2 months following the show and are taking shots at Sony the same way Sony took shots at them after the 2013 E3 that shifted to momentum to Sony’s favor. To release a new console so quickly and not really have a good reason or huge jump power wise doesn’t seem like a good move. Also 4k televisions are still expensive and by waiting a year it could end up benefiting Microsoft next year with their more powerful system and a larger 4k install base. Sony’s been riding high this generation and it seems like it’s made them lazy. Their First party titles have been rare as have exclusive 3rd party support. They are launching 3 new pieces of hardware this Fall (PS4 Slim Sept 15th, PS4 Pro Nov 10th, and Playstation VR Oct 13th) but have no major exclusive titles coming until 2017. Sony needs to re-focus and get back on track this generation or it could end badly which would be a shame after seeing how great it started for them.