Sony said Wednesday that video gaming in 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) is finally coming to 4K Ultra HDTVs via Sony’s PlayStation 4 platform, and in a surprise announcement  all PS 4 consoles will soon be updated via firmware to support HDR as well.

Sony officially unveiled Wednesday its new 4K-capable PS 4 Pro console, which was built as an extension to the current PS 4 ecosystem. Unlike the Full 1080p PS 4, however, the new Pro offering brings more robust clock speed and GPU power supporting 4K Ultra HD graphics and HDR.

Unfortunately for 4K movie fans, the new console does not support new Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. It offers the same Blu-ray/DVD read-only disc capabilities as the previous PS 4, but it will support 4K Ultra HD streaming from Netflix and YouTube.

At the same time, the company announced a new slimmer version of the current PS 4 is on the way and revealed that starting next week a firmware date will make all PS 4 consoles compatible with the richer brightness and graphics of HDR. The PS 4 Slim will be available September 15th at a $299 suggested retail, while the PS 4 Pro will be released November 10th at $399.

Read more on the PlayStation 4 Pro after the jump:

The PS 4 Pro includes an improved CPU with boosted clock speed, doubled GPU power, 1TB hard drive and greater memory bandwidth than its predecessors, Sony said. It also includes technology adapted from AMD Polaris graphical architecture.

The PlayStation 4 Pro will support HDR 10, but Sony’s Andrew House did not specify if it would also support Dolby Vision HDR or any other system. Also not specified is how the lower resolution PS 4 consoles will handle and play HDR.

Sony’s lead architect Mark Cerny revealed that the company worked very hard to ensure that the PS 4 community remained intact with the new advances. He showed a variety of 4K games with HDR that will be available from developers to support both the PS4 Pro and updated PS4 consoles.

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Planned games include Ubisoft’s For Honor and Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man game. Cerny said that models and textures were the same as those created for the PS 4. The new Pro system uses its better rendering capability to bring out richer and more immersive graphics that can be displayed on 4K Ultra HD displays.

Cerny said the system also will use boosted core resolution and anti-aliasing techniques to display current PS 4 games at higher fidelity on 1080p TVs as well as newer 4K televisions.

Sony’s Andrew House said the PS4 Pro will also receive an updated Netflix app that supports 4K and HDR content streaming as well as an updated 4K-compatible YouTube app.

Cerny added that “developers are free to tailor the experience to best fit the type of TV you use.”

Third-party games including Paragon and Shadow of Mordor were demonstrated showing enhanced detail. Cerny said more than a half-dozen first party titles and more third party partners will be adding boosted graphics as well.

Activision CTO Andy Hendrickson appeared at the event to announce PS4 Pro compatibility for upcoming games Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare remaster. In addition an upgrade patch will be added to last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

Other enhanced games announced and demonstrated included: Days Gone, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Infamous: Last Light, Watch Dogs 2 and Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Electronic Arts revealed that it will be offering: FIFA 17, Battlefield 1, and Mass Effect: Andromeda to support PS4 Pro. New gameplay for Mass Effect: Andromeda was shown running in 4K.

By Greg Tarr


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