Sony was supposed to have two PlayStations to reveal at its September press conference today, but the first—a new redesign of the PlayStation 4 that’s slimmer but otherwise functionally the same—had already been purchased and flaunted on the internet by a handful of enterprising people before Sony even had the chance to show it off. So the company kicked off today’s show with the official announcement of that system, which will sell for $300 and should be available everywhere by September 15th, and quickly moved on to the main event: the reveal of a more powerful PlayStation 4 system that won’t replace the current model, but provide a new high-end option with several added bells and whistles.
Sony announced that this souped-up PlayStation 4 will be called the PlayStation 4 Pro and, in the lone surprise of the press conference, it’ll be launching on November 10, 2016 for $400. The Pro sports upgraded hardware that’ll allow it to take advantage of all the fancy new television technology that’s popped up in the last few years, including 4K resolution for added clarity and high-dynamic-range imaging for more vibrant colors. The benefits of those features will only show up if you’re playing on a compatible TV, and because of the nature of them, none of those advancements were truly visible on the livestreamed video of the conference, which included new footage of Mass Effect: Andromeda (embedded below) and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Those with 4K TVs should be able to watch the archived footage of those videos to experience the supposed ultra HD glory. Sony claims the Pro will also make visual improvements to games that are running on a regular old HDTV and that previously released games can be updated to add support for the Pro’s additional features.
According to a report from BBC News, noticeably missing from the system is a drive that will play 4K Blu-rays, a feature that’s included in Microsoft’s new Xbox One S model, so if you’re looking to watch 4K movies on your PS4 Pro, you’d better make sure your internet connection is good enough to stream them. And speaking of Microsoft, it announced a similar upgrade to the Xbox One at this year’s E3. Its super-powered console, code-named Project Scorpio, won’t be launching until some unannounced date in 2017.