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PlayStation Meeting 2016 Recap

"Sony finally makes the Slim PS4 & Neo official"

Today was a big day in the world of technology. Apple finally announced the iPhone 7 models with their own mixed bag of disappointments. Sony had their PlayStation Meeting event at New York City to clear up all the rumors the past few months. Are the leaks right concerning the slim PlayStation 4 and the Neo? Let’s recap the conference below.

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First off is the slim PS4 announcement as Sony’s Andrew House confirms it exists. The slim version releases on September 15th, that’s next Thursday, for $299. He also mentioned that it will replace the current PS4 at retailers going forward. The revised Dual Shock 4 that also rumored for a while comes along with the package as well. In addition, 5GHz Wi-Fi support is featured in this model which is slightly better than the normal one.

The rest of this year’s PlayStation Meeting was centered on the PlayStation 4 Pro, the official name for the Neo. Personally, I liked the Neo name for better just for the sake of being different. Mark Cerny went on for a while talking about what’s better with the Pro. If you want more about the detailed specs, check them out here. Upcoming and existing games were shown on the PS4 Pro such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Uncharted 4, Watch Dogs 2 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The more standout games there were the new Spider-Man game, first gameplay for Mass Effect Andromeda and Horizon: Zero Dawn.

The thing about these demos is that the streams didn’t do the PS4 Pro justice. In other words, I watched the compressed YouTube stream and didn’t notice what were the big improvements. People that were at the event did say the games looked better in person. Despite that, with the majority of the audience watching at home you would think Sony would of done a better job showcasing these demos. Also the videos shown were mostly flyovers or views of an open world where the framerate wasn’t tested. I would like to see more combat intensive sequences seeing if the performance¬†stays consistent. Sure, most of us don’t have 4K displays but the conference as a whole wasn’t a good sell on the Pro.

Other announcements from the PlayStation Meeting were at Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will have PS4 Pro support on day one. Activision also confirmed Modern Warfare Remastered and Black Ops III for the same with the latter by an update. The only significant mention of PlayStation VR is that VR games will look better on the PS4 Pro. The lack of marketing for that still concerns me and we’re about a month away from it’s launch. Apps such as Netflix and YouTube will get updates for 4K/HDR support. However, a big no-no is that Engadget confirms that there’s no UHD Blu-Ray support for the PS4 Pro. What?!?
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Lastly, the price and date were announced for the PlayStation 4 Pro. The upgraded PS4 comes out on November 10th for $399. The price makes sense and I’m glad Sony didn’t pull something similar to the PS3 launch. That would of been the final nail in the coffin considering how disappointing the rest of the conference went. Sony didn’t do a good job selling the PS4 Pro as a worthy product compared to how Microsoft pitched the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio at E3. I would like to see these demos in 4K displays myself to see if the Pro is really worth it. The stream didn’t do those games justice. For now it looks to be only worth it if you already have a 4K TV or planning to get one this fall. I’m not one of those people and sticking¬†with my current PS4 for now.

Today showed that it’s a shame that game publishers and developers are solely focused on graphics and power. Oh yay it looks better, but does it play better at the end of the day? Does the performance of these games stay more consistent or we’ll see the same old frame drops? Those discussions can be saved for another day as if inch closer to the launch of the upgraded consoles. Until then, we’ll see if Sony can rebound from this lackluster conference at their PlayStation Experience later this year. Did today make you excited for the PlayStation 4 Pro? Sound off on the comments below if so or not.

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