Lets Talk About the PlayStation 4 Pro, HDR, and Upgrading to the Pro
Playstation 4 Pro games will take advantage of imaging technology called High Definition Range.
The PlayStation 4 Pro promises to be one of the most powerful pieces of gaming hardware on the market in comparison to what's currently available when it launches on November 10th, 2016. Sony themselves have boasted that the console will receive a 30% overall upgrade in performance compared to earlier models. This means games will run at higher resolutions than ever before on consoles, they will feature sharper and crisper graphics. The games will also take advantage of a imaging technology called High Definition Range or HDR for short.
Moving to HDR technology will allow Sony and the gaming industry to achieve more-an unprecedented amount of realism than ever before. With the ability to tap deeper into realism than ever before, the PlayStation 4 Pro seeks to set itself apart from its competitor - the Microsoft Xbox One, but should you upgrade just for the graphics?
Wait, What is HDR and Why Do I Care?
Before we get too far in, HDR is something not a lot of gamers really look into, and it's alright not to. For those of you who are curious, lets break down what HDR is into layman's terms.
HDR is a technique that is used in imaging and photography to allow us to see a greater dynamic range of luminosity than ever before seen in any form of standard digital imaging or photographic techniques. This means that games, movies, photographs and even T.V. shows will be able to create a luminescence that the human eye naturally perceives when standing near a light inside your house or outside in the sun. As you can see above, the photo has little to no lighting, it's not a quality in which our eyes would perceive compared the photo. It's dark, it's drab, and it's lacking detail.
Because of the outdated method the human visual systems (your eyes) are able to perceive what isn't truly there and accept it for a realistic image. In the image as we talked about above, we see what would be a normal photo, one that is lacking in lighting effects and even detail. With HDR our brains will perceive what we see on screen as realistic. We will see more detail, more color depth, more color variations, and even finer pin-pointed aspects of that image before us. It is, simply put, how our eyes perceive lighting within video games, movies, etc and how it will appear to us on screen.
If the pictures help, this displays the difference between HDR and non-HDR. HDR portrays lighting as it is in the world around us. It will allow for a more realistic appearances to our games, and even deeper immersion than ever before thanks to even better detail being readily available to us. Want the water in your game to seem as if it's really reflecting the sun as Nathan Drake drags his feet in the sand? That'll be more than possible with this technology that both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro will support. PlayStation 4 Pro, however, will be able to handle this even better with hits hardware.
Do I Need the PlayStation 4 Pro to Enjoy HDR?
The short answer is - No. Luckily Sony has opted to deliver this feature to both the standard PlayStation 4 and its upcoming twin the PlayStation 4 Slim. Simply put, Sony is going to be making ALL PlayStation 4's compatible with HDR technology in the upcoming firmware date. Yes, you read that right, ALL PlayStation 4's will have HDR technology. Games like Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and even the Uncharted franchise will receive more realistic effects to them.
However, to enjoy HDR in resolution in those games higher than 1080p, you'll definitely want to go grab a 4K TV or a UHD TV of some sort. While they aren't cheap, not all TV's support HDR, which is something quite a few will miss out on when the PlayStation update goes live unless you've bought a TV that supports it lately. Fortunately for you, most new TV's actually do have it so you won't exactly be missing out there. The best way to find out will to check your TV's user manual or check online for your exact model number. It'll be important if you are wanting to get the most out of your TV.
Okay, okay. Should I Upgrade or Hold Off?
This is where it gets a little tricky to be quite frank with you. The PlayStation 4 Pro is aimed at high-end gaming. In many ways, it seems that Sony is trying to get the VR aficionado's on board with their headset, but also to bring the hardest of the hardcore gamers over in order to keep them interested and to make their experiences more fluid. After all, Sony has been making some rather big steps having just broken 40 million units sold. However, if you're just wanting to game in 1080p and don't mind the games the way they are? You're not going to hurt yourself by saving a few hundred dollars.
The pro's to upgrading to the console even without a 4K TV aren't going to hurt you all that much. With a rough 30% overall performance increase, a 1TB hard drive, and a rather silly design, the PlayStation 4 Pro will be the place to go if you plan on purchasing a UHD TV in the future. It's one that will take full advantage of those TVs in order to deliver the best frame rates to date while also allowing games to truly allow you gamers to revel in faster frame rates, better response times, and less in-game latency due to memory access.
Choosing one is a tough call. It is a purchase to consider as one will be more powerful in the long run while the other will be better in the short term as games will grow more demanding over time. Luckily for us both of these consoles will work side-by-side so that you and your friends will share your gaming experiences together. The answer is, it won't hurt to upgrade or hold off if you're someone who wants the console that'll perform better in the long run. With that being said - the PlayStation 4 family won't be going anywhere and will keep gamers gaming for years to come.
About the author
A video games journalist and Content Creator. He has been featured on sites such as AppTrigger and MoviePilot. He's the president and editor-in-chief of the independent news publisher Blast Away the Game Review.