Sony on Wednesday announced a pair of new models of the PlayStation 4; one that is slimmed down and another that is more powerful and designed for 4K and HDR TVs.
The slimmer, lighter model will be the standard PS4 moving forward. It has all the same specs as the current model but is designed to use less energy. It will be available in most markets by Sept. 15, for $299.
The more powerful model, known as PS4 Pro will be released Nov. 10, for $399. Older PS4 games will work with the new Pro model, and Sony and its partners are patching some games to improve play on the more powerful system.
Andrew House, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said at the event every existing PS4 will be made HDR-capable via a firmware upgrade next week.
“We believe the potential of HDR is incredible, and that it will transform gaming and entertainment in a manner we haven’t seen since the transition from standard to HD video,” House said.
House said the company doesn’t want to splinter the PlayStation community by creating two separate systems. PS4 games will work on either console, meaning there will not be separate versions to buy for the Pro and standard consoles. The PS4 Pro will also work with HDTVs.
“For those who have yet to join the PS4 community, there has never been a better time,” House said.
House said both Netflix and YouTube are developing 4K and HDR-capable apps for PS4 Pro. By the end of the year, there will be more than 600 hours of 4K programming on Netflix.
Following the initial announcement of the new consoles, Sony showed previews of several new games, such as Call of Duty Infinite Warfare and Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Both consoles were heavily rumored in advance of the event in New York City, and Sony actually confirmed development of a high end PS4, code-named Neo at the time, prior to the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.
Sony’s announcement comes just after Microsoft unveiled a more compact and redesigned version of the Xbox One, called the Xbox One S, that hit store shelves on Aug. 2. It will also sell a more powerful version, called Project Scorpio, in time for the 2017 holiday season.
On Oct. 13, PlayStation will release its anticipated virtual reality platform, and it will ship with a demo disc that includes eight games. GeekWire got a chance to try out the PlayStation VR headset and play Rez Infinite, an update of the 2001 music-based rail shooter made originally for Dreamcast and PlayStation 2.