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Sony says the 4K PS4 Pro is 'where we think the market wants to go'
Yesterday at the PlayStation Theater in New York City, Sony announced two new iterations of the PlayStation 4, both of which are due to launch this year. That makes three hardware launches for the company's gaming division over the next three months: PlayStation VR on October 13th; the new slimmer PS4 on September 15th; followed by the more powerful, 4K-capable PlayStation Pro on November 10th. The holidays are about to get very busy for Sony.Just after the event I had the chance to chat with Shawn Layden — head of both Sony Interactive Entertainment America, and the PlayStation Worldwide Studios group — about the timing of the launches, the challenges of selling 4K content, and whether the PS4 Pro was influenced by Microsoft's similar Project Scorpio, which launches next year.(This interview has been edited for clarity.)Can you tell me a bit about the thinking behind the decision to announce and launch not just one, but two new versions of the PS4 hardware? Why was now the time to do both of those things?We've been in the PlayStation 4 business now since late 2013, so that's coming up on Christmas number four. We have found ways, now that we have more than 43 million PS4s in the market worldwide, [to] get better production manufacturing efficiencies. So it's not unusual for us to come out with a new chassis on our current hardware. Smaller, lighter, and at a more broadening price point at $299.At the same time, we were looking at this generation, for the first time ever, to really see what we could do with continuing to push not just production efficiencies and manufacturing technology, but with advancements in the technology platform. Mark Cerny, who is the system architect, he's been talking about boosting the power of the GPU, boosting the CPU power and clock speed, and all of these different sorts of enhancements. What can we do that we've never done before, but inside of the life cycle of a platform to create something new, enhanced, more powerful? But still staying in the format stamp of PlayStation 4, so that every game coming out moving forward will play on your PS4 Pro, as it will play on your standard PS4. So you won't see two different boxes, like VHS and Betamax.