Months of speculation have come to an end. Weeks of disputed, but seemingly official leaks are over. Last week, electronics retailer Sony finally revealed its fall hardware line-up. Two new consoles are on their way to store shelves in the near future, the PlayStation 4 Pro and what everyone is calling the PlayStation 4 Slim.
The latter console is a traditional hardware upgrade. Sony reduced the size of its original console, while adding HDR support for a larger color gamut when paired with the right television sets. The PlayStation 4 Pro is a play for the hearts and minds of gamers that have already been or could be tempted to purchase a gaming PC. When it launches later this year, it’ll offer the best visuals of any living room console. Free updates to add better graphics and enhanced visuals to games already on store shelves are planned. New games will include support for the console when they launch.
The PlayStation 4 Pro launches in November, and the PS4 Slim is available for pre-order now ahead of its release on September 15th. These two console variants, plus some very popular console bundles that are sticking around. Potential buyers have a lot to choose from.
PS4 Slim Bundles
The PS4 Slim is the least expensive option for getting into the PS4 ecosystem. Besides a smaller footprint, it comes with a slightly updated DualShock 4 Controller. It lacks the optical audio out port that the original console had though. Eventually, this model will replace the original PS4 consoles that Sony started selling in November 2013.
Sony Limited Deluxe Edition Final Fantasy XV PS4 Bundle
The Sony Limited Deluxe Edition Final Fantasy XV PS4 is a black PS4 Slim with a game-themed piece of art etched into its top-face. Arriving on November 29th, the bundle also includes a matching controller with XV, the installment number of the latest game in the Final Fantasy franchise on it.
There’s a Steelbook case for the game itself. A copy of the Final Fantasy XV Movie is included. Buyers also get codes to unlock the Royal Raiment Outfit, Masamune weapon and Leviathan Regalia skin at no additional charge. This console has 1TB of storage.
In the United States, this model will sell for $449. Shoppers will have to head to GameStop to purchase it though. It won’t be available anywhere else. The retailer has already opened up pre-orders for the Limited Deluxe Edition Final Fantasy XV PS4 Bundle.
Sony PlayStation 4 Slim Uncharted 4 Bundle
The new base-line for the PlayStation experience is the PS4 Slim Uncharted 4 Bundle. It does include an upgraded controller and the smaller console, but doesn’t have a special paint job or anything. It’ll cost $299 when it debuts with physical copies of Uncharted 4 inside on September 15th.
PS4 Pro Bundles
The PlayStation 4 Pro is the new console that has everyone talking. Rather than stick to appearance upgrades, Sony bet that some users would want a system that includes a more robust graphics processor and other hardware upgrades. Uncharted 4, Mass Effect Andromeda, Spider-Man and The Last of Us will all boast support for the system’s 4K display technology. Think of 4K display technology as an upgrade over High-Definition. 4K handles four times the number of pixels that high-definition does. The PS4 Pro also comes with an enhanced DualShock 4 Controller.
Sony PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB
It’s a little surprising that the PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Bundle is the only bundle that Sony has announced since it revealed the console.
The console launches on November 10th for $399. There may not be any custom painted bundles, but users do get free games. Sony says that this model will come with Uncharted 4, the same adventure game that its cheaper bundle does. Users will also get access to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, this year’s entry in the long-running and best-selling first-person shooter franchise.
Original PS4 Bundles
Finally, there’s the original PlayStation 4, the console that had sharp angles and a removable faceplate for adding a bit of personality and upgrading the mechanical hard drive that it uses for storage. These consoles just received an update that added HDR technology earlier this week. They don’t support 4K displays and don’t include the latest DualShock 4 Controller.
Sony PS4 500GB Uncharted 4 Limited Edition Bundle
True fans of the Uncharted series of games can still snag the Sony PS4 500GB Uncharted 4 Limited Edition Bundle at Amazon. The surface of the console is a mix of blue and black. A solemn etching of Nathan Drake sits on the console’s top shell.
There’s a free copy of Uncharted 4 included with the $299 bundle.
Sony PS4 500GB Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Bundle
A standard black PS4 and DualShock 4 controller are included in the Sony PS4 500GB Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Bundle. Also included is a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 from last year. Buyers get the Nuketown map download.
Base your console purchase on what equipment you already have and what games you like. Sony says that all users will notice some visual improvements with the PlayStation 4 Pro, but it makes more sense to get that console if you already have a 4K television. As for choosing between the basic PS4 and the PS4 Slim, go with whichever has the free game that you like. There aren’t any functional differences between the two besides that missing Optical Audio port.
Good luck choosing your next PS4 console.