September 7, 2016

Unreal Developers Take Center Stage at PS4 Pro Reveal

By Dana Cowley

Sony has announced PlayStation 4 Pro, formerly known as PlayStation 4 Neo, at an exclusive event today in New York, and Unreal Engine developers are crucial to showing off the new platform. 

The new PS4 model introduces upgrades such as a faster processor, improved graphics, 4K-streaming capabilities and the ability to play games at a steady 60fps at 1080p. 

Early in the presentation, Sony called out how smaller teams are bringing their games to PS4 Pro. Kudos to Unreal Engine vets Tripwire Interactive for Sony’s nod to Killing Floor 2 as the perfect example of this during the keynote. 

Sony Bend’s UE4-powered Days Gone looks amazing with HDR and 4K support, exhibiting “a level of photorealism never experienced in a game,” according to PS4 Chief Architect Mark Cerny. 

This was demonstrated by light shafts piercing an aging barn against the silhouette of the game’s protagonist followed by a new scene depicting a massive zombie horde twisting amidst flames.

Sony also showed off Epic’s new MOBA, Paragon, and pointed out that while it’s already available now in Open Beta, players will be able to enjoy forward compatibility on PS4 Pro. Dynamic lighting, enhanced geometry and scene complexity, along with motion blur for enhanced cinematic effect, all come together to achieve a highly detailed experience.

Additional ways Epic is using PS4 Pro features for Paragon include volumetric effects such as light shafts and fog that add extra depth and realism; enhanced HLOD (hierarchical level of detail) and increased view distance; screen space reflections; contact shadows; procedural grass; and advanced light bloom, which also lends to a more filmic experience.

PS4 Pro players will be able to enjoy Paragon in full 1080p with all of these bells and whistles, running at a rock solid 60fps.

Cerny said PlayStation VR developers can increase the visual fidelity of their games with PS4 Pro, pointing to Impulse Gear as a team that has “doubled the rendered pixel count" on their UE4-powered PSVR title, Farpoint, on the new hardware. 

Farpoint was nominated by GamesBeat for our “Most immersive VR Game” Unreal E3 Award at E3 2016, where the title was a PSVR tentpole demonstration in the PlayStation booth.

PS4 Pro is accelerating a unified PlayStation 4 community supporting high frame rate gameplay on the latest 4K and HDR televisions. The new console will launch on November 10 for $399. 

Congrats to everyone who has been a part of the news so far! We look forward to helping even more developers ship awesome games for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.