New PlayStation 4 Pro, Slim aim to keep Sony in the lead

Sony reveals two new PlayStation 4 video game consoles and provides details on its PlayStation VR system before the headset hits shelves next month. VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Sony on Wednesday (Sept 7) unveiled a pair of new offerings for its industry-leading PlayStation 4, including a deluxe version that is compatible with cutting-edge high dynamic range televisions.

The two new products supplement the Oct 13 launch of Sony's eagerly anticipated virtual reality headset and come ahead of the key holiday shopping season as the Japanese company hopes to maintain its edge over Microsoft's Xbox One.

The PS4 Slim is an energy-efficient version of the conventional PlayStation 4, which has sold more than 40 million consoles since being launched in late 2013.

The lighter-weight version will hit the market in the United States on Sept 15 and sell for US$299, about US$50 less than a conventional PlayStation 4.

The PS4 Slim will be available in Singapore from Sept 17, starting at S$449. This is $50 cheaper than the regular PS4 in the Republic.

Most of the launch event focused on the HDR offering, the PS4 Pro, which is aimed at gaming diehards and billed as a major change in terms of making games more immersive and lifelike.

"It was always our intention to design the PlayStation 4 as a platform to simulate and fuel future revolution," said Mr Andrew House, chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Games shown on the PS4 Pro during the 45-minute event displayed the textual detail of the Spider-Man's costume, the vivid emotionalism of Lara Croft in the popular Tomb Raider series and the intricate otherworldliness of the alien universe in the Mass Effect: Andromeda game.

Gaming developers Activision and Electronic Arts said such popular games as Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Mass Effect: Andromeda would be ready once the PS4 Pro launches.

Brief demonstrations of the games were held in a mostly darkened auditorium of Sony's PlayStation theatre near Times Square accompanied by booming music.

Sony officials said both Netflix and YouTube are developing Apps that can run on the PS4 Pro, which will launches on Nov 10 in the United States for US$399.

In Singapore, the PS4 Pro will go for S$599 when it launches on the same day.

Developers are also being guided to introduce games that are compatible across the PlayStation 4 universe.

PS4 has seen the fastest and strongest adoption since the first generation of the console was introduced in late 1994. The device is a key element in Sony's strategy of creating a home entertainment hub centered around the console.