All PS4’s Getting HDR Shows Sony Cares More About Their Fans.

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The 2016 PlayStation Meeting is over and one of the big surprises out of it involves Sony’s plans for adding HDR to the PlayStation 4 family. We know that the PS4 Pro will support 4K and UHD but what people didn’t know was that both the PS4 Slim and more importantly the original PS4 that we all bought back in November 2013 will get HDR support starting next week via a firmware update.

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Microsoft tried to take a cheap shot at Sony after the conclusion of the PlayStation Meeting by saying that they have a console that is cheaper and does HDR today. However if you have the original Xbox One like I do and you want HDR support you are out of luck. You’ll have to dish out an additional $299 for a Xbox One S to get that feature. If you have the original PS4 like I do and you want HDR support well Sony is giving it to you for free. That shows that Sony cares more about their fans as they aren’t asking you to go buy a new, slightly newer console for that feature.

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Some games that are already out such as the game of the year contender Uncharted 4 will be patched with HDR support. Other games will get patches as well such as Infamous: First Light and future games will also have support such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and more. For someone like myself who has no intention to buy a PS4 Pro at the moment it’s huge that I’ll be able to enjoy these upgrades on my launch PS4 and I’m not forced to buy a new console. It would be nice if other console manufacturers would do the same for their day 1 fans instead of making snarky comments.

Are you excited to play these upcoming games in HDR on whatever PS4 you may have? Let us know in the comments what you think.

Justin Oneil on sabtwitter
Justin Oneil
One of Head Writers and PR here on ThisGenGaming.com. I've been playing games for over 20 years now and play everything from AAA blockbusters to Indie games. You can find me on all the current consoles and on my twitter account.
About the author

Justin Oneil

One of Head Writers and PR here on ThisGenGaming.com. I've been playing games for over 20 years now and play everything from AAA blockbusters to Indie games. You can find me on all the current consoles and on my twitter account.
  • The truth-ier

    if it cared…it would of already implemented it. Plus… the PRO doesnt even have Blu Ray 4K support…. you obviously cherry picked, and are a fan boy

    • Psn Merc

      Play my PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, 3DS and more quite a bit so yeah I’m most certainly a fanboy…of games that is. Thanks for the comment.

  • Cindy-rella

    I love you Sony.

  • BillyHoWCR

    Kind pf under sold the Xbox One S didn’t you? Only mentioning the fact it will support HDR at a needed purchase price of $299 when in fact it is UHD and 4K Bluray which not even the PS4 Pro will play 4K Bluray. HDR is a bit of a joke in comparison.

    Acting as if Sony is looking out for their fans when they don’t even offer 4K Bluray in their latest system? I mean come on how fanboy can you get with that spin?

    • Psn Merc

      4K Bluray is not what this article is about. It’s about the fact that if you bought a Launch PS4 and want HDR support you don’t have to go buy a new system. True or False: Can you play HDR games on your launch Xbox One? No? Ok then I’ve made my point. Microsoft says go buy the Xbox One S if you want that feature. Sorry your butt hurt over it.

    • Raziel2001au

      Keeping in mind this is a game console we’re talking about. How does a 4K blu-ray drive benefit games? It doesn’t. And the article isn’t even remotely related to anything but HDR.

      As for HDR being a joke in comparison to 4K gaming, I strongly disagree. That aside, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the XBOX ONE S renders games at the exact same resolutions that a launch XBOX ONE does, i.e. 1080p or lower. The upscaling it provides is exactly the same as what a modern 4K TV already provides on its own.

      So if you’re buying it for 4K gaming, and not HDR gaming, the S offers you zero benefits over a launch XBOX ONE console. So either you didn’t know this, or you’re a casual gamer and what you’re really buying it for is the ability to play 4K blu-rays.

      Even the launch version PS4 already offers more GPU power than the XBOX ONE S has (1.84tf vs. 1.4tf). Every PS4 also supports HDR and every 4K TV has upscaling built into it already, so for gaming, I can’t see a single benefit that the S offers over a launch-period PS4.

      There’s no point even beginning to compare the S to the PS4 Pro which has three times the GPU power that the S has. And at the end of next year the Scorpio will be the best console offering four times the GPU power that the S has. Both of these systems are vastly superior compared to the XBOX ONE S. These are the facts as they relate to gaming.

      If you wanted a 4K blu-ray player, congratulations, you bought the right console _for you_. If you bought the XBOX ONE S expecting 4K gaming, you should have waited for the Scorpio.

  • Edonus

    HDR is currently only supported on 4K tvs……… Soooooooo. I don’t even know what Sony is talking about. It’s almost pointless since you aren’t even getting 4K gaming or movie playback. The Ps4 pro is at least up scaling itself I hope. Standard Ps4 will have serious issues on lower end 4K tvs.

    Now let’s see if Europe is still going to be a bunch of weirdos and support PlayStation more than Xbox now. The Americas should be all but on lock for MS now.

    But we have to remember that Sony has tons of bias media ninjas that will be spinning their complete failure in to triumph….. And the gaming community has been really dumb this gen……… But it’s going to be sad if they have really become this dumb.

    • Psn Merc

      LOL you really don’t know much about why these things sell the way they do. People pick a certain console for far more reasons than power. Always have. Sony isn’t losing the US to Microsoft anytime soon I’ll tell you that. Much less worldwide. Feel free to keep believing that though.

    • datdude

      @Edonus:disqus
      No ps4 blu ray is my only real complaint about the ps4 pro, but it is a huge omission that really has no excuse, in my opinion. As far as “the Americas should be ll but on lock for MS now”,your argument is as faulty as ever. People don’t play hardware, they play games. Playstation has true exclusives, the xbox really doesn’t have any left. If you want the highest framerates and resolutions for xbox titles, you will only find that on pc, not on Microsoft’s own consoles. Microsoft knows this, and with their new philosophy, they are fine with not selling as many consoles in order to move more software to more gamers.

      You yourself need to get fine with it, because with no true exclusives Microsoft will never come close to moving as much hardware as you seem to hope they will.

    • Raziel2001au

      I get your point around watching UHD blu-rays, but your point around 4K gaming makes no sense.

      The XBOX ONE S doesn’t render games at 4K, it renders games at 1080p or lower, so whether you’re gaming on the XBOX ONE S or a launch PS4, you’re not getting 4K gaming…

      What you’re getting is 1080p (with HDR) which is then upscaled to 4K, the only difference is that the XBOX ONE S does the upscaling on the console, whereas an original PS4 would simply send the 1080p image (with HDR) to the TV, which is then upscaled to 4K by the TV.

      The end result is the same from a gaming perspective. The only difference is where the upscaling happens.

      • Edonus

        Consoles have better upscalers than TVs and since its coming from the source it performs faster. I just recently got an X1S and viewed it for myself and seen it for myself. I have had a 4k tv for awhile but only had the standard X1. The TV upscaled and it looked great, I had to turn some features of the TV off because the TV would have to much latency (cheap 4ktv).

        My standard X1 crapped out on so I went and picked up the Battlefield 1 X1S. I hooked it up just like my last X1 and saw no difference. I was shocked I then looked at the instruction book for the TV and found it had 1 special port for 4k native content.

        I switched the cables around, turned it on and POW.

        The difference is not world changing but it is definitely there. I played Gears 4 first and you can clearly see a difference…. Again not a revolution in sight but its nicer than $k upscaled by the TV. I think it is because upscaling is based on a formula….. TV companies are probably more interested in more in movies and how there signals get upscaled. A gaming console you have more information about how the game should look in the end so they use a formula that pushes for the best results.

        • Raziel2001au

          The XBOX ONE S upscaler is nothing special. TV technology has not been standing still the last 5 years. Consumers these days expect high quality upscaling with little input lag, and I don’t know of any HDR 4k TVs on the market these days that doesn’t feature a full multi-step upscaler that gives great results. In the end, it’s all driven by the same theories and there’s only so much you can do with a 1080p image to make it look good on a 4K panel.

          A reddit user https://www.reddit.com/r/xboxo… for example compared the XBOX ONE S upscaler with his TV’s upscaling and came to this conclusion: “I’m a little surprised to find that the upscaling on the Sony TV is SUPERIOR to the One S’s, and with noticeably less input delay.” He also posted some pictures in which you can see that the TV upscaling (the top image) is vastly superior to the pretty-average upscaling provided by the XBOX ONE S (bottom image):

          https://imgur.com/a/VZbpa

          The S’s upscaling has jaggy edges and just doesn’t look great. When my friend brought his S over to try on my TV (as he doesn’t own a 4K TV but does own an S), we did similar comparisons (with the Hisense Series 8’s upscaling) and came to the same conclusion.

          I have seen absolutely no evidence to support this theory that the XBOX ONE S upscaler is somehow special and therefore better than the upscaling built into 4K TVs.

          The reason why companies like Microsoft invest money to put things like upscalers into devices like the XBOX ONE S is because there are consumers stupid enough to think that somehow they will get superior image quality because the console is doing the upscaling instead of the TV…

          That’s all there is to it.

        • Raziel2001au

          Oh, and one more thing, the XBOX ONE S doesn’t use or care about how a game should look. The game renders an image, and it’s sent though a hardware upscaler which is basically the same thing build into a TV. The end result will look different, but not necessarily better. You mention having a ‘cheap’ 4K TV, that is likely your problem. Any proper 2016 HDR 4K TV from one of the top 5 TV brands will have upscalers at least on-par with what’s in the XBOX ONE S.

          In other words, it’s a standard piece of hardware that resizes a 1080p image and applies a series of filters to it (sharpening/contrast/image space anti-aliasing etc.). It all works the same regardless of what content it is upscaling.

          This is different from something like upscaling implemented by the game developer on a console like the PS4 Pro where they can actually use advanced techniques like checkerboard rendering to increase the visual quality so it’s close to 4K. These kinds of techniques require big changes to the actual rendering pipeline and is not something that could be performed by the upscaler within the S as all it has to work with is a 1080p image with HDR.

  • datdude

    HDR available for original ps4 = one small step forward. No 4k blu ray functionality = two enormous steps back.

    • Raziel2001au

      Given that some people are upgrading to the XBOX ONE S only for HDR gaming, I think you underestimate how important it is.

      Right now I’m trying to decide whether to upgrade my launch xbox one to an S. The tangible benefits of upgrading from what I can see are basically:
      * HDR (Major feature, this is the reason I would consider upgrading my console)
      * UHD blu-ray playback (It’s a feature, but it does absolutely nothing for games. I’ve only ever played a blu-ray on my console one time when I was debugging an issue that turned out to be a faulty HDMI cable. At best I would describe it as a nice-to-have on a game console.)
      * 1080p to 4K upscaling for games (which is pointless as every single 4K TV already has an upscaler built into the TV.)

      So when I boil it down to the facts, people are upgrading for 2 reasons: HDR and 4k blu-ray playback. Of the two, the only thing that benefits games is HDR. So the way I see it, PS4 owners basically get the only game-related benefit that the XBOX ONE S offers, for free.

      I fail to see how this move from Sony is this a small step forward, and supposedly not supporting a feature that’s not even remotely related to games on a game console is two enormous steps back.

      That’s like saying the iPhone is a crap phone because it doesn’t have a studio quality mic for recording meetings. Or saying a Ferrari is a crap car because the radio doesn’t support digital radio channels.

      It simply makes no sense!

      • datdude

        1. 4k blu rays are selling at a much faster rate than blu rays when they made their intro, so it matters. Those people may decide to buy an S, a standalone unit, or wait for Scorpio.

        2. The vast preponderance of television upscalers are not very good at upscaling a non-native image, and that’s putting it kindly…if they were good at it, it wouldn’t be necessary for manufacturers of other components to invest money into getting the job done more effectively.

        I plan on buying a pro, but I buy just about everything. I will also buy a standalone blu ray player for movies because they run rings around the consoles when it comes to audio/video support and formats and the quality is superior to 4k streaming not to mention special features, and I plan to buy a Scorpio as well next year. But the decision for Sony, who has a vested interest in blu ray technology and would benefit financially from the inclusion of a player in the pro, is astonishing. Sony’s standalone 4k player is not yet ready, and perhaps they did not want to delay the pro’s launch to wait for their own tech to be ready, as far as I know there are only two 4k players available for purchase in the U.S. currently, which is why I’m waiting for the oppo 4k player to launch.

        P.S. your analogies are horrible, by the way, because it’s about competition….if your direct competition offers features that you don’t, you will lose sales, and that’s the bottom line. It’s simply a matter of how many sales you will lose. And as I noted, 4k blu rays are selling very well, and that’s with a limited number of titles available so far and a limited number of players. Sony had a chance to get in the market early just as they did with blu ray with the ps3. It’s a mistake, and it will definitely cost them. The only question is how much it will cost them.

        • Raziel2001au

          In advance, sorry for the essay, but I know I will have a lot to say…

          1. I only know of a single person who ever bought a 4K blu ray, and that was so we could try HDR on my 4K HDR TV using an XBOX ONE S. That aside, I’m not saying they won’t be popular going forward, or that you don’t need a 4K player. My point is, you don’t need a 4K blu ray player in a game console, it’s a nice-to-have. It’s good, but not required on a game console. Nintendo doesn’t even support DVD or blu-ray playback on ANY of their consoles that have blu-ray drives.

          2. The XBOX ONE S upscaler is nothing special. TV technology has not been standing still the last 5 years. Consumers these days expect high quality upscaling with little input lag, and I don’t know of any HDR 4k TVs on the market these days that doesn’t feature a full multi-step upscaler that gives great results. In the end, it’s all driven by the same theories and there’s only so much you can do with a 1080p image to make it look good on a 4K panel.

          A reddit user https://www.reddit.com/r/xboxone/comments/4ziq7k/xbox_one_s_4k_ingame_upscaling_quality_vs_just/ for example compared the XBOX ONE S upscaler with his TV’s upscaling and came to this conclusion: “I’m a little surprised to find that the upscaling on the Sony TV is SUPERIOR to the One S’s, and with noticeably less input delay.” He also posted some pictures in which you can see that the TV upscaling (the top image) is vastly superior to the pretty-average upscaling provided by the XBOX ONE S (bottom image):

          https://imgur.com/a/VZbpa

          The S’s upscaling has jaggy edges and just doesn’t look great. When my friend brought his S over to try on my TV (as he doesn’t own a 4K TV but does own an S), we did similar comparisons (with the Hisense Series 8’s upscaling) and came to the same conclusion.

          I have seen absolutely no evidence to support your theory that the XBOX ONE S upscaler is somehow special and therefore better than the upscaling built into 4K TVs. If you believe otherwise, I’m going to have to ask that you back it up with facts I can refer back to as my personal experience and the experience from users that I have read has pretty much been the same.

          The reason why companies like Microsoft invest money to put things like upscalers into devices like the XBOX ONE S is because there are consumers stupid enough to think that somehow they will get a higher quality image because the console is doing the upscaling instead of the TV. That’s all there is to it.

          3. I’m not arguing against the idea that some users will now buy the S over the Pro because it has 4K blu-ray player and the PS4 Pro does not. That is a fact… But these users are not buying a game console expecting a 4K game experience, they’re buying it because it’s a 4K blu-ray player which also happens to be able to play games @ 1080p or lower.

          This makes them a casual gamer as they have basically decided to get a game console for their 4K TV, knowing full well that it can’t provide any sort of higher-resolution gaming (it does however provide HDR). The only thing it can do that takes advantage of your 4K TV’s resolution is to play movies.

          For what it is, I actually think the S is really good value for money, you are getting an XBOX ONE and a 4K blu-ray player in a single device at a great price. But let’s not kid ourselves, a consumer buying a console for 4K gaming won’t be picking up an XBOX ONE S for that. They’ll be getting the PS4 Pro or the Scorpio, and for those consumers in the market for a 4K game console over the next year, well, they will pick up a PS4 Pro regardless of whether it has a 4K blu-ray player or not.

          4. I actually think my analogies are pretty spot on. If you’re a car enthusiast looking to get something like a Ferarri, you won’t care if the radio supports digital channels or not. Yes, it’s a nice-to-have and you may complain because it doesn’t have it. But ultimately, you’re not going to settle for a BMW instead (which is still a great car, but not anywhere near the performance of a Ferarri) because it does.

          So if a gamer goes to a game shop expecting to get a high-performance console to satisfy their gaming habits, they will be there for the Scorpio or the PS4 Pro. The XBOX ONE S won’t even be a consideration regardless of its ability to play 4K blu-rays.

          Hardcore gamers are the users Sony are targeting with the PS4 Pro, it’s a product for them, and until the Scorpio launches, I don’t think Sony has much incentive to include a 4K blu-ray drive in the PS4 Pro, because the users looking to buy a Pro would buy one regardless.

          Once the Scorpio comes out, things will change and I suspect that Sony will roll out a revised version of the Pro which does include 4K blu-ray playback. But this is just speculation on my part. In the end, we won’t know until a year from now.

          5. The situation with blu-rays today is very different from how it was in the PS3 era. Back then there were two competing formats, HD-DVD and blu-ray. Sony gets a lot of royalties from licensing blu-ray disc technology, so if HD-DVD won, it would have meant huge losses in royalties for Sony. So they put a blu-ray drive into every PS3 to put a player into every home and therefore make it a popular movie disc format.

          That same situation does not exist today, there is no reason to try and push 4K blu-ray as a format as it’s the only option on the market… so regardless, they are going to get royalties, whether it’s from standard blu-rays, or the 4K UHD blu-ray variant. If anything, Microsoft is helping them get more royalties by including a 4K player in the XBOX ONE S.

          The only reason why the PS4 could play blu-ray movies is because the console already happened to use blu-ray discs for its games. They didn’t upgrade it to a 4K blu-ray drive as it simply does not offer anything for games, so it’s a more expensive piece of hardware that would need to be added to every console with no real gain for games.

          Will they lose some console sales as a result, sure… but the PS4 is already selling very well and users won’t suddenly jump ship because the S includes a 4K player, if anything, they’ll just get one as a secondary game console to play 4K media with.

          Then you also need to consider that Sony has a 4K blu-ray player coming out THIS year, which means, the PS4 Pro would have reduced sales of their own 4K player had SCE included that functionality in the PS4 Pro.

          So this move from Sony is not anywhere near as stupid as you may think it is.

        • Raziel2001au

          For some reason my entire response to you was detected as spam, hopefully it will show up on the page at some point… either way, I wanted to share one final point with you. It’s a little complicated, but probably the most important.

          Clearly Sony went in with the intention to provide the PS4 Pro at the same price as the existing PS4.

          This is great for consumers, but from http://allthingsd.com/20131119/teardown-shows-sonys-playstation-4-costs-381-to-build/ we know that it only costs around $18 less than retail to manufacture the original PS4. There is no chance that Sony was making anything from hardware sales by the time it was on store shelves.

          So you may think “it’s only a another $20 per console to include a 4K player!”, but we don’t know how much money Sony is already losing as it is by giving us double the storage space, more than double the GPU speed, another 30% CPU speed, and extra gig of ram along with other upgrades, at the same price as the original PS4.

          How would they make back those losses? In short, they would recuperate them over time through PS4 software sales and the sales of hardware related to PS VR.

          Had they included a 4K blu-ray drive in the PS4 Pro, some consumers would have purchased the console with no intention of actually spending money on PS4 games and accessories. So not only would those users now not have any reason to purchase Sony’s standalone 4K blu-ray player, there would be no way for Sony to ever recover the money lost on the sale of that console…

          So choosing not to include this feature is probably a very strategic business decision as it allows them to drastically reduce the final price of the PS4 Pro as they won’t have to worry about consumers only buying it to play 4K blu-ray media. They know that it will mostly be hardcore gamers who will then spend additional money buying games and accessories for their shiny new console, therefore keeping Sony in business.