On September 7, 2016, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 Pro, a high-end version of the console with an upgraded GPU and higher CPU clock rate to support enhanced performance and 4K resolution on supported games. The company also released a variant of the original model with a smaller form factor, and the release of a patch to add HDR support to all existing consoles.
Critics praised Sony for acknowledging its consumers’ needs, embracing independent game development, and for not imposing the restrictive digital rights management schemes similar to those announced by Microsoft for Xbox One.
According to lead architect Mark Cerny, development of Sony’s fourth video game console began as early as 2008.
Less than two years earlier, the PlayStation 3 had launched after months of delays due to issues with production. The delay placed Sony almost a year behind Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which was already approaching unit sales of 10 million by the time the PS3 launched. PlayStation Europe CEO Jim Ryan said Sony wanted to avoid repeating the same mistake with PS3’s successor.
In designing the system, Sony worked with software developer Bungie, who offered his input on the controller and how to make it better for shooting games. In 2012, Sony began shipping development kits to game developers, consisting of a modified PC running the AMD Accelerated Processing Unit chipset. These development kits were known as “Orbis”.