November 10th is right around the corner. That’s when PlayStation fans can plug their PS4 Pro into a 4K TV and see what all the fuss is about. Those of us still rocking 1080p TVs? We’ll still see improvements. And the 47.4 million PS4s already in the hands of gamers across the world? You’ll still be playing great looking games.
Michiel van der Leeuw, technical director at Guerilla Games, made it a point that regular PS4 owners will still enjoy stunning graphics with Horizon Zero Dawn.
“To be clear, the game we demonstrated at the past two E3s was running on standard PS4 hardware,” says Leeuw. “We’re dedicated to making a game that looks great regardless of the model it’s played on; it will look beautiful on PS4, and will look even better on PS4 Pro, particularly if you own an HDR-compatible 4KTV.”
E3 2016 gameplay demo on regular PS4.
Plus, it’s in publisher’s interest to keep the nearly 50 million PS4 owners happy. Even Sony had to balance their enormous user base with how much more powerful the PS4 Pro should be. The last thing a platform holder wants to do is drive a wedge between their users. PS4 Pro gives those who want it the power to take advantage of the latest TVs. But it doesn’t give them so much power that it becomes a hindrance to own a regular PS4.
Microsoft faces the same issue with the Xbox Scorpio. You want more power, but you also don’t want to alienate the fans you already have.
How PS4 Pro makes a looker look even better
Horizon Zero Dawn already looks stunning. Countless demos already proved that. With the PS4 Pro, players will get a slew of visual upgrades. And it won’t matter if you don’t own a 4K TV yet, either.
“For us, Horizon Zero Dawn is all about scope, scale and visual splendor,” writes Leeuw. With PS4 Pro, players will see an immediate bump in image quality.
Own a 1080p display? Get ready for a heavy dose of supersampling. It’s an anti-aliasing technique that internally renders the game at a higher resolution (close to 4K according to Guerilla Games) and then shrinks it down to 1080p. This translates to smoother edges (pretty much no jaggies) and a more stable image. Basically, 1080p displays are going to output an incredibly clean image.
Now, you bought a sweet 4K TV on Black Friday and a PS4 Pro sitting right beside it. What are you getting?
“We’re rendering 2160p checkerboard, which is a special technique that looks incredibly good on a 4K TV,” writes Leeuw. “You’re going to notice a ton of subtle details, from stitching on Aloy’s outfit, individual leafs and branches swaying in the wind, kilometers away in the distance and more detail in all machines and NPCs in the world.
HDR is another big selling point. We’ve seen it in the wild with the Xbox One S. It’s not the easiest feature to explain. It’s one of those ‘you have to see it for yourself’ kind of things. What HDR does is expands the range of contrast and color. The image looks more natural and has more ‘pop.’
In Horizon Zero Dawn, you’re going to get brighter and deeper colors and more contrast.
Bottom line? Horizon Zero Dawn is going to look great on any PS4. PS4 Pro users will get the benefit of supersampling, higher resolution and HDR. We’ll see exactly how much extra horsepower the game takes advantage of it when it hits PS4s on February 28, 2017.