Three years ago, I was standing in a New York City bar that Sony Interactive Entertainment (then Sony Computer Entertainment America) had rented out for its PlayStation 4 launch event. And while I tried to get my hands on games like Killzone: Shadow Fall and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, I also spoke at length with Joey Chiu, an acquaintance of mine.
I had no idea at the time, but Chiu would go on to purchase the first of the 49 million PlayStation 4s Sony has sold so far. He would also end up as the subject of a gigantic mural that Sony would commission to celebrate its gaming properties and its fans. It’s now November 2016. I’m nowhere near NYC, but Chiu has once again snagged the first Sony system by waiting in a line. This time it’s the PlayStation 4 Pro, 4K-capable gaming box that is going to amp up resolutions and framerates for PlayStation 4 games going forward.
In my review, I note that the PlayStation 4 Pro seems like a way to get someone like Chiu — a diehard fan — to come out and spend another $400, but I wasn’t sure if Sony’s messaging had conveyed why he would want to do with. It turns out that he did, and that got me wondering what his thoughts on the machine are and how he thinks about the two launches.
“Compared to the original PS4 launch, which was lots of excitement and wonder for what was to come, PS4 Pro being a mid-gen iteration, there’s more a curiosity of how this is going to play out,” Chiu said. “[And how it will benefit] what we have in our existing game libraries and how developers will handle multiple hardware options in the wild.”
When I talked to Joey last week about whether he was planning to go the debut or not, he didn’t seem sure. But he has faith that the system will have a positive effect on the quality of his games and that Sony will stand by it. Chiu also likes some of the enhanced features.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) November 10, 2016
“It was the assurance of software support for the new PS4 Pro that ultimately swayed me,” he said. “Can’t play hardware without software, after all, and the enhanced functions like higher quality live-streaming were really enticing to me.”
I asked Chiu what he plans to do first with the Pro, and he is looking backward before picking up anything new.
“First off, I’m going to deep-dive into the games that got patched with the PS4 Pro support like Infamous: First Light, and then I’ll get into the more recent releases,” he said.
It’s a good sign for Sony that it won over Chiu. Its biggest fans are the ones that made the 2013 PlayStation 4 such a huge success from its launch, but Microsoft is starting to string together some momentum thanks to strong games and competitive pricing on the smaller, revised Xbox One S. Microsoft will also introduce its own take on the PS4 Pro in the form Xbox One Scorpio, which will debut in late 2017 and have significantly more power than the Pro. But if Sony fans are already lining up alongside Chiu, then the publisher may have nothing to worry about.