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March 27, 2017

PS4 Pro can play 4K video after all, just not Ultra HD Blu-rays

by John_A

Sony PS4 Pro owners will gain the ability to playback 4K video stored on a USB drive or over a home network, thanks to a software update to the Media Player on the platform.

The European PlayStation Blog states that a rollout of the update begins tomorrow, 28 March, and it means the app will decode common 4K video filetypes. It’s not quite the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback users originally wanted, but it offers a way to view UHD content through the console other than on Netflix or YouTube.

You will be able to watch 4K videos you record on a camera or smartphone, or downloaded files for those foolhardy enough to trawl through the less salubrious content sources.

When the PlayStation 4 Pro arrived near the end of last year many wondered why it didn’t come with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. In many ways, that was its achilles heel considering the rival Xbox One S does have a 4K BD deck.

  • What PS4 Pro games are 4K HDR ready? The complete list of optimised games

At the time, Sony told Pocket-lint that its omission was to keep costs down: “It’s a balancing act, you have to look at the cost and a 4K Blu-ray disc player would be costly,” said Masayasu Ito, executive vice president of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s hardware engineering department.

He also claimed that PS4 users tend to stream video more than play discs: “A lot of people are now just streaming 4K content,” he explained.

Soon they can also watch their own Ultra HD streams too.

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