Sony's PlayStation 4 'Shingen' update adds HDR support to every PS4 console

Sony's latest update to the PlayStation 4's system software adds high dynamic range support for older consoles.

Cinephiles rejoice: Sony's rolling out a new system update (codenamed Shingen) to the PlayStation 4 that will bring High Dynamic Range (HDR) support to all PS4 models. The new update also rolls out new Spotify integration, LAN data migration transfer, interface tweaks, and improvements to the PlayStation 4 Pro’s streaming capabilities.

But the biggest feature addition is HDR support, which Sony says will roll out to every single PlayStation 4 unit, including the original devices sold in 2013. If you’re not familiar with HDR, it’s a new technology that allows for richer and more numerous colors on your television. Read our HDR support primer to catch up on all the details.

Sony’s new HDR feature won’t do much without an HDR-enabled television, of course. If you do have an HDR set, however, the new feature works with both gaming and entertainment content that supports HDR. The PS4’s HDR options will be under the video output settings once the update lands on your console.

Why this matters: HDR is the next big thing in televisions. Many critics have noted that, to their own eyes, HDR is more noticeable improvement to display technology than the jump from 1080p to 4K resolution. Bringing all PlayStation 4 consoles up to snuff for HDR sounds impressive—we haven’t seen its quality yet—and we're curious to see if Microsoft can (or will) try something similar for its consoles. The new Xbox One S supports HDR, but the older original Xbox One consoles do not.

But wait, there's more

Next up is a new music item to the PS4’s Quick Menu. The new music item lets you control Spotify without opening the app. Sony says you’ll be able to “discover, play, and control” your music right in the Quick Menu. Anyone looking for some additional gaming tunes can check out PlayStation Music on Spotify. Sony and Spotify are working together to create game-themed playlists.

Sony is also adding LAN data transfer support for anyone looking to transfer their data to the forthcoming PlayStation 4 Slim or PS4 Pro. This will let you quickly move your games and other data between new and old consoles over Ethernet. Sony says you can still grab your data from the cloud, but the LAN transfer will be faster for most people.

Other changes to the PS4 with the Shingen update include support for 1080p 60fps game streaming on YouTube—or 30fps on Twitch—on the PS4 Pro. An improved What’s New section that includes a new Activity Feed with larger images and more accessible options, and a redesigned content information screen.

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