After rumors that Sony is making an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4, multiple sources have confirmed that a new PlayStation 4 console is indeed coming soon.
The gaming world was thrown into a bit of a frenzy a few weeks ago when Kotaku reported that Sony is working on a more powerful PlayStation 4. Sony hasn't responded to the rumors of a new PlayStation 4K or a PlayStation 4.5 yet, but if a new report is to believed, it appears that a new PlayStation 4 console is closer to reality than rumor.
According to a report from GiantBomb, multiple sources have confirmed the existence of a new PS4 project, which is internally referred to as the "NEO." No release date or price has been provided for the NEO, but previous reports suggest that it could sell for $399, which makes it only slightly more expensive than what the current PS4 is going for.
While the report states that the NEO will feature the same sized HDD as that of the normal PS4, the new console will have an upgraded CPU, GPU, and higher bandwidth on memory. With the PlayStation VR coming this October, this additional processing power will undoubtedly help the games being supported by Sony's upcoming headset. The report also featured a spec comparison between the NEO and the PS4, which we've provided here for everyone's convenience.
- CPU - 8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6 GHz
- GPU - AMD GCN, 18 CUs at 800 MHz
- Memory - 8 GB GDDR5, 176 GB/s
- CPU - 8 Jaguar Cores at 2.1 GHz
- GPU - Improved AMD GCN, 36 CUs at 911 MHz
- Memory - 8 GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s
These improved specs of the NEO will also affect how future PS4 games are developed. The report states that starting in October, every PS4 game will be required to ship both a "Base Mode" for the original PS4, and a "NEO Mode" for the new NEO console. It is intended that games running NEO Mode will take advantage of the new console's additional power, but older games wishing to use the NEO's performance can do so through a series of patches.
Finally, in an attempt to keep the NEO and original PS4's player bases connected, developers won't be allowed to make NEO-only games, nor will NEO users be separated from PS4 users on PSN. Rather than have the NEO supplant the PS4, Sony intends on having the NEO exist alongside of the PS4 and owners will have the "same user environment," meaning that everyone will have access to the same PSN store, online communities, and user experiences.
Given that the upcoming Nintendo NX is supposedly the most powerful console this generation, it appears that this new NEO console is Sony's preemptive attempt at maintaining its lead in the console race. While the PS4 is still far and away the best-selling console this year, there are some concerns that the NEO may cause a divide for PlayStation users, especially for the late PS4 adopters. But until we see some confirmation from Sony in regards to its console plans, we're going to have to reserve judgement for now.
At the time of publishing, Sony hasn't responded to GiantBomb's report, but we'll keep you posted on any developments that may arise from this.