Sony has explained the reasoning behind its decision not to debut the heavily rumored PlayStation Neo console at E3, despite Microsoft unveiling new hardware.
There have been plenty of big surprises at E3 2016, but one expected reveal was somewhat conspicuous by its absence. Sony chose not to debut the much-discussed PlayStation Neo hardware that is reportedly in active development, and now one of the figures behind that decision has offered an explanation.
Jim Ryan, Sony’s global head of marketing and sales, has stated that the PlayStation Neo was omitted because the company wanted to focus on software rather than hardware. Ryan would describe Sony’s focus on games as “strong” and “pure” when grilled on the subject by MCV.
Ryan did note that Sony has started to disclose some information about the project being codenamed Neo. “In terms of the very public articulation of it on a stage, we really want to be ready and be able to demonstrate it properly and all of that,” he said. “So we will do that when we are ready, when we can show it properly.”
Earlier this year, reports began to circulate that Sony was working on an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4. The system — initially referred to as the PS4K, but more recently known as PlayStation Neo — would apparently boast support for 4K resolutions and contribute better performance when using PlayStation VR.
As evidence supporting the existence of the project continued to build, the expectation was that the system would be officially unveiled at E3. Sony made an attempt to douse these rumors just a few days before the event, but there were still certain expectations going into the company’s conference on Monday night.
Of course, E3 wasn’t completely bereft of hardware announcements. Microsoft opted to end its conference with a tease of Scorpio, thought to be something of an equivalent to PlayStation Neo, having unveiled a slim edition of the Xbox One earlier on.
The battle lines are now set for the next stage of competition between Microsoft and Sony. It’s difficult to determine how these new systems will affect the current generational model of hardware releases, but that picture should become clearer as we hear more about their improvements over current consoles.
There’s an expectation that Sony will officially announce PlayStation Neo before the launch of PlayStation VR. If the system has been designed with the headset in mind, that makes a lot of sense — but that doesn’t leave much time for the big reveal, given that the peripheral is scheduled to release this October.