PS4K, PS4.5 or whatever you want to call it, the rumours will not go away. The latest hearsay regarding an upgraded PS4 comes via Giant Bomb, who claim to have been given new details on Sony’s improved console from multiple sources.
According to those sources the new console is codenamed NEO, and as previous rumours have suggested it will feature more powerful innards (that’s the technical term) than the PS4 currently available, with an improved clock speed, GPU, and higher bandwidth on the memory.
The HDD will remain the same as the original PS4, although Giant Bomb note it’s unconfirmed whether ‘the same’ refers to connection speed or capacity.
In layman terms, all those fancy new specs mean the NEO will be able to support higher and more stable framerates, as well as improved visual fidelity.
The more powerful console will support 4K image output, with Sony outlining in documents obtained by Giant Bomb and Eurogamer how developers can best achieve a 4K/Ultra HD resolution on NEO mode game builds, and that they must be able to meet or surpass the framerate of the same game on the original PS4.
NEO mode refers to the title given to games that will be able to utilise the more powerful console’s specs.
In an apparent attempt to avoid dividing the player base, NEO mode games will be exactly the same content-wise as the standard PS4 version, with only the framerate and visuals improved.
There will be no NEO exclusive games, but developers will have the option to upgrade their previous games released on the PS4 to NEO standards, should they choose to do so.
The NEO will share the same PSN store and online communities with the original PS4, plus any games or peripherals that worked on the older console will be usable/playable on the new one (such as the PS Eye Camera and Move controllers), which is handy with PSVR releasing this year.
Despite numerous reports that Sony are indeed working on an upgraded PS4, there has been no official communication or statement from the company regarding the rumours or when any such console would be released.
Today’s reports suggest developers will need to start releasing games which can support the original PS4 and the NEO as of October this year, which could point to a potential winter release for the new console.
Not to be outdone in the rumour department, there’s a few fresh suggestions that Microsoft could have an improved Xbox One on the way.
During Microsoft’s recent Build 2016 event, Phil Spencer denied there were plans in place for an Xbox 1.5, stating he would rather see a substantial change when it came to new consoles rather than smaller improvements:
“Not a big fan of one and a half. I think about what happens in most spaces. If I’m going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers… For us, our box is doing well. It performs. It’s reliable. The service is up. If we go forward with anything, I want to make it a substantial change.”
Spencer’s rhetoric regarding an improved console may have quashed Xbox 1.5 rumours for the past few weeks, but they now look to be resurfacing following some savvy internet sleuthing.
As reported by The Verge, NeoGaf user ekim has stumbled upon a few Federal Communications Commission (better known as the FCC) filings showing Microsoft have recently been testing a new Xbox One wireless chip.
Ekim managed to circumnavigate Microsoft’s non-disclosure agreement with the FCC regarding images of the new chip by heading over to their Brazilian equivalent, Anatel, whose stance on NDAs is more lenient.
Sources suggest Microsoft has been experimenting with a variety of Xbox prototypes, some of which feature upgraded components similar to those found in PC gaming set-ups.
Despite his recent comments discrediting talk of an Xbox 1.5, Phil Spencer has in the past hinted that Microsoft could possibly introduce upgradable hardware options for Xbox One, which would put the console on similar footing with gaming PC's.
Much like the NEO reports, these rumours remain officially unconfirmed. Hopefully this year’s E3 will see both companies break silence regarding plans for the next step in console gaming.
Let us know your thoughts on today’s speculation over in the forums.