Reports last month indicated that Sony was working on an improved model of the PS4 where rumors were circulating at GDC this year.
Patrick Klepek at Kotaku commented that during the GDG back in March, Sony had briefed various developers regarding their plans for the NEO’s hardware, as one source commented that the, “device felt ‘exploratory’ but the device may not even be released this year.”
Rumors are now semi-factual as the new PS4.5 has been given an official codename, ‘NEO’ (ironically since the PlayStation VR Headset was titled Project Morpheus) which plans on improved CPU, GPU and RAM according to a report by Giant Bomb who claims to have seen documents outlining Sony’s plans for the current and new PS4 console.
Sony have yet to officially confirm and/or announce the PS4.5 at this point in time. According to various sources by GB, starting from October this year, PS4 games will be shipped with both a “Base Mode” and “NEO Mode”.
The facts are pretty straight forward: Base mode will be compatible with the current version of the PS4, whilst the NEO mode will be able to showcase the newer console’s specs to deliver a, “more stable frame rate and higher visual fidelity” according to Giant Bomb, i.e. 4K video content.
The report also outlines that rather than divide the market with the NEO, both consoles, “will exist alongside of it and use the same user environment”.
Not entirely sure what Sony’s official plan of action is when it comes to introducing the PS4.5 at this point especially if they don’t want to ‘divide’ the market when they have already sold the PS4 console to 35 million users.
As far as the report by GB is concerned, the NEO won’t be receiving any exclusive titles as the interface, previously released titles and PlayStation Network
As for games which have already been released like The Division for example, the report states that developers would have to upgrade their titles to function on “NEO mode” versions which would then have to be released as a patch. I would be very curious to see which developers are going to actually engage in creating NEO modes for their previously released titles, seeing as they would have to release the update as a patch and not receive any particular profit for it.
Specs outlined in the report indicate that the NEO CPU will now consist of 8 Jaguar Cores set to run at 2.1GHz which is faster than the current 8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6GHz. As for the improved GPU, it states that it will have an AMD GCN which features 36 compute units running at 911MHz whilst the current GPU runs at 800MHz. The current consoles RAM bandwidth is 176GB/s whilst the improved RAM is 8GB GDDR5, 218GB/s.
The annual E3 gaming conference in June is will undeniably be revealing more about PlayStation NEO as well as the PS VR.
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