Sony finally confirmed the existence of a PS4 upgrade, a more powerful version of the current console dubbed "NEO" or "PS4K," in an interview with the Financial Times Friday.
The upgraded PS4 will support ultra HD resolution while providing an improved virtual reality experience. Sony will not ignore its wildly successful PS4, as the PS4K will serve hardcore gamers or consumers with 4K televisions. Unfortunately, Sony will not reveal the PS4 upgrade Monday at its E3 2016 press conference.
“It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4,” said Andrew House, Sony Interactive Entertainment's chief executive. The development of the PS4K was in response to the year-over-year update cycle of smartphones and PCs. Consumers expect technology to advance pretty rapidly in 2016, which is why a five-to-seven-year console life cycle may be a thing of the past. In the future, there could be a base console followed by a minor upgrade that serves the needs of the latest technology.
Rumors of the PS4K first surfaced in a report from gaming site Kotaku. Later reports from Eurogamer and other outlets revealed more details about the console, which was codenamed Sony NEO. Every report indicated the PS4K would not replace the PS4, but it will provide a boost to the CPU, GPU and memory. Because of the development cycle, the upgrades are relatively modest as the technology for a full console upgrade would be too expensive.
The biggest benefit of the PS4K would be to consumers who are already invested in ultra HD or have 4K televisions. Netflix, Amazon, PlayStation Video, YouTube, Xfinity and DirecTV offer 4K content, which can't be accessed with the PS4.
Going forward, developers will need to create modes that will be compatible for the PS4 and PS4K. There will be a "Base" mode and a "NEO Mode," but the latter will not have exclusive content or gameplay experiences. Any improvements to a game's graphics for the PS4K must keep the same frame rate or be an improvement from the base version of the game.
House did not reveal a price or a release date, but did say the PS4 upgrade will be more expensive than the base version of the console. Sony will not reveal the console at E3, but it's likely the company will talk about it during Monday's press conference.