PS4 Neo isn’t the only new PlayStation in the works if leaks are any indication. The so-called PS4 Slim is all but confirmed for a Sept. 7 reveal, and that tells us a few things about its rumored high-spec alternative. Here are five revised assumptions to made about Neo.
1) Expect At Least A Standard-Size Chassis: Assuming the PS4 Slim is just a smaller version of the console that’s available today, the Neo is likely to be some percentage bigger than that redesign. After all, Neo’s trumped-up processors probably need more room to breathe to pack in the extra horsepower.
With that being said, it stands to reason the Neo will probably be about the same dimensions as today’s console or possibly a little bigger. Slim consoles exist because their older hardware becomes more efficient to produce. With the Neo’s more cutting-edge specs, it’s almost assuredly going to require a physical footprint with more girth than the shrunken build.
2) Some Sort Of Price Discrepancy Will Exist: If Sony intends to have both Slim and Neo consoles on the market at once, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there’s going to be a cost gap between the two models.
The most interesting part of that discussion is how Sony will choose to handle it. Could the PS4 Neo cost as much as $450 or $500 with the Slim sitting pretty at the current price of $350? Might the Slim be sold for as low as $250 with the Neo occupying the existing price range? Considering hardware redesigns often come with a price cut, we personally expect the Slim to be less than $350.
3) Neo’s Visual Perks Won’t Leave The Standard PS4 In The Dust: If Sony is happy enough with the existing PS4 to invest research and development into making it smaller and cheaper to produce, that means the Neo won't necessarily blow it away from a technical perspective. After all, the Slim is assumingly designed to bring in just as many new PlayStation gamers as its alternative. They’re operating within the same ecosystem.
In other words, it wouldn’t be feasible for Sony to introduce the Slim only to say “by the way, all future games are Neo-exclusive.” At least for the foreseeable future, games must be made to support both platforms. As such, anything made for Neo can’t stretch too far beyond the Slim’s capabilities that currently exist. Leaked specs suggest more of a half-step mentality for Neo, and the Slim’s rejuvenated support of the existing sku solidifies those rumors further.
4) Neo Is A Premium, Not A Necessity: We’ve alluded to this a bit already, but it’s worth fleshing out. Assuming the Slim is indeed a real thing, that offers us hints as to how Sony intends to market the Neo. Announcing two new consoles at once implies consumers are going to have a choice. They’re being revealed together because they’re in the same family.
As such, just like SIE president Andrew House told the Financial Times in June, Neo is “intended to sit aside and compliment the PS4.” Ergo, it’s not going to be positioned as a mandatory purchase. This is a premium console for those willing to pay for the best results.
5) Those 2016 Release Rumors Are In Question: While quite a few reports from retail sources suggested a Neo release in 2016, the leak of the Slim puts a slight wrench in those claims. If the Slim is already out in the wild, that means it’s releasing soon. With that fact established, it’s reasonable to suggest that maybe the new hardware these insiders were hearing about was the Slim and not the Neo.
This seems especially likely considering Sony’s known hardware plans for the holidays. PlayStation VR is set to hit market in October, and now the Slim is in the mix. Bringing too many boxes to retail at once is a recipe for consumer confusion. Instead, why not entice gamers to invest in expensive VR tech by selling it alongside a smaller, and probably cheaper, version of the console it needs? Marketing a premium-priced Neo with PS VR won’t make the headset feel like an attainable product. Sell the high-spec console in 2017 instead.
The PlayStation Neo and Slim are expected to be formally revealed at an event on Sept. 7.
What do you think the Slim means for the Neo? Will both consoles coexist in success? Tell us in the comments section!