The PS4K, dubbed "NEO" by Sony, is an upgrade from the PS4 in terms of processing power, but it will not have exclusive games, according to a report from the gaming site Giant Bomb.
PS4.5, PS4K or NEO will not replace the wildly successful PS4. Sony's new console will feature the same dashboard and access to the PlayStation Network. The latest news did not include a price or release date for NEO.
An upgrade to 4K resolution, with four times as many pixels as 1080p is the main reason for NEO. Improvements to the CPU clock speed, GPU and memory are not dramatically better than the PS4, but gives the new console the ability to create better looking games and other enhancements to the overall experience. The PlayStation VR experience would likely benefit from the hardware improvements found in NEO.
Beginning in October, games will be required to ship with a standard "Base" mode, compatible with the PS4, and a "NEO Mode." Developers can update previously released games to include a NEO mode via a patch.
The NEO mode will be limited to improvements that are also found in the PS4. Improved graphics must retain the same, or better, frame rate found in the base version of the game. The NEO version of the game won't feature different gameplay experiences, additional levels or unique content. NEO owners and PS4 owners will be able to play together on the PlayStation Network.
Giant Bomb's report matches a technical analysis from Digital Foundry based on the rumored PS4K. Any hardware improvements would be constrained by technology and cost, with NEO serving as an improvement to the PS4, but not to the extent that Sony's current console would become obsolete. In many ways, the news is the best-case scenario for the more than 37 million PS4 owners.
The earliest Sony may reveal anything regarding the development of a new console may be when the company releases its first-quarter earnings report on April 28. A more likely scenario will be an announcement during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.