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Rumor: Sony working on more powerful PlayStation 4

By Mike Williams

Rumor: Sony working on more powerful PlayStation 4

Fri 18 Mar 2016 10:55pm GMT / 6:55pm EDT / 3:55pm PDT
HardwareRumour

Sony may be working on an upgrade for the PS4, allowing developers access to improved graphics

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

According to a Kotaku report, Sony is working on a new, more powerful PlayStation 4. Kotaku sources say the system will include an upgraded GPU to support 4K resolution for games, in addition to offering more processing power for PlayStation VR titles.

There's no word on how Sony would offer such a system to consumers, whether it would be a completely separate purchase or an upgrade to the current PlayStation 4 in some fashion. Kotaku cites multiple anonymous developer sources for its report and notes that Sony reportedly had meetings with developers about the potential hardware at this week's Game Developers Conference.

Kotaku also cites rumors that Microsoft may be planning something similar with the Xbox One. When Microsoft announced its Universal Windows Platform earlier this month, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that the console space could see the continuous hardware evolution that you see on PCs and mobile platforms.

"We see on other platforms whether it be mobile or PC that you get a continuous innovation that you rarely see on console," he said, according to Polygon. "When you look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we've ever seen. You'll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible because we have a Universal Windows Application running on top of the Universal Windows Platform that allows us to focus more and more on hardware innovation without invalidating the games that run on that platform."

Sony declined to comment on the report.

Image via Wired.

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11 Comments

John Karageorgiou consultant

54 59 1.1
I, for one, am hoping that this rumour is true.
But that is an entirely selfish response. I am sure that Sony would need to think through the business case for launching an upgraded PS4 and potential impact that this may have on its current business model and user / fan base.

Posted:6 months ago

#1

Jan Almqvist Senior Artist, Electronic Arts

40 26 0.7
As a developer I'm not particularly jazzed about the prospect of an additional SKU. But if it is handled as one SKU, with the only difference being resolution and VR, then that's fine I suppose.

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,017 2,372 1.2
So, if MS and Sony are both moving to an incremental-update business plan, I have two questions:

1) At what point will mainstream consumers start to consider PCs as a true alternative to console gaming? The joy of consoles is the set-for-a-generation nature of the beast. But, if you're no longer set for a generation (or more importantly, feel as though you are), why not just pay out $500 for an Alienware Alpha PC that beats the PS4 in terms of specs, and has a wider range of games? With MS shifting to Windows 10, there really aren't that many system-selling console exclusives nowadays - Halo, Uncharted and... What?

2) At what point will MS and Sony actually just move into the sub-$500 gaming PC market? The XBone/PS4 hardware is x86 anyway, and this mid-generation hardware shift is one-step-removed from the multiple models of the Alienware Alpha and Steam Machines. It's more user-friendly, but it's also more galling - buying a PS4 at release to be told a new model is coming is different to buying a PC which you know you can take apart (or take to a store to take apart) and upgrade. Like Steam Machines boot into Steam's Big Picture Mode, a Sony Playstation Gaming PC could boot into the PSN, with a hidden option of taking you into a wider PC environment (or not).

Calling it now - Gabe was a visionary with Steam Machines. :p

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 20th March 2016 9:42am

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Daniel Chenoweth Freelance Editor, Reviewer, Writer

18 15 0.8
Nobody reporting on this rumour seems to be mentioning what I would have suspected as being the primary motivation for Sony doing this: UHD BluRays have just started publishing.

The PS3 launched at a time when it's BluRay playback was a major selling point for a lot of people. Pretty soon a swathe of consumers that have just bought sub $1000 4K-capable TVs are going to see UHD BDs on shelves and want something that can play them at full res.

Adding a bit more headroom for game devs to upres a little seems secondary. Besides, I doubt any extra grunt they add would even be enough to bridge the performance jump needed from 1080p to 2160p. It would likely enable more games to target 60FPS at 1080p though, where they might only be 30FPS on the 2013 SKU.

Posted:6 months ago

#4

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange

261 207 0.8
While Sony and Microsoft is afraid to take the plunge, Nintendo's jumping head first into the next generation. They have no idea what the NX and they can only assume it will be 4K/UHD ready so they're dipping their feet in the water with rumors of an upgrade or a half-step system to force Nintendo to show their hand. Nintendo knows the risks so they've most likely future proofed the NX console. If anyone would recall, Nintendo has filed a patent before that utilizes a supplemental computing device which basically makes the NX system more powerful when it needs to. Aside from a UHD Blu ray drive (most likely from Panasonic), it will also have a game card port that supports 3DS and NX portable game cards..

Posted:6 months ago

#5

John Owens CEO, Wee Man Studios Ltd

1,034 1,354 1.3
@ Morville

I suspect it's going to be similar for people to whether they prefer Android or iPhone. It may now have different versions but it's still a lot less hassle.

Posted:6 months ago

#6

Adam Campbell Product Executive, Hopster

1,452 1,542 1.1
It will take a lot more performance to really run games in 4K, so I'm guessing 'supports 4K' means just that unless theyre looking for a major step up in price. 4K blu-ray and streaming will be interesting additions to the machine.

Posted:6 months ago

#7

Richard Browne Partner & Head of Interactive, Many Rivers Productions

215 305 1.4
Well as a developer you have no choice but to support the standard platform, if it then can uprez it and make it run at a decent clip in VR then ....well just running games in VR for VR's sake is going to cause an awful lot of motion sickness!

Posted:6 months ago

#8

Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises

509 348 0.7
Will it be the PS 4.1?

Posted:6 months ago

#9

Paul Jace Merchandiser

1,191 2,026 1.7
If it turns out to be true I wonder if Sony will follow Microsoft's path, making all future and past XBO hardware compatible with all future games, or Nintendo's path, saying "you need to upgrade to the New 3DS in order to play some of the newer games such as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and....maybe some other stuff down the line".

Posted:6 months ago

#10

Alan Blighe Research Associate

37 88 2.4
Morville - a quick head count of my friends and colleagues indicates that this would likely be a tipping point for most of us to move over the PC. We're not exactly your "mainstream consumers", but still...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alan Blighe on 22nd March 2016 9:54am

Posted:6 months ago

#11

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