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Sony to announce PS4.5 before PSVR launch - Report

By Brendan Sinclair

Sony to announce PS4.5 before PSVR launch - Report

Mon 28 Mar 2016 2:36pm GMT / 10:36am EDT / 7:36am PDT
Hardware

Wall Street Journal, Digital Foundry back recent reports of a new PlayStation with better resolution, more horsepower for VR

More reports are rolling in that Sony is planning a half-step successor to the PlayStation 4. Following up on a Kotaku report of a PlayStation 4.5 earlier this month, Digital Foundry and the Wall Street Journal have both independently confirmed the basics surrounding the machine.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Wall Street Journal said Sony is planning to announce the upgraded system before the October launch of the PlayStation VR headset. The new PS4 will be capable of outputting higher resolution graphics, and is also intended to help provide PSVR with extra muscle necessary for competing against the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets running on high-end desktop PCs. However, the paper notes that it is "likely" all games would run on either system.

Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter reports that multiple sources referred to the system as PlayStation 4K, but added that the extra GPU power Sony was said to be planning would not be enough to ensure native 4K resolution for standard AAA PS4 titles.

"Everything we've heard positions PlayStation 4K as a machine capable of playing current and next-generation ultra HD media, while also offering support for other aspects of the 4K spec, such as high-dynamic range and a wider colour gamut - aspects of the 4K spec that could be introduced to gaming," Leadbetter said. "However, in terms of additional computational power, we've got be realistic about what Sony can deliver with a mid-generation refresh."

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14 Comments

David Lee Chief Concepticator, Concepticate

20 16 0.8
I think this is a sound move by Sony as VR can use all the graphical horsepower available. It should allow refresh sales among the PlayStation hardcore while (one would assume) creating a lower priced, original spec SKU to compete at the lower end of the console market--which is meaningful at this part of the console cycle when price is important for late arriving consumers. Nothing earth-shattering but at this point it makes sense.

Posted:3 months ago

#1

Michael Harrell Studying CS, University of Utah

21 26 1.2
"However, the paper notes that it is "likely" all games would run on either system." really doesn't seem like a firm enough statement.

More than ever, it looks like I made a mistake when I bought a PS4 in its first week because I was hyped for the future releases of FF15 and Kingdom Hearts 3. I still mostly game on my PC or phone. It's disheartening to see an upgrade coming and neither of those games have even come out. Feeling a lot of like I jumped onto the hype training a few years too early.

Here's hoping a retailer will offer a cheap way to upgrade.

Posted:3 months ago

#2

James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada

308 421 1.4
My concern here is that this sends a dangerous message to the average consumer - that PSVR will work for the PS4K, but will either not work, or you'll get a subpar experience, on the PS4.

Posted:3 months ago

#3

Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises

501 341 0.7
Sony's VR headset isn't really $400 if you also need to buy a PS 4.5 for another $400. That makes it $800.

Or worse, $1200 if you already have a PS4 that won't be powerful enough to play the VR games.

Posted:3 months ago

#4

Julian Williams CEO, WIZDISH Ltd.

156 185 1.2
With its standard architecture the option for Sony to upgrade was always on the cards.
The other thing I suspected Sony might do would be to allow the PSVR headset to be used on a PC and I see Engadget have said as much today.

Posted:3 months ago

#5

Jordan Lund Columnist

103 241 2.3
I've been shopping for a UHD player and have been finding them to be about $400.

I'd rather buy a 2nd PS4 and get all that functionality plus the PS4 stuff essentially "for free".

Posted:3 months ago

#6

Rafael Brown Creative Director/Co-Founder, Digital Myths Studio, Inc

8 23 2.9
Michael, if you bought a PS4 at launch and you haven't found a use for it in the last 2.5 years, then you either haven't been using it at all or you're really focused on just two games. There have been plenty of things to do with a PS4. As for ways to upgrade yes they will be there, but nobody will offer a cheap upgrade. Be realistic. What happens when you want to sell a used Xbox1 or 360 and buy a PS4 ? Youre lucky if you get half the value of the unit. So if you trade in a PS4 you'll get $150-$200 in trade in from Gamestop towards a PS4.5 that is whatever new price it is. Same deal as upgrades for Phones. Nothing is free. If you are budget constrained, then enjoy the PS4 you have rather than [deleted] about the PS4.5 you may not have. The PS4 is a perfectly good platform. You're just experiencing planned obsolescence, it's called technology. ;) Buy for what you will use, not what may be out in a few years that you may eventually use.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by a moderator on 29th March 2016 5:05pm

Posted:3 months ago

#7

Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio

508 1,273 2.5
Popular Comment
Sony better have a trade in policy,which allows you to trade in your current PS 4 for a half priced PS4.5 or Sony is shooting itself in the foot. I dont understand the need for a whole new console if your only upgrading a few components.

Leave it to Sony to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 28th March 2016 10:28pm

Posted:3 months ago

#8

Carl Hudson Studying Computer Science, University of Adelaide

72 87 1.2
To make all this come together, I hope you're coming out with new realistic VR controllers BEFORE October too SONY :)

Posted:3 months ago

#9

Bob Johnson Studying graphics design, Northern Arizona University

37 71 1.9
Don't see any worry. Many would upgrade anyway just because of the 4k support. IN this case it sounds like you would get 4k support and better VR support. VEry appealing.

Cost to get a new Ps4 probably not going to be more than $150 after trading it in or reselling it. GAmestop was recently offering at least $200 for your PS4.

Posted:3 months ago

#10

Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio

508 1,273 2.5
GAmestop was recently offering at least $200 for your PS4.
supply/Demand. If Sony deosnt have an official buyback policy then you can expect to get a lot less than 200 if everyone is selling. More like 50 bucks or less.

Posted:3 months ago

#11

Michael Harrell Studying CS, University of Utah

21 26 1.2
Rafael, I'm aware of how technology changes over time and the potential cost associated with it. I may expect to replace my phone after two years, but that's because after two years it's generally been physically damaged to the point where I need one. Additionally, my cell phone carrier offers plans to accommodate that need without me having to pay full price for the new and improved phone.

My complaint is that Sony is going to start pushing an upgraded hardware that will, formally or informally, replace the PS4 after only three years. That is an extremely short time for modern consoles. And just to accommodate a new peripheral that I'm not even interested in. Sure, I can just sit happily with what I do have, but, much like "The New 3DS" it won't be long until devs begin to depend on that expanded capability and require the upgraded system, even for software not intended for VR.

Also, since you're the co-founder of a new studio creating an unannounced VR game, I think you may be biased.

Posted:3 months ago

#12

Bob Johnson Studying graphics design, Northern Arizona University

37 71 1.9
supply/Demand. If Sony deosnt have an official buyback policy then you can expect to get a lot less than 200 if everyone is selling. More like 50 bucks or less.
You'll get alot more than $50. BB and Gamestop were still giving you north of $150 last year for a PS3/360 thru various deals. regular trade in of a 360 or PS3 right now is $50.

No reason for Sony to buy back consoles with retail partners like Gamestop and BB. Not to mention craigslist and Ebay.

There will plenty of demand for used PS4s. Many customers won't care about 4k nor "enhanced" VR let alone VR.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bob Johnson on 30th March 2016 7:15pm

Posted:2 months ago

#13

Bob Johnson Studying graphics design, Northern Arizona University

37 71 1.9
My complaint is that Sony is going to start pushing an upgraded hardware that will, formally or informally, replace the PS4 after only three years. That is an extremely short time for modern consoles. And just to accommodate a new peripheral that I'm not even interested in. Sure, I can just sit happily with what I do have, but, much like "The New 3DS" it won't be long until devs begin to depend on that expanded capability and require the upgraded system, even for software not intended for VR.
There's only 1 game that works only on the new 3ds xl. There's a 2nd (Hyrule Warriors) that I just heard runs not so good on the regular 3ds but it does run. Nintendo did the same thing with the DSi vs the DS and again there was hardly any games made for the DSi only except maybe small downloadable games which the DS just wasn't capable of doing.

The reality is everyone wants to make their game for as wide of an install base as possible. I would expect next to no games to work only on a PS4.5. Don't forget developers were making their games work on both the 360/PS3 and X1/PS4 for years and there is a massive difference between those systems and what the PS4.5 is probably going to be about.

Posted:2 months ago

#14

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