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Sony confirms PlayStation Neo - but it won't be at E3

Andrew House says new SKU will be more powerful, more expensive

Sony's Andrew House has confirmed that the new, more powerful version of the PS4, codenamed Neo, is in development, but has said that it won't make a public appearance at E3.

Speaking to the Financial Times, House explained that the new unit will be more expensive than the $350 PS4 and will be sold alongside the existing model, giving consumers a choice of price points. House also confirmed that the machine will be targeting 4K display owners, but reiterated that all PS4 games, past and future, will still run on a basic unit.

"It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4," House told the paper. "We will be selling both through the life cycle...All games will support the standard PS4 and we anticipate all or a very large majority of games will also support the high-end PS4."

Sony has been trying to avoid this admission ever since rumours first surfaced from Kotaku at GDC in March, but House's openness is still something of a surprise, especially as the company has no plans to reveal the machine at E3, refusing to talk release dates or pricing. The Neo's absence from the LA show, says House, is down to the lack of current titles which Sony believes will properly illustrate its improved capabilities.

"We want to ensure we have a full range of the best experiences on the new system that we can showcase in their entirety," said House.

The Sony executive was also keen to justify what some have seen as a dangerous fracturing of the PS4 platform, a move which has already roused significant upset amongst owners of the current model. Customers, particularly early tech adopters, are used to rapid iterative hardware development, he believes, thanks to smartphones.

"The consumer is attuned to a different cadence of innovation in technology thanks in great part for the upgrades cadence on mobile phones or PCs."

With Microsoft poised to make its own hardware announcements at E3, with an Xbox One slim almost a certainty and more news expected about the forward evolution of the platform via the Universal Windows Program initiative, there could be room to steal something of a march on a Sony who have been slow to get in front of rumours which have been almost universally accepted ever since their inception. With significant ground to make up on its rivals this generation, it's hard to see the Redmond company not taking advantage of the window.

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Dan Pearson