Rumours have been flying around about the PlayStation 4.5 for some months now. A number of outlets have reported on the news that ‘incredibly trusted sources’ revealed the development of the PS4’s pending incremental update. Further to this both Netflix and Gamestop have commented on the fact that they expect 4K compatible consoles to be released in the near future.
The latest report by Giant Bomb seems to be the most believable to date. It details that the PlayStation 4.5 which is allegedly codenamed ‘NEO’ will feature a higher clock speed, an improved GPU and a higher bandwidth in memory. This will result in a more stable frame rate and increased visual fidelity.I think it’s incredibly logical that Sony are opting for a incremental upgrade. It will allow developers to take advantage of hardware that will result in games running smother. Games like Fallout that feature incredible open-worlds will run better than before and allow gamers to enjoy a visual experience that only PC gamers are used to.
Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer recently made a statement in regards to Uncharted 4 already pushing the PS4 to its limit. It’s important to remember that the PS4 is much easier to develop for than the PS3, so it’s completely logical that developers need more room to work with.The good thing about this is that unlike companies in previous years, Sony are in no way splitting the user-base. They are making it mandatory that all games must run on the base PS4 (which will co-exist alongside the rumoured PlayStation 4.5). This means that the PlayStation 4.5 would only improve performance of games that are available to ALL PlayStation gamers. This console is not being created to create new experiences, it’s simply being created to ENHANCE performance for those who take their gaming seriously but may not want to make the jump to PC.
I’ve seen a ton of people comparing the PlayStation 4.5 to the NEW 3DS and I think that this is an incredibly unfair comparison. The NEW 3DS added new buttons, a second analogue nub and the ability to read Amiibos, as well as increasing the internal specifications of the handheld. All of these things were clearly added to create NEW experiences which is instantly segmented their userbase. This fact is strengthened by the fact that Nintendo released Xenoblade Chronicles 3D EXCLUSIVELY for the NEW 3DS.Lets also discuss PlayStation VR. It’s no secret that PlayStation VR will require a lot of resources to be sucessful. This PlayStation 4.5 would allow Sony to stay ahead of the game knowing that majority of the people who are early adopters for the PlayStation VR would also be willing to shell out for a higher-specced console.
Obviously, there are some negatives. Whilst it’s almost been 3 years since the PS4 released, there will be people who have picked it up recently that will be bitter about shelling out for an inferior product. Whilst these people are probably not this products target demographic, it’d be extremely beneficial for Sony to announce it as soon as possible and take a short-term hit in sales to maintain brand reputation. With the holiday period being the main selling period, it’d make complete sense for them to release in early November and lower the base level PS4 to casual gamers wanting to make the jump to the next-generation, and there will still be a massive audience for gamers who want a cheaper entry point without the increased performance.Taking all of this into account, the PS4.5 is great for the gaming industry. It’ll provide better performance for hardcore gamers whilst also presumably allowing a cheaper entry point for the base model PS4. It’ll increase the overall user base which will allow more AAA games to be made and sold.