Earlier this year, developer documentation leaked the existence of an up and coming PlayStation console codenamed ‘Neo’. The console was said to deliver a superior graphical capacity to that of the current PS4. Leak upon leak forced Sony to eventually announce the existence of the console in Early June. Fast forward some months, to an invite going out to press inviting them to a PlayStation Event on September 7th, in the very same location that the PlayStation 4 was announced almost 3 years ago. It’s all but clear that Sony will announce the future of PlayStation which will definitely include the PS4 Neo, or as I think Sony should call it, the ‘PS4 Pro’
As the weeks rolled out, leaks suggested that Sony were also working on a ‘PS4 Slim’. Fast forward to today, when a gamer in Europe was supposedly able to purchase the console from online-store Gumtree. Whilst this is still sketchy, it’s to be expected that Sony would be working on a cheaper console that is smaller in size to the current PS4. The Wall Street Journal posted an article corroborating the fact that Sony would in fact unveil two brand new consoles in September. Whilst I was incredibly worried for Sony, and how they might try and market the PS4 Neo, I actually think that it’s an easier sell revealing two consoles for release in time for this year’s Holiday season. Here’s why.
It’s extremely important to remember that there is a world of gamers outside the hardcore fanbase. Those gamers who are still going to pick up FIFA 17 on their PS3 and might only purchase one or two games a year. There is still an incredibly large base of casual gamers that are on the edge of purchasing a PS4 or Xbox One, but the price is still too much of a barrier for them. This is why the upcoming holiday season is the perfect time for Sony to re introduce ‘The New PS4’ at a cheaper price point. I do not think they should touch any of the internals or add HDR or 4K functionality. Simply make it smaller for marketing purposes and sell it as an affordable console for the casual market.
This will perfectly complement the PS4 Neo or ‘Pro’. It is reported that this console will be heavier and larger than the original PS4, which wouldn’t surprise me at all given the PS4’s quite small size at launch, especially compared to the original Xbox One’s size. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to think that the PS4 Pro will either release at the current price point as the PS4 (If Sony really want to create a fanfare as they did with the original price announcement), or more likely at $100 more than the original price point of the PS4.
Announcing both consoles at the same time and releasing them in time for the holiday season simplifies PlayStation’s holiday message and allows them to ensure that there is a PS4 for every one. If Sony try to over complicate the message and focuses on the technical details on the PS4 Slim, they’re going to have a world of trouble once a consumer walks into a store to buy a PS4 for their loved one.
With the recent release of the Xbox One S, the upcoming release of PlayStation VR, and the looming announcements of the PS4 Neo, PS4 Slim and Nintendo NX, it’s an incredibly exciting time to be a gamer.
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