There has been a lot of talk in the last couple of days regarding the launch of a possible mid-generation upgrade for the PlayStation 4 console, codenamed NEO. The story originated from a report at Giant Bomb, then confirmed by Eurogamer, saying that they've seen documents describing it, with some revelations of its specifications and functionalities.
- There will be an upgrade in terms of CPU clock, GPU performance and memory bandwidth
- Still a 8 Jaguar cores CPU, but from a 1.6Ghz to 2.1 Ghz
- The AMD GCN will be improved, going from 18 CUs at 800Mhz to 36 CUs at 911Mhz
- The memory will still consists of 8 Gbytes of DDR5, but its speed going from 176 GB/s to 218 GB/s.
- Games will now have 2 modes of play : a "base" mode (which is basically what we have in our current consoles) and a "NEO" mode, which will consist of a mandatory minimum 1080p resolution, which would be capable of being upscaled to 4K. There cannot be a lower framerate in the NEO version compared to the "base" version.
- There would be no division at all between the current player base and the one of the NEO : both will use the same store, environment, online communities.
- There cannot be any NEO-specific extra functionalities in-game like exclusive features and game modes. There can be though an enhanced version of a functionality specific to NEO (for example : having a higher maximum number of players in a local split-screen game mode).
- There would be no changes on the hard drive front and will use the same controller.
- Backed up data, themes, avatars and game saves would be interchangeable from NEO to the current console.
- All DLC and additional content would be completely console agnostic.
- Trophies and unlock rules would be the same on both console.
- Companies will have the possibility to patch old games, so the new hardware capabilities can be used when they are available.
- There are no information yet regarding NEO having extra components or capabilities that would benefit PSVR
- There hasn't been a confirmation about price and release date yet
- Developments kits would be on their way to developers already
- Sony would give more information at their DevCon event in May
- Developers would be able to start sending NEO-compatible code in August
Since then, AMD has also announced during an investor statement, but without naming any specific companies, that at their console-centric department, there are 3 "design wins" and that one of them would start to return income in the second half of 2016. Is this more an annoucement regarding the Nintendo NX or the NEO ? It's impossible to confirm for now.
We still have to hear officially from Sony regarding this mid-life console upgrade. With E3 coming, I'm sure the official information and story about this console will come.
What do you think of this concept, having a console upgrade this early into the life cycle of the PS4? Let us know in the comments below.