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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.

 

Sources :

Giant Bomb report from Austin Walker, April 18th 2016

Eurogamer report from Richard Leadbetter, April 19th 2016

Eurogamer 2nd report from Richard Leadbetter, April 20th 2016

IGN report from Joe Skrebels, April 22nd 2016

 

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  • RAULxPUDD

    Sony shouldnt be supported in doing this and everyone should boycott any mid cycle PS4.5. . Nintendo put themselves on a different console lifecycle time frame with the Wii U and the U is older than both XB1 and PS4 so the NX makes sense. PS4 launched at the very end of 2013 basically 2014 and its a little over 2 years in and Sony sells prob what around 50-55 million PS4s at $350- $400 for 2 years and now will release a more powerful console at around the same price lol. That is a slap in the face to the 55 million that just purchased your PS4 in the last 2 years.

    Now Sony is going to push a superior model at around the cost of what the PS4 was at $400 and drop the price of the base model that everyone already owns to what $249.99?? Basically telling all current PS4 owners your consoles are soon to be an inferior version of the PS4. Bad business, should just wait and launch the PS5 in 2018-2019. Typically you streamline your current console and make it more efficient but you dont change the performance mid cycle thats just disrespecting your loyal customers that spent their money on your product. MS will launch a streamlined XB1 likely an all digital box in a smaller package with maybe a 1-3TB hard drive or something for $299-$249.99 but it wont be a hardware upgrade internally with a faster CPU and GPU slapping current XB1 owners in the face. So Sony launches the PSNEO in 2016-2017 and what do they do when MS specs out the PSNEO and NX and in 2017-2018 reveals the Xbox NEXT or whatever it will be and its like 4x more powerful than both PSNEO and NX??? Sony going to launch a PS5 to compete another 2 years after they just launched a PSNEO??? You dont make $$$ from the hardware so pumping out consoles every 2 years will sink Sony financially as least that arm of Sony. They are doing what they did before and getting too cocky with the success of the PS4 now just all out swing for the fences and our wallets. If power were the end all be all everyone would game on PC.

    • Oracheski

      Yeah, this is a tough subject. I like the idea of being able to get a more powerful console that gives better performance, but if they are moving on from the PS4 already then what’s to say they won’t move on from the PS4K/NEO/whatever in just as short a time?

      More importantly, if the next few years brings a truly new console and a larger leap in specs then I’d be right back in the same boat…upgrade or feel left behind.

      Sony needs to do some serious marketing work to make this seem like something consumers should get behind.

  • This is a touchy subject for both PS4 and XBOX ONE owners. The speculation over what will be announced at E3 doesn’t mean it will release this year. With the specs leaked and widely confirmed for the NEO, it could be another 2-3 years away. I would be shocked if this released this year. You’re right, it fragments the user base. MS has been pretty quiet about what hardware they will be announcing.