PlayStation NEO : what we know so far

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