Image via PS4 Daily
Sources coming out of GDC 2016 are reporting that Sony is hard at work on a PlayStation 4.5 with better hardware and the capacity for 4K gaming. An article over at Kotaku claims that sources in the industry have confirmed the existence of such a device. Even more shocking is that Sony is already telling developers about it.
Information is scarce right now, but read on to find out everything we know about this mysterious missing link and what it means for the future of PlayStation.
The PS4.5: What Does It All Mean?
The developer sources that leaked the information (who have not been named), said that the “PS4.5” will include a more powerful graphics card that can support 4K resolution gaming and add more “oomph” to the quality of PlayStation VR games.
While we don’t know if the current title is a joke or if Sony is planning on calling it the PlayStation 4.5, one of the developers that spoke to Kotaku referred to it as the “PS4K.” This news isn’t entirely surprising as plenty of experts question the long-term potential of the hardware in current game consoles.
It’s no secret that PC hardware is already far ahead of the PS4, and while 4K gaming isn’t mainstream yet, it’s definitely catching on. As it currently stands, the PS4 cannot support that kind of resolution, which is roughly four times the resolution of 1080p. Not to mention, only the latest televisions have the ability to display in this resolution.
The PS4 can currently display 4K videos and photos, but games are out of the question on the current hardware. An upgraded GPU would not only provide support for this resolution, but it would most certainly allow games to look even better since they could take advantage of the increased horsepower.
Then you have PlayStation VR, which is releasing in October of 2016. When compared with the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, not only is this headset running much cheaper, but it’s also doing so on hardware that pales in comparison to the PC you’ll need for the other major headsets coming to market.
People have already expressed concern that the PS4 won’t be able to output VR games with the same graphical power as it does to your television, which lends more authenticity to these speculations.
Apparently knowledge of this development just recently expanded beyond a very small group of people. Sony refuses to comment on it, but apparently several of Kotaku’s writers were able to confirm the rumor with their sources, along with the trusted source who revealed the story in the first place.
A member of the Kotaku UK staff, Keza MacDonald even said she heard developers in line at GDC candidly talking about the new console.One source said that the current state of plans is “exploratory” and that it wouldn’t release this year.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about potential upgrades to this generation of consoles. In fact, Phil Spencer, President of Xbox, has mentioned similar concepts publically when talking about the Xbox One. He described a means by which a console can be upgraded, much like a PC, during the generation instead of releasing a new console.
During a keynote at the Xbox Spring Showcase, he said “We we look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we’ve ever seen. You’ll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible.”
Is it possible that Sony is thinking in a similar fashion? Phil made some other points during his keynote, making comparisons to the short and fast cycles of things like smartphones and tablets. By comparison, console cycles seem like an outdated concept.
Are You Saying I Have to Buy a New PS4?
Honestly, I have no idea. This news makes sense, given how quickly the PS4’s tech has been outpaced by the rest of technology. As a PS4 owner, I don’t like the idea of having to buy another version of the console just to play the latest games.
If you look at something like the New 3DS, you’ll see that the enhanced system has its own games. If you have a regular 3DS, you can’t play these new titles. If Sony did something similar, it would shatter the market like glass. I can imagine a lot of you agree with me, especially if you don’t own a 4K TV (I don’t).
If you could somehow upgrade the PS4 with an attachment or maybe an easy installation, then sure, this could work. I just have a hard time seeing a future where Sony pushes out another console and expects people to simply upgrade. There’s 20 million PS4s out there and counting. Those people aren’t interested in buying another console, they want games.
It almost seems like Sony is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they sold this console to consumers with the promise that they were dedicating an entire cycle to it, but on the other hand, it doesn't have the legs to really last through all of the changes coming down the pipeline.
If developers are talking about it, then this has a little more weight than your standard rumor, and while it's exciting that Sony is exploring upgrades, for the average gamer I think excitement isn't the word I would use.
What do you think about all of this? Should Sony release an upgraded PS4? Would you buy it? Let us know in the comments below!