A few days ago, we reported Kotaku's rumor of a PlayStation 4.5 being planned by Sony Computer Entertainment. Today, Eurogamer confirmed independently that Sony's R&D labs have prototype devices of this PlayStation 4.5, which has been referred to by more than one source as PlayStation 4K.
This upgraded console would be more than likely be based on the new 14/16nm microprocessor manufacturing technology. Eurogamer presented three different scenarios, from the one featuring the most powerful (and expensive) PlayStation 4.5 to the cheapest possible upgrade.
#1 Scenario - Polaris
- An APU with a higher-end Polaris would push graphics on - a 2x performance boost in GPU power compared to PS4 is achievable in a console form-factor. Possibly more - we really need to see the desktop PC equivalent parts first.
- By default, Polaris has support for 4K, HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 and HDR.
- Console would not be cheap owing to the size of the processor - conceivably on par with PS4's £359/$399 launch price.
- Possibly higher depending on how much Sony pushes the boat out in terms of processor size and memory allocation.
- This PS4K could co-exist with a cheaper 'PS4 Slim' based on the older APU, again using 14nm/16nm technology.
#2 Scenario - From Pitcairn to Tahiti
- We'd see a new PlayStation playing host to the same titles as the current one, but with visual improvements.
- Conceivably, older games may run more smoothly by default, or could be patched to access the newer hardware.
- Resolution could be pushed beyond 1080p and could look good on a 4K screen, but native UHD visuals for triple-A titles are off the table.
- Wouldn't be as expensive as the first option.
- State-of-the-art 4K media support, but harder to sell to all but the most hardcore gamers.
#3 Scenario - Just minor enhancements
- Full compatibility with 4K screens, including next-gen media.
- Complete 'no worries' compatibility with existing PlayStation 4 library.
- HDR support for gaming on 4K displays - even if gaming resolution remains at 1080p.
- Opportunity to lower cost as 14/16nm chips become cheaper.
- Unlikely to alienate the existing userbase - any performance upgrade would be more 'nice to have' as opposed to essential.
The PlayStation 4.5 would likely debut next year, but it could certainly be showcased during E3 or Gamescom 2016. With Microsoft already planning an enhanced Xbox One, this seems like the logical step for Sony to remain ahead in terms of performance among consoles. The question is, though, how much would you be interested in it as a consumer? Let us know via the poll and comments.