After months of reports and speculation, Sony has confirmed its plans to launch a more powerful version of the PlayStation 4, codenamed “Neo.” While the news is now out in the open, Sony revealed that the console would not make its public debut at E3 next week.
“We want to ensure we have a full range of the best experiences on the new system that we can showcase in their entirety,” said Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House.
Speaking to the Financial Times, House said the upgraded console will support “4k resolution and richer graphics,” and offer a smoother experience for the PlayStation VR headset, which is set to launch in October. The Neo, which House referred to as the “high-end PS4,” will be sold alongside the current model, and will carry a higher price tag. (The PlayStation 4 currently retails for $350 in North America). Like the PS4 and PlayStation VR, the Neo hardware will be sold for a profit at launch.
Multiple outlets reported that Sony was speaking to developers about the Neo, which early reports also referred to as the “PS4.5” and “PS4K,” during the 2016 Game Developers Conference in March. A report from Giant Bomb in April leaked specific hardware specifications for the upgrade, including upgraded CPU, GPU, and memory bandwidth. House did not confirm any specific hardware specifications for the Neo.
All PS4 games will be compatible with the current PS4, and “all or a very large majority of games will also support the high-end PS4,” House added. Past reports asserted that developers would effectively need to make two versions of their games: a “base mode” that will run on standard PS4s, and a Neo mode that takes advantage of the upgraded console’s hardware. According to House, making games that work on both versions of the console will require “a small, but manageable” amount of extra work from developers.
Even with the Neo out of the E3 spotlight, fans may still see some as-yet-unannounced hardware. Reports last month suggest that Microsoft is working on a similar upgraded version of the Xbox One, codename “Scorpio,” which could make an appearance at the show, ahead of a 2017 launch.
There’s no timeline for when Sony plans to show or ship the PlayStation 4 Neo, but don’t expect the console to launch until 2017.
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