The eyes of gamers would have lit up recently at rumours of a so-called PlayStation 4.5; possibly an upgraded version of Sony’s hit console, with enough computing power to deliver better performance.
Nothing has been confirmed by Sony, but speculation has been rife on gamer forums over the course of the last week.
Here’s what bloggers are saying:
Though the rumours have yet to be confirmed by Sony themselves, they do come from a pretty reputable source of gaming tech-heads.
Digital Foundry recently stated that it has independently verified a previous report, which said a new version of the PlayStation 4 console will have an upgraded GPU.
Though you can never be 100 per cent sure until these things come from the mouth of Sony themselves, we’d say it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that some kind of upgraded PlayStation 4 is on the way.
Whether that comes in the form of a slightly more powerful machine or a simple ‘slim’ version remains to be seen.
The speculative new PlayStation goes under a couple of names. PlayStation 4.5 for those who like their decimals, and PlayStation 4K for those with their eye on graphical capabilities.
It seems like only yesterday we were ushering in the advent of HD gaming, but already 4K has come along and eclipsed the lot, offering unrivaled resolution that takes more powerful hardware to compute.
This is where the ‘new’ PlayStation allegedly steps in, reportedly offering boosted hardware to enhance the clarity of the machine’s output in a number of ways, and help catch the consoles up to their PC brethren.
Though it might not offer a ‘true’ 4K experience
To get a little technical, according to Digital Foundry, although the hardware offers more graphical processing power, it is not enough to deliver a ‘full’ 4K gaming experience.
They speculate that the console may be able to produce “high-definition media” and some of the more technical aspects of 4K gaming, but the hardware upgrade currently isn’t a step-up enough to handle full 4K gaming.
Still, the results should be noticeable enough.
There’s a number of ways they could manage this: Digital Foundry are obviously a lot more technically minded than us, which is why some of the methods to achieving this new higher-definition goal have our heads spinning.
We’ll try to simplify them as best we can:
Tweaks could be made to the existing hardware to minimise the size of the microprocessor while making it more powerful
The existing PS4 chip could be scaled up in terms of power, and features could be attached that allow for select 4K capabilities to be added on
A new, ‘slimmer’ version of the PS4 – much like we have seen with Sony’s previous machines – could be given “minor boosts to functionality”
Microsoft are looking to respond
Obviously the so-called ‘console’ wars are just a big game of oneupsmanship, and with Microsoft always trying to compete with Sony’s console, they’ll no doubt have a response to the news.
In fact, even before rumours of the PS4.5 began swirling, Xbox’s Phil Spencer teased plans for an upgradeable Xbox One, saying:
“You’ll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible.”
So it looks like the landscape of console gaming is on the move once more.