The next generation of the Sony PlayStation 4 is the subject of a great deal of debate, yet it’s kept so tightly under wraps even a name hasn’t been decided. PlayStation Neo, PS4K, PS4.5 and even PS4 Slim and all floating about the interwebs.
We’ve gone through every scrap of leakage and all the rumours out there to create a comprehensive guide to the Sony PlayStation Neo, which is the name we’ll refer to from here on out.
Sony used E3 2016 to announce it is working on a next generation console but officially said little else. One thing we’re not expecting is a PS5, but more of an incremental upgrade.
Sony PlayStation Neo release date and price
Sony is rumoured to release the PlayStation Neo this October alongside its PS VR headset. This would make sense as the virtual reality gear will likely put a lot of strain on the console making this upgraded model more appealing.
Sony has confirmed that it will hold an announcement event on 7 September but hasn’t said what for. While this could be for more details on PS VR and its games, we expect the new PlayStation Neo will be the main event.
Pricing has not been leaked but multiple sources are speculating a $350+ price for the new console. This would place it alongside the £360 Microsoft Xbox One S nicely, especially as it sounds like the Neo will offer even more. But it’s so early we’re taking this all with a pinch of salt.
Sony PlayStation Neo 4K video and gaming
One of the main reasons for the new PlayStation Neo console is likely to offer an Ultra HD Blu-ray player drive. Since Sony has already released a lot of its movies in this format, offering a player makes sense. This will mean a more powerful console with upgraded ports is also needed.
Sources of Giant Bomb have claimed the Neo will come with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 alongside an upgraded processor and GPU all meaning it will not only play 4K video but will support 4K gaming too.
While Microsoft’s Xbox One S comes with an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, it only supports 4K video and not gaming - something it’s Project Scorpio console will reportedly offer in 2017.
Sony PlayStation Neo Neo Mode
According to sources of Giant Bomb, game developers will be required to include a Neo Mode on all games they make for the PlayStation in future as of October 2016. That should mean that all games work on both the current PS4 as well as the 4K Neo.
This should also mean the Neo is backwards compatible for older games that were released for the PS4. This should work by running in normal 1080p mode on a PS4 but use the extra memory of the Neo to run games at 4K on that newer console.
This makes sense as Andrew House, Sony's head of PlayStation, said the Neo is "intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4," not replace it.
So the PlayStation Neo won’t necessarily be needed to run the latest games, it will simply be available for those that want to run those games at a higher resolution. There shouldn’t be any Neo-only games though.
There is no word on how the PS VR headset will work. Presumably it will function on both consoles but perhaps could run at a smoother refresh rate on the more powerful Neo.
Sony PlayStation Neo hardware specs
The rumour mill has kindly granted us some specs for the expected Neo. Compared to the original PS4 with eight Jaguar cores at 1.6GHz the Neo reportedly packs in eight Jaguar cores at 2.1GHz, claims documents leaked to Giant Bomb.
The GPU should also be improved from an AMD GCN with 18 CUs at 800MHz to a better AMD GCN with 36 CUs at 811MHz.
RAM should be the same 8GB of GDDR5 memory but rather than running at 176GB/s this lots should clock in at 218GB/s.
All this should mean fewer frame drops for far smoother gaming. Sure, the 4K option will likely simply be an upscaled version of the normal game but it will no doubt do this without losing smoothness of gameplay.
Here’s hoping all this results in a next-gen level gaming experience that’s worth however much extra the PlayStation Neo ends up costing over the PS4.
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