According to sources speaking to GiantBomb, the rumoured PS4K/PS4.5 console is internally referred to by the codename NEO and boasts a higher CPU clock speed, an improved graphics card and RAM with higher bandwidth. GiantBomb’s sources also indicate that starting from October every new PS4 game will be required to have two modes of operation, a “Base Mode” for the original PS4 and a “NEO Mode” for the newer one.
What NEO Mode will mean for each game would seem to be up to the developers, as the documents GiantBomb references say while the NEO will support 4K resolution output, NEO Mode games won’t be required to be 4K native. Instead, running games at a higher frame rate is being considered the first priority, with GiantBomb saying “throughout the documents [they’ve received], Sony repeatedly reminds developers that the frame rate of games in NEO Mode must meet or exceed the frame rate of the game on the original PS4 system.”
The article continues by saying Sony will not allow any NEO-only games or in-game features, nor can original PS4 players be separated from NEO ones on the PSN.
We reached out to Playstation regarding all these details and a representative of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia told us “we do not comment on rumours or speculation.”
The plot has certainly thickened. While it is good news to hear, providing this information is accurate of course, that Sony want original PS4 users to miss out on as little as possible, it will be how much of a disparity there is between the Base Mode and NEO Mode that will be of most interest to me.
As I wrote when these rumours first began, the idea of newer games excelling on the NEO but just barely running on the original system is incredibly troubling, with the extreme example I drew from being comparing the games that launched for both PS4 and PS3 way back when. But granted, those systems were some seven years apart technologically, and these rumoured specs are nowhere near that far advanced. I also noted how PC players essentially deal with this all the time, only with more frequency and with smaller performance boosts in each iteration. GiantBomb’s information would seem to indicate Sony is planning a more PC like upgrade, increasing clock speeds and bandwidth rather than with completely new parts.
We’ll just have to wait for Sony to confirm this NEO/PS4K/whatever thing and see how it compares to the current model before we can know if I was overreacting or right on the money. And who knows how long that will be, while GiantBomb’s info mentions October as the time NEO Mode compatible games will be releasing, that doesn’t necessarily mean the system will be launching then.
More information as we have it.