President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House, spoke earlier this morning with the Financial Times and confirmed the long rumored PS4.5, PS4K, PS4 Neo. In short, everything we’ve learned about PS4 4K over the past several weeks has been true in broad strokes – that it will be a more powerful version of PS4 with 4K capabilities that will be sold alongside the PS4. Andrew House:
We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle
House also wanted to assure gamers that despite a more powerful hardware being released, that all games released will work on both consoles.
All games will support the standard PS4 and we anticipate all or a very large majority of games will also support the high-end PS4
While not getting into too many details, House did reveal that PS4 4K (which is what I’m calling it for now until an official name is given) was designed with hardcore gamers in mind. The new console will also support 4K TVs as well (no surprise) and provide a better experience for those with PlayStation VR. From the looks of it, PS4 4K will likely offer an improved CPU/GPU combo which in turn will be able to provide enhanced visuals for games, be it a normal title or a VR game. It’s hard to think of the PS4 in this light, especially since Uncharted 4 was just released and we’re all still drooling from it, but the under-the-hood components of that console are now 4 years old.
Beyond that, details are still extremely light and that’s not because Sony plans to unveil it at E3 and wants to keep things a surprise. In fact it’s quite the opposite as House confirmed that the new console won’t be showing up at E3. This is likely for two reasons.
First, it’s no secret that Sony is putting PlayStation’s weight behind VR and don’t be surprised if E3 is all about that. With PlayStation VR set to launch in October, Sony will likely use E3 to showcase what the extra dimension can bring to gameplay. It’s also worth noting that everything we’ve seen from PS VR titles has been running on PS4 so there is no bait and switch happening here. To introduce PS4 4K in middle of all that and showcase the same games but in better form would muddle’s Sony’s focus and message of VR.
Second, it’s quite possible that not everything has been fully confirmed for PS4 4K, including final specs and price point. With Microsoft rumored to also be unveiling an upgraded Xbox One, codenamed Scorpio, this could give Sony the upper hand to adjust their strategy and perhaps even specs with their upgraded console.
With PAX West and Tokyo Game Show coming a few months after E3, Sony still has plenty of time to announce PS4 4K and bring it to market for the ever important holiday season. At the same time, by officially confirming the existence of an improved PS4, Sony can better control the message while ensuring fans aren’t disappointed come next week when a new console isn’t announced.
Another aspect to all of this is that with gamers being more budget wary, Sony is ensuring that those who purchase a PS4 in the near future don’t feel burned when a new and improved version of the console is officially unveiled and in turn, building a good rapport with them. Sony may have stumbled a lot with PS3 but everything they’ve done with PS4 feels like the right thing to do. Well played Sony.
Do you think it was wise for Sony to confirm the existence of PS4 4K?