Rumour Has It Sony Are Working On A “PS4.5”

The days of expansion slots and RAM upgrades for consoles are long gone, but quite a number of sources have told Kotaku that Sony are preparing an updated and significantly more powerful version of the PlayStation 4.

This upgrade would entail a major overhaul of the APU at the heart of the console, and while nothing was mentioned of an upgrade to the eight core CPU side of this chip, a GPU upgrade is mooted to allow the console to run games at 4K, which pushes resolutions to four times the size of 1080p. That added GPU power would also be a major boon for the PlayStation VR and developers who have to be able to maintain an absolute minimum of 60 frames per second, or be rejected.

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However, 4K gaming also requires a serious jump in power and you have to ask if it’s even feasible for the PS4’s price point. Elsewhere at GDC, AMD have been showing off and talking about a huge leap in performance for their next GPU architecture. Codenamed Polaris 10 and 11, the lower powered Polaris 11 was demoed while running VR content at 4K resolutions – whether this was a game isn’t clear – and did so without a fan cooling it.

Of course, whether or not this is really on the cards is another matter entirely. The many millions of PlayStation 4 owners out there are not accustomed to hardware improvements beyond superficial redesigns that shrink a console in size, so Sony would potentially face a major backlash if they were to go ahead with a new console within this particular generation, especially if games could then start to be developed exclusively for the newer hardware, as with Nintendo’s “New” 3DS.

Similarly, Phil Spencer was quick to step away from the notion that Microsoft were considering moving to an iterative model for the Xbox, aping PCs and phones. He said, “Am I going to break open my console and start upgrading individual pieces of my console? That’s not our plan.”

Naturally, when Kotaku asked Sony about this, they replied, “We can’t comment on rumors or speculation.”

Source: Kotaku

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31 Comments

  1. No, just no. Nintendo got away with it, but I doubt Sony could. The division in the install base would be quite big, with millions of people inclined to upgrade at one point or another just to play certain ‘new games’.

    If they just did it as a way to support 4K output and nothing else (i.e. PS4 game development would still be budgeted on old PS4 specs) then that would be alright as none of the future games would be off-limits.

    It’d also be next to useless for the 1080p PSVR, and whilst it could be an option for those developers who need to get that 60FPS target, the question of splitting the user-base rears its head again.

    In my opinion the console is just fine. Refine it a bit through the usual refits, fine, but they don’t need to shoot themselves in the foot.

    • Agreed. Don’t alienate the impressively expanding userbase this early on. Just tighten the life-cycle and go for six years (for example) from the launch of the PS4 to the announcement of a PS5 instead of seven or eight years like the last generation.

      We’re already coming up to 2½ years old for the PS4.

      • The PS4 should have been released a year or 2 later than it was. So let’s not rush to get the PS5 out even earlier. And given the number it’s sold, why would Sony want to rush it out?

        A PS4.5 would just be a bad idea, for reasons everyone seems to have recognised, and I don’t want to see a PS5 on sale unless there’s at least a pair of twos in the year.

  2. I doubt this very much.

  3. That sounds like a terrible idea, but I could see them building a PS4 with the external VR box tech built-in if PSVR proved successful enough.

    • That would be my guess as well. They might do something like change the HDMI to v1.4 to enable 4k playback of things like Netflix but I doubt they would allow it for games.

    • Yep – a revised PS4 with the breakout box baked-in to offer a choice: newbies can go all-in or opt for the ‘basic PS4’ and get VR later, in the standalone pack for £349. Why not throw in more RAM and a better CPU at the same time? They’re all stock PC components these days, right? Buy enough of them in-bulk and you get a discount?

      And for the 30 odd million of us left out? It’s new 3DS again.

      Oh, Sony.

  4. Back to the good ol’ days when i had a Sega mega drive.mega CD and a 32x all bolted together..what a beast that was.
    And I had the ram extension pack for n64 to run Turok..

    • But Sega did what Nintendon’t. You were a coolz cat by buying it.

      I think, that’s the adverts i’m trying to parody.

  5. I find it a bit hard to believe. And I hope it’s not true, because I’m no fan of splitting the userbase like this. Just make PS5 or don’t.

    • Just what I was thinking, Sony should put all available resources into making PS5 the worthy successor of the PS4.

      Anyway the PS4 is going to keep on selling millions of consoles the way it is.

  6. I think, it’s more of a PS4 slim model. Sony won’t risk losing half their customers by releasing a PS4.5. Slim models do get recieved well. I can see it being for Sony VR if they do release a PS4.5 to give it the required steroids that i assume it will need but i doubt they would release an hardware upgrade after 2-3 years of launch. Unless they forgot that the PSPgo failed. I recall it being totted as a more powerful PSP due to it being digital only.

  7. I think it’s a cool concept, and it wouldn’t necessarily split the user base; similar to how PC games have multiple graphics settings, PS4 games could do the same.

  8. Funny that extra power with the cost of iterative improvement is historically unwanted and yet the rumour still comes out as a story. Could this be an intentional leak to test the water?

  9. As a proud PS3 user, i havent upgraded because its clear that triple A games are already struggling on PS4. But consoles are so much more convenient than pc. I would be excited by a PS4.5 or a speedy PS5 release personally.

    • You need to upgrade. PS4 is MUCH better than PS3. I kept my PS3 but I haven’t turned it on for over a year. Cant go back now.

      • I actualy have played on my PS3 recently, because i wanted to get Hitman Absolution off my backlist before starting the new one.
        And its true, the 4 is so much better! Im not even talking about graphics or something like that, its the little things like loading times, background installing, suspend & resume, the speed of the OS, stuff like that…

    • ‘its clear that triple A games are already struggling on PS4’ – I have no idea what you’re talking about. What do you base that on?

  10. Naaah. But I would probably buy it if they did.

    • That’s the biggest issue with this – we would HAVE TO buy the newer/better one! :)

      • Would you though? Look at ‘NEW’ 3DS and how many games have come out exclusively for that? it’s just an incremental advance; no rule breaker. As a result, games look to the old format and just happen to run on the new machine. Once the user base increases, THEN you might see new titles.

        All this reminds me of the old Spectrum 128k vs the 48k model. Sinclair paid subs to a few devs to ready spruced up versions of existing titles just to show intent, but owners – including me – had to wait AGES for a 128k only game to appear as there wasn’t the installed base to justify the effort until a year had passed.

        The more things change, the more they stay the same!

      • That’s a interesting point Zimsalabim, there would be no point in making a new version if developers weren’t willing to target the new specs as well as the original.
        My having to have it it though would be more a case of envy. ;)

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