PlayStation’s rumored “NEO” offers an upgraded PS4 but presents some major risks

Even MORE Greatness Awaits?

Call it the PS4.5, call it the PS4K, or (according to Giant Bomb, who has the latest rumor) call it NEO. Giant Bomb has received information from “multiple sources” that Sony is in development of an updated PS4 that is internally being called “The NEO.”

According to their article, it will feature “… a higher clock speed than the original PS4, an improved GPU, and higher bandwidth on the memory.” So basically, it’s going to be a faster, smoother version of the current PS4, which has remained unchanged since its launch in 2013.

Of course, that’s just a summary of the differences, but if you want a detailed look at what the NEO will change, take a look at the list below:

How will the NEO be different?

Source: Rooster Teeth

Source: giantbomb.com

The latest rumor is that, starting in October of this year, all games will be required to have two modes: a “Base” mode and a “NEO” mode. According to Giant Bomb, the NEO mode will use the “hardware upgrades (and an additional 512 MiB in the memory budget) to offer increased and more stable frame rates and higher visual fidelity, at least when those games run at 1080p on HDTVs. The NEO will also support 4K image output, but games themselves are not required to be 4K native.”

Sony is offering developers suggestions on how to achieve Ultra HD/4K resolutions for their games, but they are also allowing them to option of having the NEO upscale games to 4k resolution. While it wouldn’t necessarily be a native 4k resolution, it would solve the 4k achievement issue. However, the reports that were received state that frame rates in NEO mode “must exceed” those of the Base mode.

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Now all of this doesn’t mean that the NEO will be ready for launch the October, but it does mean that when it does launch, Sony wants a good amount of games, that make the most of its added advantages, to be available.

As far as pricing is concerned, the NEO version of the PS4 will be sold at the rumored price of $399. Which isn’t horrible, by any means. BUT it does present a risk for Sony.

Risky Business

The biggest risk that Sony has is that The NEO could seem like an insult to early adopters of the PS4. But there’s a way to avoid it. In these cases, it’s all about marketing and not treating consumers as idiots. Yes, they bought a PS4 early or maybe a couple of weeks ago. Yes, this new version of the PS4 will be more powerful. BUT, as it looks now, we won’t be seeing any games that are restricted to the NEO PS4 alone.

Sony would be smart to continue to offer both versions of the PS4 and not have games in their library that aren’t featured on both. According to Giant Bomb’s sources, this is the case. The NEO is simply a more advanced version, allowing gamers to get more out of their gaming experience if that desire it and want to pay for it. That’s it.

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We’ve seen this kind of hardware upgrade happen in the past with the Nintendo DSi and more recently with the NEW Nintendo 3DS. As far as the NEW 3DS is concerned, it received a great deal of backlash, while it only featured one exclusive game (Xenoblade Chronicles 3D) and the latest Hyrule Warriors Legends, which could be played on it with the 3D effect on, while the preceding 3DS model can only play it without 3d. It wasn’t a bad thing at all, but Nintendo didn’t adequately present the newer and faster 3DS in a way that made sense for current owners of a 3Ds (admittedly, I still bought one).

So ultimately, even if it isn’t a raw deal, consumers can perceive it as such. And when it is perceived as such, it is such. So Sony’s challenge is this. They must present the NEO as an option and not an upgrade. There are gamers who need the latest and greatest and there are those of like to be in the mix of the latest while achieving it at a bargain price. Sony can meet the demands of both and make them feel included. It’s risky business but it’s absolutely doable. Let’s see if the NEO rumor is true and if more greatness awaits for an already great console.

How do you feel about this rumored updated PS4? Let us know in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. I don’t see the need of this. 4K is pretty expensive still. Plus this adds increased burden to developers that now need to make vanilla and Neo versions of their games which will make development longer overall. The whole point of a console is it’s closed ecosystem.

    I don’t believe for a second that there will not be Neo only games. Why have the extra power if you don’t take advantage of it as a plaform.

    Ps4 people might as well go the PC route now…. the PC Master Race welcomes you! Add me on Steam 🙂 @Curdle_Sanders

  2. So games will have “base” & “neo” modes starting this October. I’m under the impression this goes for 1st & 3rd party games. What about Indie titles? Is this only for games on a physical disc? Will there be 2 different discs in the case?

    What does this mean for existing franchises like The Last of Us, God of War, Destiny, Call of Duty, sports games, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, etc.?

    P.S. I believe TLOU2 is coming to PS4.

    Plenty of questions need to be answered if Sony wants me to even think about laying down 400+ dollars for a 3rd PS4. (If my wife even allows it)

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