Sony PlayStation 4
Earlier this week, the most exciting question surrounding the PlayStation 4 was if Sony would allow cross-console multiplayer with the Xbox One. Now it's whether the PlayStation 4 will even be Sony's top console at the end of this year.
According to a report from Kotaku, sources within Sony have indicated that the company is working on an upgraded PlayStation 4 console, which will pack in a more powerful GPU to allow games to run in 4K resolution. It will also provide better experiences with the PlayStation VR headset, which last week was announced for a October release.
Multiple sources shared info with site editors, and developers were even overheard at this week's Game Developers Conference talking about the device. Reportedly, Sony held meetings with developers during the week to share information about the console, and Kotaku's sources have referred to it as the "PlayStation 4.5," or even the "PS4K."
The PlayStation 4 can output 4K video, but doesn't have the processing power to handle interactive 4K games. With a greatly enhanced GPU, it could be feasible to deliver that much-higher resolution for games, as well as offer developers more muscle for effects and details. Furthermore, it could put the PlayStation VR experience closer to that of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on PC.
But this sort of possibility also creates big questions. Will Sony really one-up its best-selling console after just three years? What about the 37 million people who already bought a PlayStation 4 expecting it to last well into the future?
If Sony does release an enhanced PS4 and keeps supporting both versions, perhaps it'll be more like a PC or mobile situation, where games scale to match the hardware. That's a very unfamiliar approach in the console space, but it would allow Sony to appease players looking for a higher-end experience while not abandoning the existing PS4 owners - or those who don't want to shell out for the 4K box.
Just a few weeks back, Microsoft's Phil Spencer suggested that the Xbox One could see hardware upgrades - although it sounded more like a modular enhancement than a totally new box. And the Nintendo NX will be revealed this year, as well, if not also released. In other words, if you thought VR was going to be the only big gaming advancement this year, think again.