Upgraded PlayStation 4 'Neo' will coexist with standard PS4, claims report

Current and new consoles will share same games and software

PlayStation 4 with PlayStation VR

For the last month, the rumoured existence of an enhanced, 4K gaming-ready PlayStation 4 has been the talk of gamers, and now a new report offers supposed details on the performance boosts and how Sony will manage the consoles.

According to Giant Bomb, sources say the new PlayStation 4's codename is "Neo," and that it will boost the internal specs to allow for greater performance for games. The console will reportedly boost its eight cores to a higher clock speed: 2.1 Ghz apiece as opposed to 1.6 Ghz apiece in the current model.

Furthermore, the report says the new console - previously referred to as the PlayStation 4.5 or PlayStation 4K - will also have an improved AMD GPU, with 36 compute units at 911 Mhz compared to 18 CUs at 800 Mhz in the current console. Additionally, the 8GB of GDDR5 RAM will be a bit speedier, running at 218 GB/second rather than 176 GB/second.

All told, that should allow for much smoother performance in games running at 1080p, and also allow games to run in 4K resolution - which isn't possible on the existing PS4. However, Giant Bomb says that Sony won't require games to run natively in 4K, and games that don't run natively will be upscaled for 4K TV users.

The report also digs into how Sony plans to manage having both the enhanced Neo console and the standard PS4 on the market. New games will be required to have a "Base Mode" for standard PS4 performance, as well as an enhanced Neo mode for the upgraded hardware - and those will live in the same game, retail or digital, as the consoles will share games, storefronts, and operating systems.

Sony PlayStation 4

Furthermore, while games and their modes and features can be optimised and enhanced for the Neo console, they cannot include features that are totally exclusive to the Neo hardware and the online communities must work across hardware - and there will be no Neo-exclusive releases, either.

That way, Sony establishes that graphics and performance are the only differentiators: you'll get the same core experience on either version of the console, but you'll get a smoother, sharper ride if you're willing to pay for it. The core parity likely applies to PlayStation VR games, as well, although enhanced hardware should make for more immersive experiences.

Giant Bomb says that Sony will mandate the Base and Neo modes in all games releasing from October onward, and that any games released in late September must be patched to add the capabilities, as well.

However, that's not a hard promise that the PlayStation 4 Neo will release in October, as Sony is also telling developers they can release Neo-ready games before the console is in stores. A previous report from The Wall Street Journal last month said that Sony would reveal the console by October, however, before the PlayStation VR is released.

Given the timeframe, it's looking all the more likely that Sony will have a brand new PS4 ready for the holiday shopping rush late this year. Start saving, Sony die-hards.

[Source: Giant Bomb]