Sony is working on a more powerful PlayStation 4 that can render games in 4K resolution and offer otherwise improved visuals, according to Kotaku (opens in new tab). The site reports that multiple anonymous developers independently confirmed speaking with Sony about the new hardware, saying it will also help boost the visual fidelity offered in PlayStation VR games (opens in new tab); virtual reality is particularly graphics intensive because maintaining a convincing/non-nauseating experience requires two separate images and a fast, stable frame rate.
Sony reportedly met with developers to discuss the new hardware revision, which some nicknamed “PS4.5”, at GDC this week. Aside from improved graphical effects for games (PS4 can already output 4K video, it just can’t render games in the more-HD-than-HD format), we don’t know much more about the rumored system.
Assuming the report is accurate, the most pressing question may be whether Sony will allow developers to make games exclusively for PS4.5, offering an improved experience that wouldn’t be hamstrung by old hardware requirements, but leaving customers who don’t want to upgrade by the wayside. Though each previous PlayStation has had multiple hardware revisions, generally to become smaller and less expensive, their internal specs always stayed roughly the same. This would be the first time the company has released console in the same family with significantly improved performance.
All that said, the developer sources weren’t sure when PS4.5 would hit the market, and Sony has naturally declined official comment. If the company is already willing to risk exposure by consulting with external developers at GDC, we may not have to wait too much longer for a more official debut (like at E3 in June, say).
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