It’d be hard to fault our readers if they rolled their eyes at the reports of an upcoming 4K-capable PlayStation 4. While mid-cycle upgrades are often made to console hardware, it usually takes the form of shrinking the hardware and/or reducing power requirements. But the promise of more powerful hardware for the PlayStation 4 — we’ll simply call it the PlayStation 4.5 from here on out -- raised a few skeptical eyebrows.
That skepticism is now starting to fade away just a bit with a fresh report from the Wall Street Journal. The publication builds on the initial report with word that the console will not only include a more powerful processor, but an upgraded GPU. These upgraded internals will give the PlayStation 4.5 the added juice necessary to handle virtual reality gaming — specifically with regards to the upcoming PlayStation VR — but also allow the gaming console to support 4K gaming resolutions.
The new report also claims that the the PlayStation 4.5 will share its software catalog with the two-year old PlayStation 4 and that it console will be announced before the PlayStation VR arrives this October. Although the announcement is due this fall, there is no word on when the actual hardware will be available for customers to purchase. A Holiday 2016 launch would be ideal for obvious reasons, but an early 2017 launch isn’t out of the question.
With 50-inch 4K TVs costing as little as $500 and high end 65-inch units coming at just shy of $1,000, perhaps now is the opportune time for Sony to make a play to further distance itself from the Xbox One, which is a distant second in the current generation consoles sales race.
Earlier this month, even Microsoft has shown a willingness to think outside the box when it comes to console hardware. "When you look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we've ever seen,” said Xbox chief Phil Spencer. “You'll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible.”
Things are about to get interesting in the console space and it looks as though Sony will strike the first blow.