AMD Polaris GPU Rumored To Be Onboard Updated PlayStation 4.5 NEO System
If Sony was hoping to keep its plans of releasing an upgraded PlayStation 4 console that's capable of playing games at 4K Ultra HD, under wraps, it's doing a poor job. The rumors are coming in hot and heavy from all directions. According to the latest chatter, the PlayStation 4.5 will likely be equipped with an AMD Polaris GPU.
Let's back the boat a moment. Citing "multiple sources," GiantBomb says the PS4.5 or PS4K (or whatever you want to call it) is known internally as NEO. According to those sources, NEO will benefit from a faster clockspeed, higher bandwidth memory, and an upgraded GPU. About the only thing that isn't being upgraded is the storage.
Those sources didn't come right out and indicate an upgrade to Polaris, which AMD hasn't even released to desktop PCs yet, but according to Eurogamer.net, it's the most likely scenario. After all, pushing 4K visuals is no easy task and if Sony is able to squeeze Polaris into the PS4, the console would be looking at a significant performance boost in graphics.
Whatever Sony ends up with, it has to be careful not to alienate its existing PS4 users. To avoid creating two factions, PS4 games will be required to ship with two modes of operation—"Base Mode" and "NEO Mode." Games that run in NEO mode will have access to the hardware upgrades for higher, more stable framerates and better visual quality settings.
Whether or not a game supports 4K will be up to the developers. They have the option of offering a 4K option and Sony is even providing them with tips on to do it. However, there's an unspecified minimum framerate that developers must make sure their games can hit in NEO mode. This way, Sony is assured that games won't run like sludge on the PS4.