Rumored PlayStation 4.5 Would Include Killer GPU To Unleash 4K Gaming Goodness

Word on the web is that Sony is coming out with a new game console, though don't get your knickers in a twist over the timing. This isn't a next-generation console we're talking about, but an incremental upgrade to the PlayStation 4 with a much beefier GPU capable of letting owners play games at a 4K Ultra HD resolution.

This is based on unnamed developer sources who have apparently spoken with Sony on the matter, who then turned around and spilled the beans to Kotaku. If those developers aren't blowing smoke up everyone's backside, then the PlayStation 4.5, or whatever Sony chooses to call it, will wield an upgraded GPU for both 4K resolution gaming and to add more processing oomph for PlayStation VR.

Sony PlayStation 4

If this comes to fruition, it would be a big advantage for Sony and its PS4 (PS4K?) console, especially as 4K resolution televisions continue to infiltrate the mainstream market. A quick peek at Best Buy's website reveals that a 4K TV can be purchased for as little as $400. That's for a 43-inch class model, but a bigger 50-inch class 4K TV can be had for $500. Even a 65-inch 4K TV is under a grand (by a penny and before tax).

The challenge that 4K resolution gaming presents is that it consists of around four times as many pixels as Full HD 1080p. While it's not all that demanding to display photos and to some extent videos at 4K, playing games at that resolution is super taxing on the hardware. It takes a burly PC to game comfortably at 4K ,and the same would be true of a game console.

Sony PlayStation VR

There's also the cost of the hardware to factor in. Keeping in mind that nothing is yet official, an upgraded PS4 console with the necessary graphics hardware to game at 4K might carry a price premium. Today's budget GPUs just don't have the muscles to push that many pixels around the screen, especially when the action ramps up.

Despite the hurdles, if Sony can pull this off, it would have a compelling option for gamers. The VR angle is interesting as well, especially as headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are about to ship to customers. Both of those headsets require a relatively well-equipped PC to run, whereas an upgraded PS4 console would give PlayStation VR adopters something to crow about.