According to our buddies over at Kotaku, the PS4 hardware will be getting an upgrade before the end of the year. The wave of off-the-record developer leaks surrounding the rumour all but confirm it at this point, and now Giant Bomb has got its hands on a report that sheds new light on what the PS4.5 will be capable of. And it sounds great.
Rather than an add on, the PS4.5 (going by the internal codename "NEO") will be a new build of the console with beefier guts, rather than an add-on module. It's said to have an 8-core processor running at 2.1GHz (considerably faster that the 1.6GHz that the PS4 currently has), as well as a faster GPU and faster RAM. However, Sony is striving to make sure its introduction does not divide its already-solid 35 million users. The interface, PlayStation Network purchases and older games will all be compatible with it, while the NEO will not receive exclusive games of its own.
If the PlayStation NEO doesn't have it's own exclusives, then what's the point, you may rightly ask? Essentially, it'll allow developers to create more advanced versions of the games they are working on, locking in higher frame rates, adding more players to competitive local multiplayer modes and potentially offering a resolution boost.
All games heading to PlayStation must be compatible with both the original PS4 and NEO by the time of its release in October, while older titles could be patched to take advantage of the improved specifications too. Essentially, no-one misses out on any games core experience, but the NEO owners might get a few extra graphical bells and whistles, in much the same way a PC owner might crank up the graphics settings if they upgraded a component.
With the annual E3 gaming conference kicking off in June, expect to hear more about the PlayStation NEO then. Odds on its reveal will be paired with a PS4 price cut, bringing the original console in line with the Xbox One's current pricing, as well as some news on its release date and integration with PlayStation VR. Hopefully it'll support next-gen 4K Blu-ray, which recently went on sale in the UK, too. [Giant Bomb]