Report: Sony Working on a "PS4.5"

Report: Sony Working on a "PS4.5"

PS4 Projected to Win Console War thumbnail

The "PS4.5" will reportedly be able to support 4K gaming.

An unnamed source has told Kotaku that Sony is working on an incremental hardware update for the PlayStation 4. This "PS4.5" would reportedly allow PS4 games to be played in 4K resolution, as well as offer increased graphical grunt for gamers wishing to make better use of the PlayStation VR headset.

It's currently unclear if this upgrade will function as a kind of physical add-on to current PS4's (like those old Sega consoles), or if it will be an entirely new system (like the new Nintendo 3DS). We've also got no clue on when (or if) it will be released, with one developer reportedly stating that the console felt "exploratory" and it may not even be released this year.

Microsoft recently announced its own, similar vision for consoles that are upgradable like a PC.

While it certainly would be nice for the PS4 and Xbox One to be able to have enough graphically horsepower to finally render games at 1080p/60 FPS consistently (and possible even the lofty "4K resolution" dream), I'm fairly doubtful of this "PS4.5" at this stage. Sony's strength so far has been that it's machine is simple, and cheaper than the competition. Complicating it with an additional upgrade, or worse, releasing a brand new console that makes early adopters feel obsolete, doesn't seem like a good idea.

We have reached out to Sony who have of course declined to comment. Take this one with a grain of salt, folks.

Source: Kotaku

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The 4K part makes this sound very unlikely. Top PC hardware struggles at 4K/30, and I'm not talking about 970's.

Incremental upgrades though, yeah, that sounds about right. VR is demanding and current consoles are pretty weak all things considered.

The fact this whole thing has come from Kotaku should tell you all you need to know about it. If Kotaku reported the sky was blue, I'd have to check out my window just to make sure before I'd believe them.

Maybe if they pull this off, it'll have enough horsepower to emulate PS3 games.

I'm still bitter about losing my game collection when I upgraded. I really shouldn't have traded my PS3 in...

MC1980:
The 4K part makes this sound very unlikely. Top PC hardware struggles at 4K/30, and I'm not talking about 970's.

Incremental upgrades though, yeah, that sounds about right. VR is demanding and current consoles are pretty weak all things considered.

Yeah, right when I read that, I knew that this was bull.

Anyway, if they do, I will be PISSED. I didn't buy my PS4 for it to be even more outdated just 3 years later.

The 4k bit will be... interesting. I run a 980ti and get around 45 fps on high end games at 4k.

I'm looking forward to Jim Sterling whining about how PT UHD looks like manure on his 4K TV.... /sarcasm

Also this feels more like a push for Sony to sell 4K TVs.

I'm smelling some BS on this one. Sony has majority share this generation. They can save the "plays games in 4K" bullet point for the PS5's packaging. Dumping more money into a VR system this early is too risky. They might as well wait for the PS5 on that as well.

Maybe a year from now, I could accept rumors that Sony and MS are about to release updated consoles, or the next full generation. It's Nintendo that has the finances and is stuck in the market position to try this wacky stuff.

It's currently unclear if this upgrade will function as a kind of physical add-on to current PS4's (like those old Sega consoles)

Yeah, because that worked out so well for Sega, and all of the others that tried generation-bridging add-ons. *Remembers Sega's very sketchy history in the mid 90s.*

Also, is there any way to upgrade a PS4? The only ports I remember are a few slow USB 2.0, the internal SATA for the HDD, and Ethernet. The Ethernet might work, in a bizarre network cluster way. Although, it seems like the console makers realized last generation that high-speed expansion ports rarely got used and were adding unnecessary extra costs. So, they stopped designing consoles with expandability beyond what USB can support.

Steven Bogos:
An unnamed source has told Kotaku

Need I say more?

Definitely BS within the strict guidelines of the rumour, there's no way there's a hardware revision powerful enough to run games at 4k coming anytime soon.

However, It would really not surprise me if they upped the power and released a new "slim" console, or PS4 V2... At the very least I think they will be offering a hardware revision (even if it doesn't increase graphical capabilities) sometime in the near future to try and sway late adopters to the PS4 rather than the Nintendo NX (since anyone who hasn't moved to next gen yet will most likely buy whatever is newest when they decide to take the plunge).

The components they are using in the PS4 now have obviously come down in price since the PS4 release, for the same cost/profit margin they could put in something a little more powerful, much like the difference between the 3DS and the N3DS, the PS4.5 might have an exclusive title or 2 (maybe restrict that to VR titles) but all games will play on both consoles, they may just run better on the PS4.5.

Yeah, no.
Not real, there is no expansion port on the PS4, the PS3 had expansion slots, but not the PS4. I also do not believe that Sony would release a new improved version of the PS4 with more power, especially now that they swayed the majority of console customers to support them with the package they have now.

The only thing I can picture happening is a "slim" version, like what they did with every PS generation before.

4k resolution? Yeah maybe the next console generation but not a small hardware update. It will take completely new hardware.

Sounds like garbage to me, top end PC graphics cards can't maintain 4k/30fps consistently yet, so no console upgrade is going to. That and its Kotaku who are not exactly known for reliability only increases my scepticism.

I was thinking thats abit far fetched and then I saw that it was from Kotaku and thought BULLSHEEEEEEEEEEEEET. If PC's cant do it fully yet then like sh!t will a console. It really does like more like apush for sonys 4k TV's as console users dont seem to know jack shit about hardware etc just what they are sold in the huge marketing the consoles have.

AstaresPanda:
I was thinking thats abit far fetched and then I saw that it was from Kotaku and thought BULLSHEEEEEEEEEEEEET. If PC's cant do it fully yet then like sh!t will a console. It really does like more like apush for sonys 4k TV's as console users dont seem to know jack shit about hardware etc just what they are sold in the huge marketing the consoles have.

Love the broad generalizations made about users in this post. I consider myself cross-platform. I usually pick up a new console within a couple months after release - long enough for that incremental broad platform breaking patch to land - and similarly, upgrade to a new PC about every 5 years with as much money as I can spare. An incremental upgrade to play 1080p/60FPs reliably I can understand, but 4k is a wet dream best reserved for the next generation, or even the one after, since current PCs can't even run 4k at the bleeding edge of smooth framerates. A console built for 4k would be undeniably, ludicrously expensive and the power involved to run the thing would put all the other major appliances in the house to shame.

Zipa:
Sounds like garbage to me, top end PC graphics cards can't maintain 4k/30fps consistently yet, so no console upgrade is going to.

Top end PC graphics cards can actually maintain 4k/30fps. My GTX 980 Ti can run The Witcher 3 with everything on Ultra (Hairworks off) at around 35-40 FPS at 4k. Many other graphically demanding games average at over 40.

The article is still garbage though as there is no way they'd be able to make a console with that much power affordable, and with the PS4 selling so well, they have no need to release another, especially since it would piss off all the people who just bought a PS4.

The sad thing is I could totally see Sony doing something this stupid since they did make the PSP Go, the Vita, and the PS TV. Even if it's not true, their checkered track record has made a precedent.

Maybe if they pull this off, it'll have enough horsepower to emulate PS3 games.

I'm still bitter about losing my game collection when I upgraded. I really shouldn't have traded my PS3 in...

Doubt they would retroactively add support for PS3 to an updated console, especially when their is so much money to be gouged from people who are willing to pay for the games from the PS3 store or better yet the 'remastered' version of that game that is only 2 or 3 years old.

Sony can suck it, I thought the PS3 would be the last gen of console I would buy, I now game almost exclusively on PC, but I relented and ended up buying a PS4 but after seeing what an utter shit shamble PSN is and that Sony have the sheer cheek to ask you to pay for this service I can safely say PS4 will be my last console.

What about MS I hear you say, lol after the whole constant online spyware non sense of the XBoxs earlier announcement only to find that MS decided that Win 10 would be a better way of mining user data combined with the cluster fuck that Win 10's 'forced' update and the whole mess that is the new GFWL, yeah MS can wait till Sony's finished sucking it first.

Laughing Man:

Maybe if they pull this off, it'll have enough horsepower to emulate PS3 games.

I'm still bitter about losing my game collection when I upgraded. I really shouldn't have traded my PS3 in...

Doubt they would retroactively add support for PS3 to an updated console, especially when their is so much money to be gouged from people who are willing to pay for the games from the PS3 store or better yet the 'remastered' version of that game that is only 2 or 3 years old.

Sony can suck it, I thought the PS3 would be the last gen of console I would buy, I now game almost exclusively on PC, but I relented and ended up buying a PS4 but after seeing what an utter shit shamble PSN is and that Sony have the sheer cheek to ask you to pay for this service I can safely say PS4 will be my last console.

What about MS I hear you say, lol after the whole constant online spyware non sense of the XBoxs earlier announcement only to find that MS decided that Win 10 would be a better way of mining user data combined with the cluster fuck that Win 10's 'forced' update and the whole mess that is the new GFWL, yeah MS can wait till Sony's finished sucking it first.

Maybe it's the fact that the PS3 cell emulation on anything at the moment is hardly working. Nothing big is running through the Cell crack from a few years ago. Saying Sony could do a system with a cell processor for backwards compatibility is silly.

You don't have to report every fuckin' rumor that you find on the internet. Especially not one that comes from an anonymous source and is so obviously fake. Journalism, right?

It's Kotaku, take with more than just a grain of salt.

A little food for thought from someone who has to keep an eye on the video industry:

To date Sony has sold about 38 million consoles, but the second-biggest selling game to have the confidence to release actual sales numbers was Bloodborne at 2 million copies. Compare that to, say, roughly half of Wii-U owners having a copy of Splatoon. I wouldn't doubt a few other titles have sold more since, but the fact that nobody's willing to throw those numbers out to the public suggests sales for even massive AAA hits are still to a fairly small part of the overall userbase.

Everyone at The Escapist thinks of the PS4 as a downgraded PC, but the average consumer who buys a game or two every year thinks of it as an upgraded home theater product. Netflix and YouTube streaming apps, DVD/Blu-ray playback and connectivity to social media are the day-to-day functionality, with video games almost a secondary concern to be used on weekends or when a friend brings something new over to show off.

You see where this is going?

Those fancy 4K "Ultra High Definition" TVs have been out for a couple years now, but the actual spec all of them run on has only now been settled. BT.2020 is a lot more than just higher pixel counts - the High Dynamic Range colorspace behind it is a dramatic improvement over even digital cinema releases, and it features 10-bit video as standard to eliminate things like banding. This is awesome stuff for videophiles, and coupled with the HEVC codec, you could make digital streaming files smaller while maintaining (or even improving) quality on HD content.

The problem, aside from the TVs themselves not being BT.2020 ready (a cluster in and of itself, but irrelevant for this discussion) is... nothing out there really supports UHD playback, aside from a handful of specialty players that are little more than custom-built HTPC being sold at a loss. None of the GPU manufacturers out there are throwing in support for HEVC/UHD because none of the studios had agreed what UHD "was" until very recently, which left everyone in a holding pattern. Nobody wants to make new hardware that won't work with the new format, but nobody wants to use the new format if there's no hardware... and on it goes.

But 4K is only half of it: If Sony's going to overhaul the GPU for UHD compatability, that's going to require a lot more horsepower than what it has under the hood right now. The fact that they could use that excuse to dramatically improve what their Playstation VR support. The demos they've shown so far look fun, I'll give them that, but they also look like high-rez PS2 games with unique interactivity. If Sony wants to sell the PS4 as something you can strap a headset on and then play Battlefront or Assassins Creed or whatever in first-person, they're going to have to overhaul the hardware drastically to get even PS3-level quality running an inch from your face at framerates that won't make users vomit.

Will it make most games magically run better if a "PS4K" comes out? Nah, not really. Framerates will probably stabilize out on most games to whatever the target was, and I'm sure it'll upscale everything up to 4K, but this just means "Uncharted 5: You Didn't Think We'd Give Up Did You?" can be a 30fps "4K" title, with less refined shadows and post-processing than 1440p titles that are coming out the same week. By then AMD and Nvidia will be making cards that outpace the hardware, and we'll be back to about where we were before the PS3 came out; it'll be a comparatively powerful, but expensive and hard-to-sell beast with a handful of really cool exclusives, and a lot of functionality that kinda' sorta' works but will be made irrelevant quickly.

We've been here before, and we'll be here again.

Smells wrong. But if it was true it would be hilarious. proof positive that 2 of the big three have acknowledged that they foisted an inferior product at premium prices.

I need more than an unnamed source to a subsidiary of Gawker to take this shit seriously though.

This decision would be somehow even worse than the Wii U, because people didn't buy that due to thinking it was basically this idea.

Refreshing to read from people who wouldn't appreciate this if it were true.

Regarding the probability of this being true though, Phil Spencer "openly" rambled about a similar possibility for the XBox One. So it wouldn't even be too far fetched.

Well, if both companies would go the SEGA 32X/CD route, it hopefully would at least benefit Nintendo. SONY becomes awfully arrogant as soon as they're really successful, and Microsoft sometimes is eating too many mushrooms for my liking, and sometimes leaves the impression to be a Bond villain/EA.

So, if this comes out, I dearly hope it fails spectacularly.

A rumour and reported from Kotaku. The existence of Santa and the Easter bunny is more credible.

Support 4k of what?
Tetris and Pong?
Movies?
Still images?

What framerate?
Silky smooth 30?
Rock solid 24?
Buttery smooth 12?
Dark Souls Blight Town -3?

Certainly not the games people buy a console for. Pretty sure it's Sony trying to make it support 4k movies and trying to set a "standard" of what they will be like if enough people buy the "New PS4 - Totally not Nintendo's favorite naming scheme". Expecting it to render some of the indies at 4k would be too much for a console of the PS4 price point.

This whole topic is stupid. Kotaku writer pulled an idea out of their ass about some imaginary product and the whole internet starts speculating what it will do. First start with there being 99% chance that this will never exist. Also PS4 will not be able to do 4K It cannot even do 1080p properly. The best it can do is introduce the horrible DRM Sony keeps pushing called DHCP 2.2 which means that everyone wanting to watch 4k video content has to be fucked over by companies to do so.

UberGott:

Everyone at The Escapist thinks of the PS4 as a downgraded PC, but the average consumer who buys a game or two every year thinks of it as an upgraded home theater product. Netflix and YouTube streaming apps, DVD/Blu-ray playback and connectivity to social media are the day-to-day functionality, with video games almost a secondary concern to be used on weekends or when a friend brings something new over to show off.

You see where this is going?

The jokes about PS4 being a glorified VCR were true?

Will it make most games magically run better if a "PS4K" comes out? Nah, not really. Framerates will probably stabilize out on most games to whatever the target was, and I'm sure it'll upscale everything up to 4K, but this just means "Uncharted 5: You Didn't Think We'd Give Up Did You?" can be a 30fps "4K" title, with less refined shadows and post-processing than 1440p titles that are coming out the same week. By then AMD and Nvidia will be making cards that outpace the hardware, and we'll be back to about where we were before the PS3 came out; it'll be a comparatively powerful, but expensive and hard-to-sell beast with a handful of really cool exclusives, and a lot of functionality that kinda' sorta' works but will be made irrelevant quickly.

If its upscaled then they cannot claim its running at 4k and in fact doing so would be illegal (not that it eve stopped sony). Also its laughable to think that current consoles will ever run 1440p titles, even at 30 fps.

Strazdas:
This whole topic is stupid. Kotaku writer pulled an idea out of their ass about some imaginary product and the whole internet starts speculating what it will do. First start with there being 99% chance that this will never exist. Also PS4 will not be able to do 4K It cannot even do 1080p properly. The best it can do is introduce the horrible DRM Sony keeps pushing called DHCP 2.2 which means that everyone wanting to watch 4k video content has to be fucked over by companies to do so.

Stupid or not, even the wild speculation of Kotaku can accidentally be right every now and again. I guess nobody remembers the following interview from last year? Either Sony was full of it, or (more likely) they're quietly prepping a "4K Friendly" version of the hardware and are waiting on their GPU manufacturer to figure out how much more the tweaked hardware will cost before doing any real press about it. That said, how much of an actual upgrade this'll be (assuming it, y'know... exists) is anyone's guess. Apparently the GTX-960 is fully capable of playing back 10-bit HDR 4K content via dedicated HEVC, though lacking HDMI 2.2 it's already out of date.

Infuriatingly, the GTX-970 (and 980+), oddly enough, have dedicated HEVC transcoding support, but can't decode it unless you force it with third-party solutions that... kinda', sorta' perform a hybrid solution. I can't stress enough how stupid going "4K" is at this moment in time. It actually makes me sad that I'm getting friends to check with me before upgrading any Blu-ray to make sure the damn thing wasn't rendered on a 2K DI, which is... most of the launch titles now available. Bloody hell, guys!

If its upscaled then they cannot claim its running at 4k and in fact doing so would be illegal (not that it eve stopped sony). Also its laughable to think that current consoles will ever run 1440p titles, even at 30 fps.

Sony doesn't have to claim the game is running at 4K. They just call it "4K Ready" and the TV itself confirms that the signal it's getting is UHD with HDR.

Many people can't tell when a PS3 game was upscaled from 540p, and fewer people after can tell if an Xbox One game is upscaled from 900p. Most people don't understand that their TV scales everything to the native panel resolution, much less understand how a game that plays at "1080p" could be 1280:1080p and still, technically, be true. So long as the TV itself says it's getting a 4K image, and the PS4K isn't any worse at it than the previous model, they'll just shrug and assume that must be what 4K games look like.

Never underestimate the ignorance of the average consumer.

UberGott:
snip

yeah, the whole 4k transcoding and rendering side is a total mess still. Most of which is companies like Sonys fault too since they keep pushing for completely retarded DRMs on video (if you want to put DRM on a video then you should be dismantled as a company)

i think "4k Ready" is going to give a lot of bad associations with people because TV manufacturers used that scam to label 720p monitors as "HD Ready" even though HD is 1080p (and no, 720p is NOT HD, thats a very prominent scam put forth by tv manufacturer cartel for over 2 decades). Not to mention that most so called "4k" TVs right now isnt actually 4k but in 90% of cases its lower resolution, using the previuos convention would be around 3.8K.

though you are right, the average user is very ignorant and apperently blind. the kind of crazy statements ive heard from low resolution apologists.... There was one person on this forum that claimed lower resolution looks better on bigger screens....

It is NOT going to run games in 4K. You need a much more powerful console capable of that. At best the PS4.5 would have the new HDMI port and an UHD player built in. Anyone who thinks this will be a new console capable of playing game sin 4K is clearly out to lunch. What a stupid article.

I don't believe it. Sony got their start in games when other companies were pulling exactly this kind of shit.

 

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