It was less than a month ago when we learned that Sony is reportedly building a PlayStation 4 on steroids, and a new report from Giant Bomb - who alleges to have received documents from undisclosed sources - may offer a more detailed look at what's cooking up in Sony's labs.
The project for a beefed up PlayStation reportedly goes by the codename "NEO" at Sony, and the new device will reportedly feature the same CPU as the PlayStation 4 running at a higher clock speed, a more powerful AMD GPU with double the amount of compute units running at 911 MHz, and the same amount of GDDR5 memory, but with a moderate improvement in bandwidth.
There will be a 'base mode' and a 'NEO mode' in games
The storage will reportedly remain unchanged (currently a SATA 2 HDD) - but here comes the good part - starting this October, developers will supposedly be required to ship every new game with both a "base mode" that works on the PlayStation 4, and a "NEO mode", which will take advantage of the more powerful hardware in the new console.
Developers will be able to spend the additional power - as well as access to a higher memory budget - in any areas they may see fit, whether it is to improve resolution (up to 4K, but not required), add better visual effects, achieve a higher frame rate, or increase game details. There is however a requirement that games have to run at a higher frame rate in "NEO mode".
Sony wants to keep the PS4 and NEO player bases connected
Furthermore, they could also patch existing games to offer a "NEO" mode if they choose to do so - but shipping a new game with just a "NEO mode" is reportedly out of the question, as Sony wants the PlayStation 4 and the "NEO" to coexist, and no separation between players on the two consoles will be allowed on PSN.
Sony reportedly insists that the general PlayStation experience remain the same on the NEO as on the PlayStation 4, and no guidelines were offered with regards to the PlayStation VR, which could very well mean that Sony will try to upsell newcomers on the idea that the "NEO" can offer the "ultimate VR experience on a console", given its additional processing power compared to the PlayStation 4.
There are rumors that Sony will announce the "NEO" at the upcoming E3, but we'll just have to wait and see. In any case, it will be interesting to see how this will pan out for Sony, whose PlayStation 4 console has been selling like hot cakes this March, while Microsoft is ambiguous about the evolutionary developments on the Xbox front.
Source: Giant Bomb