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Details on Sony’s PlayStation 4 Upgrade, “Neo,” Finally Leak Out

The PS4 knows kung fu.

PlayStation 4 console and controller

As Sony (reportedly) prepares developers for the specifications on its upgraded PlayStation 4 model and begins shipping out dev units, it was only a matter of time before we knew just what the capabilities of the new machine would be. Now, multiple sources have confirmed the tech specs, but speculation is still open as to just what role Sony expects this console to fill.

The details today come by way of Giant Bomb, who say they’ve confirmed with multiple sources that the specs are genuine. Then, if that wasn’t enough, Eurogamer confirmed that they’d been sitting on the exact same specs while waiting for confirmation, so it certainly seems like this info is the real deal. In the end, things shake out like this for the “PlayStation 4.5/4K,” which we now know is codenamed Neo (so prepare for incoming Matrix memes), according to Eurogamer: a CPU about 1.3 times as fast, a GPU about 2.3 times as fast (!), and higher RAM bandwidth with 512 MB more to work with.

However, the exact tech specs of the system (which you can read in more detail at the original sources) may not even be the most interesting part. The documents Giant Bomb obtained also provide Sony’s developer guidelines for the Neo, which provide tips for developers on pushing games into 4K graphics territory but also mandate that games hitting that resolution must maintain the same or higher framerate as they do in 1080p on the base PS4. Moreover, the Neo won’t get any exclusive games in the way that Nintendo’s slightly improved “New 3DS” has; it’ll coexist with the base unit and play all the same games, and there will be no separation allowed among users playing the same games across both consoles.

Games aren’t even allowed to sport Neo-only features—not even for VR—which really means the console is effectively the same outside of increased graphical resolution and performance. Whether that increased resolution naturally improves the VR experience remains to be seen when the PlayStation VR hits store shelves in the fall, but so far, it looks like the Neo is primarily a move to extend the PS4’s console life as 4K HD sees wider adoption over the coming years.

There’s no release date yet, but all games must support both the base PS4 and the Neo starting in October, and developers can go back and patch existing PS4 games to take advantage of the new console edition’s added power.

(image via Sony)

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Dan is many things, including a game developer, animator, martial artist, and at least semi-professional pancake chef. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (his dog), both of whom are the best, and he will never stop reminding The Last Jedi's detractors that Luke Skywalker's pivotal moment in Return of the Jedi was literally throwing his lightsaber away and refusing to fight.