Leaked, but as yet unconfirmed, documents have suggested that the rumoured PlayStation 4.5 will be receiving a fairly beefy hardware upgrade, but that Sony has no intention of allowing developers to make games which only run on the new hardware.
Sony's plan to release a PlayStation 4.5
boasting improved specifications over the original model was rumoured back in March, with claims that the device would include a more powerful graphics processor and native support for 4K resolution display devices. Now, documents leaked to gaming site Giant Bomb
have put more meat on the bones of what is claimed to be known internally at Sony as Project Neo.
According to the unverified leak, the AMD accelerated processing unit (APU) at the heart of the PlayStation 4 will be replaced in the PlayStation 4.5: its 8 Jaguar-based CPU cores will be boosted from 1.6GHz to 2.1GHz, while the GPU hardware will be doubled from 18 CUs running at 800MHz to 36 CUs at 911MHz - a claim which, if true, will certainly help the PlayStation 4.5 hit the framerates required for smooth virtual reality using the PlayStation VR headset. The new model is also claimed to boost the bandwidth of its 8GB of GDDR5 memory to 218GB/s from 176GB/s, while developers will also be allowed to access an additional 512MB of memory previously reserved for system use.
The documents further detail Sony's support plan for the original-specification PlayStation 4, and there's good news for anyone not keen on splashing out to upgrade: the company is not taking a leaf from Nintendo's book and will force developers to continue to support the PS4 with all game releases. Rather than making exclusive PlayStation 4.5 titles, the documents claim, developers will be expected to make games which can be played on the PS4 and then build upwards to the PS4.5 - adding features such as higher resolution textures, 4K upscaling, or higher framerates for those on the Project Neo hardware.
These details, it must be remembered, are as-yet unconfirmed: while Giant Bomb claims to have verification from multiple independent sources, Sony itself is unsurprisingly unwilling to comment on the matter ahead of an official unveiling.