Sony Reportedly Has Plans For “PlayStation 4.5”, Rumors Claim It Will Support 4K Gaming

As Kotaku reports, Sony is allegedly working on a hardware upgrade of their current-gen console. The main reason for this move is enabling PlayStation to support the 4K resolution with upcoming games. It is unclear at the moment if Sony is planning to enable some sort of upgrade to PS4 or the new “PlayStation 4.5” will be a stand-alone product.

When we try to imagine an upgrade that will enable better performance on PS4, nothing comes to our mind. It’s simple, consoles have their CPU and GPU chips soldered tight to the mainboard so enabling some sort of upgrade to the GPU or CPU seems impossible right now. The only way of doing it would be in the form of some sort of external add-on that will have new components and could be connected to PS4 via USB connection. All in all, Sony is started to brief developers about the new console version.

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The main part of the console that needs the upgrade in order to enable 4K gaming is its GPU. PS4’s GPU was sort of outdated when console got released and now, two and a half years since it launched, GPU in Sony’s main console (the other one being PS Vita) is seriously lacking the power to even show games in full HD resolution (1920×1080). Battlefield 4 and Hardline, last two Assassin’s Creed games and a couple of more titles couldn’t be played on PS4 in full HD. The alleged upgrade should enable developers to show their games in gorgeous, crisp 4K resolution that looks way better than full HD, let alone 900p (1600×900) resolution that’s used for some games.

Another reason for this upgrade could be a preparation for the upcoming release of PlayStation VR. Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are made just for PC at the moment and modern PC’s are many times more powerful than PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. By delivering a new version of PS4 Sony could give its VR kit much more power to drain from, enabling better graphics on VR games and apps and maybe even snatching some users from the future Rift and Vive user base.

Sony’s main competitor in the console wars, Microsoft also have plans for some sort of hardware upgrade of Xbox One and while at the moment PS 4 is much more powerful that Xbox One that could likely change if Microsoft launches hardware-upgraded Xbox One, and Sony won’t allow that, especially now when they are leading in current-gen console race, a lead that they earned so hard.

There are more and more rumors about “PlayStation 4.5”, GDC (Games Developers Conference) 2016 saw many developers talking about it but no one could definitely confirm if those rumors are true.

There are many questions. First, if they want to enable 4K gaming, they have to replace the old GPU and, equally important, increase the size of its unified memory used both as a RAM and VRAM for GPU. Modern games demand at least 8 gigs of RAM and 4 gigs of VRAM in order to work in 4K. Knowing this, the new PlayStation will have at least 16 gigabytes of unified memory. Next, will Sony enable some sort of upgrade for the current owners of PS 4, and if they release the upgrade as a part of the console will they allow the users to upgrade from PS 4 to PS 4.5 by trading their old console? Many questions without answers, at least at the moment. It seems that we’ll have to wait for this year’s E3 to get some finite answers to these rumors.

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