Game console developers have really been shaking up the scene this year with both Sony and Microsoft breaking their traditional release pattern with the introduction of new consoles mid-way through the life-cycle of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One respectively.
While the more powerful units have yet to be revealed by either company (the Xbox Scorpio and the PlayStation Neo respectively) it seems Sony is finally ready to unveil some additional details about their upcoming units which should include details about the PlayStation 4 Slim (the direct competitor to the recently revealed Xbox One S – check out our Should you Buy for more on Microsoft’s latest offering).
According to sources at Eurogamer and NeoGAF, which list a number of images showing off the new Slim reportedly snagged from a retail outlet who has the units in stock already, Sony will announce more information about the PS4 Slim, as well as the highly anticipated PlayStation Neo, at their upcoming event scheduled for 7 September 2016.
While Sony has yet to actually confirm this information, this is the internet so, of course, we are all welcome to speculate on the new units and what they could bring to the market. So let’s take a look at what we know about the upcoming units, what the estimated price point will be and, more importantly, if we should be willing to pay for the upgrade.
Let’s start off with looking at the PlayStation Slim (and with the amount of details provided it really is living up to its name already).
Information garnered from the leaked images:
- Optical port removed on rear panel
- Removable back panel for HDD replacement/upgrade
- Updated controller (bulkier than the original PS4 controller)
- Shorter than the original controller (though width is the same)
- Estimated price: Less than the original PS4
Given that the new unit probably will not feature any new hardware, the PS4 Slim is most likely at targeting the “new to PS4” market rather than existing PS4 owners as, honestly, a slimmer unit is really not worth an upgrade too. However, given that the PlayStation Neo is said to be vastly superior in terms of performance, it is speculated that the launch of this Slim version could coincide with the release of the much more expensive Neo in order to provide newcomers to the console generation a way into the field without such a financial burden of the bigger units attached to it.
So what is the PlayStation Neo offering that the original PS4 and the Slim cannot?
- Graphical and performance improvements to supported games when played on Neo
- 4K native output of select games, and the ability to upscale to 4K of others
- Mandatory 1080p minimum native display resolution
- Higher frame-rates
- More stable frame-rates
- Improved graphics fidelity
- Additional graphics features
In addition to the graphical upgrades Sony has also assured users that, though the hardware is receiving an upgrade, the actual architecture will be remaining the same – meaning that all the currently released PS4 titles will work as usual on the new unit (although Sony has reportedly invited developers to include “compatibility patches” for existing titles in order to bring them in line with the new device’s graphical capabilities though these are not mandatory).
So, to conclude, I really am left with the same feeling I got when looking at the Xbox One S: If I was new to consoles I would wait and see what the Neo can do and, if I already have a PlayStation 4 (which I do have and am currently very happy with) I certainly wouldn’t “upgrade” to a slimmer unit and, unless the price was amazing for the upgrade, I wouldn’t be looking to invest in a Neo (seeing as my current unit will support the games anyway) and if I really was so concerned about graphical quality I would rather upgrade my graphics card on my PC than invest in a new console for potentially about the same price.