View Full Version : Rumor: PS4.5 code-named NEO, contains upgraded CPU, GPU, and RAM

04-19-2016, 08:53 AM
PS4K sounds better, at least you know it supports 4K by just hearing the name. :lol:


Rumor: PS4.5 code-named NEO, contains upgraded CPU, GPU, and RAM - Games to ship with "Base Mode" and "NEO Mode" starting October.

Giant Bomb has shared new information on the rumored PlayStation 4.5 console, which it reports is code-named “NEO.”

The NEO will feature a higher clock speed than the original PlayStation 4, an improved GPU, and higher memory bandwidth. The hard-drive is the same as that of the original PlayStation 4, but it is not clear if that means in terms of capacity or connection speed.

Here are the NEO’s purported specs:

- CPU – 8 Jaguar Cores at 2.1 GHz (versus current 8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6 GHz)
- GPU – Improved AMD GCN, 36 CUs at 911 MHz (versus current AMD GCN, 18 CUs at 800 MHz)
- Memory – 8 GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s (versus current 8 GB GDDR5, 176 GB/s)

Giant Bomb reports that starting October, every PlayStation 4 game will be required to ship with both a “Base Mode,” which will run on the current PlayStation 4, and a “NEO Mode,” which will be used for the new model. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the new model will be ready in October. The documents received by Giant Bomb note that developers are allowed to launch NEO-ready games before the launch of the NEO console itself.

The website reports that the documents it received states there can be no NEO-only games, and Sony will not allow NEO users to be separated fro original PlayStation 4 players while playing online. Developers also cannot offer exclusive gameplay options or special unlockables for NEO players. NEO can, however, run an improved version of the same feature. If a game has four-player local co-op on PlayStation 4, an eight-player co-op mode can be offered on NEO. But those differences won’t transfer online, of course.


04-19-2016, 08:17 PM
It sounds like a SEGA sized disaster to me. We'll see how that goes.

04-20-2016, 01:05 AM
Not necessary, if they proceed they can target both lower and higher end user base. People with low budget can buy the older & cheaper PS4 since all games work on it, people with more budget can get the 4K version with better graphics.

I imagine the current PS4 will get a steeper price cut maybe like $249?

Also "confirmed" by Eurogamer and Digital Foundry:

Digital Foundry: PS4K / Neo spec leak is genuine, dev kits on their way to devs

Sony is now openly sharing this specification with developers and while Giant Bomb beat us to the punch, we have access to the same documentation. There is no doubt - this is real. This is the new, more powerful PlayStation 4.

The release window is unclear, but the schedule for hardware roll-out to developers is black and white: development kits prototype are on their way to studios now. A test kit (debug station, if you like) housed within a non-final chassis - which Sony is asking developers not to show - follows shortly. A second-gen test kit, again not based on the actual retail shell, goes out in June. Sony gives more intensive Neo briefings at its DevCon event in in May, while code submission for Neo-compatible titles begins in August.

Well, according to Sony's own documents, there is a focus on delivering 4K gaming content, though upscaling to UHD resolution is likely. Owners of 1080p screens can expect benefits too, explicitly stated as:

- Higher frame-rates
- More stable frame-rates
- Improved graphics fidelity
- Additional graphics features

There's also no indication at all that any of the functionality found in PlayStation VR's external processing box will make its way into the Neo hardware, nor is there any mention at all that Neo will benefit PSVR, though we would expect that the same base/Neo spec differentiation will apply to those titles just as they would to any PS4 game.

On top of that, while the documentation says that the hard drive will remain the same (Sony has several in circulation, so we assume it means 2.5-inch laptop drives generally) there are no indications of any changes to the Blu-ray drive. This is surprising, as we would have assumed that Sony would take this opportunity to support the new UHD 4K movie standard, supporting standard 50GB discs along with 66GB and 100GB variants. For now it seems that developers are set to stick with 50GB of storage.

Developers have the ability to add Neo support to their existing PlayStation 4 titles coming out in September via a day one patch, while dual base/Neo supported titles are expected to arrive from October onwards. Sony isn't telling developers when the unit will actually launch and states that it's perfectly OK with Neo-compatible titles shipping before the actual hardware. Either the platform holder is playing its cards close to its chest or else the firm itself simply isn't clear when it plans to launch the kit.


04-21-2016, 10:45 AM
I've been putting off getting a ps4 forever and this has made me feel pretty lucky doing that. Especially since i am interested in PSVR and VR is of course super dependent on higher frames rates to avoid problems. As long as they get it out of the door at 400 american or lower I'm pretty sure I'll pick it up.

04-22-2016, 01:56 PM
Such long article explaining all the new features -- is it really going to be called PS NEO?

How PlayStation Neo and the original PS4 will co-exist

Games, hardware, PSN and more - how Sony plans for two PlayStations to live side-by-side.

In the wake of the PlayStation 4K 'Neo' leak, there are still plenty of questions that need answering, and we're intent on bringing you everything we can about the new hardware and especially what it means for owners of the existing PS4.

In this article, we'll be drawing on the rules of engagement that Sony has supplied to PlayStation 4 developers. While these guidelines may change, the picture painted is clear and unambiguous. As the platform holder says explicitly, PS4 and Neo 'co-exist in the marketplace' - one is simply a more technologically capable version of the other, but there are some key points here amongst the wealth of information we'd really like to highlight:

Dual Shock 4 remains the primary controller:
Sony has no plans to introduce a new joypad for the Neo hardware. The Dual Shock 4 remains unchanged and Sony has actually mandated that all existing peripherals should be supported with no segregation between PS4 and Neo.

1080p is the mandatory minimum display resolution:
Sony is keen to push developers on to higher resolutions and super-sampling down to full HD is an option, but 1080p is the lowest pixel-count allowed.

No online segregation between consoles:
If a PlayStation title supports online features, they must be deployed equally on both systems. Developers cannot have Neo-only servers. We believe this may actually introduce gameplay balance issues if, say, the Neo version hits 60fps while the PS4 version is capped at 30fps.

Save data systems are cross-platform:
The PlayStation operating system is constant between both PS4 and Neo. This means that all data (save games, back-ups etc) are interchangeable between both systems by default. However, it seems that Sony is leaving it up to developers to ensure that Neo and PS4 save-swapping actually works.

Forward compatibility patches are for old games only:
Sony really wants Neo support on all games from October onwards. While older titles can have Neo features patched in, the platform holder will not allow new titles to add Neo features at a later date.


So those are the headlines, but for those with an eye for detail, here's what we believe is the complete list of rules and guidelines issued to developers. The situation may change, but for now it offers an intriguing insight into Sony's strategy for allowing two different PlayStations to co-exist in the same ecosystem.

PS4/Neo system software functions

The PS4 front-end offers an identical experience whether you're running on Neo or an original PS4 system. The PlayStation Store will be exactly the same, but Sony is considering offering enhanced media facilities - for example, 1080p gameplay streaming and recording. Access to 4K media apps with HDCP 2.2 requirements aren't covered in Sony's documentation. In terms of games though, the platform holder is highly detailed in how this is going to work:

- The same PSN ID can be used to access the same content across multiple PS4 and Neo consoles.

- However, you can only have one device allocated as the Primary Console.

- The same PSN ID can't be logged in simultaneously on more than one PS4, Neo or combination of the two (presumably the Primary Console can play digital content offline though, as is the case now).

- Save games should be interchangeable between PS4 and Neo titles (via USB or cloud storage). However, the system is platform agnostic. Sony is leaving it to developers to ensure this feature works.

- Backed up data is interchangeable between Neo and PS4. That is, you can back-up data on either console and restore it with no problems.

- Themes and avatars work on both systems.

- Developers are not allowed to segregate Neo and PS4 users on the PlayStation Network. Online game modes must offer the same feature set.

- Trophies and unlock rules must be totally identical.

- PlayStation Store pages and physical game-packaging are expected to list Neo-specific features.

- There are no plans to prioritise PS4 or Neo content in using the PlayGo 'fast start' download system.

- Trophies must be entirely consistent between PS4 and Neo modes, based on Sony's guidelines. There will be no Neo-exclusive trophies or any variance in how they are triggered.

PlayStation 4/Neo Game Compatibility

Sony is very keen on developers supporting both systems simultaneously, and is motivating developers to ensure that there is Neo support in all PS4 titles from Q4 onwards this year. It's also firm on unifying the platforms with little or no exceptions:

- Neo-only or PS4-only games are not permitted (remember that Neo can still run unenhanced titles - developers are simply prohibited from locking out audiences of either console).

- All games you purchase, whether via disc or from the PlayStation Store, should offer both PS4 and Neo functionality with no extra costs associated in running titles on a different console.

- All new titles with Neo support use unified packages that run on both platforms. The CPU binary is identical, while three GPU binaries (shared, PS4-specific and Neo-specific) are all contained in the same package.

- All DLC and additional content is entirely cross-platform. Unified downloads are used for both this, and basic game patches.

- Neo support for old games is allowed via 'forward compatibility' patching - but this will not be allowed for new titles.

- Developers cannot supply exclusive gameplay features for Neo owners. If the game has a split-screen mode, it must be available on both systems. However, modes can be enhanced - so a two-player split-screen mode on PS4 could be expanded to allow a four-player variant on Neo.

- Developers cannot add exclusive content to either PS4 or Neo systems.

- If there's a bug in Neo-specific code, developers are not allowed to divert Neo owners to the PS4 codepath. The game must be fixed.

Sony says that the front-end experience and the PlayStation Store will be identical on both PS4 and Neo, though Neo-specific features will be listed on product pages.

Peripheral support

Sony isn't looking to make any dramatic changes here. We can assume that the Neo hardware has the same primary interfaces here as PS4 - namely, USB 3.0, Bluetooth and the camera interface.

- The existing Dual Shock 4 is confirmed as the primary interface for Neo. There will be no new controller. As is the case right now, DS4 pads can be used and paired interchangeably between different PlayStation hardware.

- Any special game peripheral you have which is compatible with PS4 should run identically on Neo.

- There must be no difference in peripheral support between Neo and PS4 versions.

Rendering guidelines

We've already described how Sony is looking to offer higher resolution support for 4K screens with the Neo hardware, and how higher frame-rates, more stable frame-rates, improved graphics fidelity and further visual features are encouraged. It's a topic we'll be returning to in due course as more information comes in. However, In terms of hard and fast technical guidelines for Neo rendering, Sony offers this:

- Games running in Neo mode must operate at a native rendering resolution of 1920x1080 (1080p) or higher.

- A game's frame-rate must meet or exceed its equivalent performance level on base PlayStation 4 hardware.

It seems that there are no new guidelines for ensuring rendering or performance standards on the existing PlayStation 4. One worry is that emphasis may shift to Neo, resulting in poorer experiences for the older hardware. We hope that the sheer weight of the user base ensures that the 'base' PS4 continues to get the care and attention it deserves.

The takeaway

Meet the man trying to finish every game on Steam 'I rarely talk about this with anyone.' Meet the man trying to finish every game on Steam

In many respects, Sony is being highly conservative about what is - and isn't - allowed when developing for the new PlayStation hardware. Quite clearly, accommodating and not alienating the existing user-base is the primary concern here. There's also the concept of attempting to strengthen the existing ecosystem as opposed to allowing fragmentation. This extends to guidelines on exactly how Neo-exclusive features are communicated on the PlayStation Store. Sony is happy for developers to list them, but explicitly states that developers are under no obligation to up-sell Neo to original PS4 owners.

So in terms of the technical underpinnings, Sony appears to have all the bases covered. The platform holder is creating a high-end 'Elite' version of the console, but at the same time ensuring that firm boundaries are in place for ensuring that the vast, existing PS4 userbase is not left behind. But in doing so, the question is to what extent developers may lack standards drop on older hardware - and by extension, does the need to accommodate the existing PS4 mean that developers will be limited in scope in utilising the much more powerful Neo hardware?

And of course, there's the elephant in the room - to what extent is 4K display technology actually meaningful to gamers right now or even in the medium term future? Will Neo development instead concentrate on a richer 1080p experience? We'll be covering that topic, and the options open to developers there in an upcoming piece.