As insane as it sounds, it seems Sony might be taking a page of Sega’s mid 90s business strategy: remember the 32X, Sega CD and Sega Saturn? Not likely.
The video game giant reportedly has plans to release a mid-generation upgrade to the PS4, featuring more powerful hardware and internally dubbed the “PlayStation 4.5” and “PlayStation 4K.”
Furthermore, recent rumours cited by The Wallstreet Journal, indicate this improved PlayStation 4 might not be far off from release, with speculation indicating it could drop alongside the PlayStation VR this coming October.
While a 4K-capable PS4 isn’t that far fetched given the fact that the PS4 isn’t able to read 4K Blu-ray discs, a more powerful console with games specifically designed for it, would be controversial move for Sony if these rumours prove true. Releasing a system mid lifecycle effectively splits the PlayStation 4’s install base, which some estimates indicate is currently in the range of 35 million systems worldwide.
News of a 4K PS4 surfaced recently when Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer mentioned Sony “promised” to release a revised console with ultra high-definition video support, in an interview with the Huffington Post U.K.
As expected, there’s no indication when the PlayStation 4.5 will be released or even if it exists at all. A variety of reputable journalists, however, including Kotaku’s Keza MacDonald, Patrick Klepek and Stephen Totilo, have been able to independently verify these rumours with what the publications call “trusted sources.” Eurogamer has also reportedly been able to independently verify these claims.
Rumours have also been swirling for the last few months that Microsoft is considering releasing an upgradable Xbox One. Phil Spencer recently hinted at an iterative future for the console during a recent Spring Xbox One preview event, though the Xbox head later denied these claims.
It remains to be seen if either of this rumours end up becoming reality, but one thing is for sure, 2016 is poised to be an interesting year in the video game hardware industry.