Back in April we started hearing whispers about Sony working on upgraded version of the Ps4 codenamed PS4.5 or PS4k. This was on the heels of Head of Xbox Phil Spencer mentioning in a speech that the future of consoles is incremental upgrades to current systems. Well the good folks over at Giant Bomb broke the news following a huge leak on Sony’s part of their project codenamed Neo. The leak states that Neo is supposed to go hand in hand with the current version of the PS4, but offer a better gameplay experience. Developers were informed that all future games were required to have a “Neo Mode” in their titles. Neo Mode will sharpen the graphics, have a better framerate, and provide an overall better gameplay experience. These titles are also required to work as they currently do on all existing PS4’s. I’m not really clear as to why Sony would do this? They have such a commanding lead this generation and had all the momentum going for them thanks mainly to the fact that they already had the most powerful console. Recently Sony confirmed that they are in fact working on Neo, but that they will not show it at this year’s E3.
Not being at E3 is understandable but a huge mistake, by confirming the Neo is coming they have just killed their sales for the foreseeable future. If people have waited until now to get a PS4 a few more months isn’t gonna hurt them especially if they are getting a better system out of it. In my opinion I feel that Neo is Sony’s VR system, yes they will sell Playstation VR to current PS4’s but it comes with an additional plug in to make up for the necessary power needed for VR.
I feel with the additional power of the Neo is that processor built into the system. Neo will be an all in one system with PSVR included. This explains why Sony stated that it will be a more expensive system. Kotaku recently leaked Microsoft’s own plan for a more powerful system which if true is 50% more powerful than Neo. While the Xbox One is selling better than the Xbox 360 did at this point in its life, it is falling way behind the PS4. The biggest failure of the Xbox One vs PS4 is the power difference, PS4 is the most powerful system currently this generation, So Microsoft making a stronger system makes sense. Microsoft needs to jump start their sales this generation so it’s doesn’t matter if their sales slow down for a while. Microsoft has not confirmed Codename Scorpio at this time but they will be holding a press conference at E3 on June 13th. I personally do not expect to hear about Scorpio this year thanks to Sony saying they are not bringing Neo to E3. Both Sony and Microsoft are waiting to see who blinks first. Sony took advantage of this back at E3 2013 when Microsoft stumbled out of the gate failing terribly, they could not find a way to explain how their system worked for the masses to understand, then backtracking weeks later. Then at E3, Sony who holds their show after Microsoft’s, publicly humiliated Microsoft at their press conference with a few last minute additions showing a gamer friendly system and also pricing it $100 less that Microsoft’s Xbox One. So it’s understandable why these two companies are in a cold war stand off right now.
In conclusion, I feel Sony in confirming Neo should’ve announced it at E3 and given more information because saying it will be more expensive and less powerful than the rumored specs of Scorpio is going to slow sales as gamers wait for what’s to come. Microsoft recently cut the price of the Xbox One to $299 in an more to clear out inventory for what’s to come. Tune in to this year’s E3 should be interesting to see what announced and see if anyone blinks first.