Reports are circulating that Sony’s PS4 NEO is set to release this holiday, specifically in November. If this turns out to be true then it makes me wonder why Sony did not announce this information at their E3 press conference. You would think that they would want to use the E3 platform to communicate important details such as hardware specs, ecosystem, and most importantly how the NEO will affect the current PlayStation ecosystem to the consumers. Many speculate that Sony very well may have had plans to announce the NEO at E3, but were thrown off by Microsoft’s announcement of Project Scorpio which totes some very impressive specs with the promise to deliver a true 4k gaming experience.
In an article by Eurogamer, Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter shared that inside sources informed him of the NEO’s release date stating the following,“Several sources have indicated to me that PlayStation Neo launches this year, despite its E3 no-show. If that is the case, it’ll be interesting to see how developers utilise its resources, and whether 4K really is the focus.” Leadbetter also expressed doubt that the NEO or Scorpio are truly equipped to handle 4k gaming. He feels that the consoles will struggle reaching the 4k benchmark due to hardware limitations and thinks that the NEO and Scorpio should be used to provide consistent 1080p 60fps experiences instead.
If the NEO does release this year that is a definite indication to me that the goal will not be to provide a true 4k gaming experience. For one, the console market is not ready for 4k gaming even though many will say that they are. Most consumers do not have 4k televisions and therefore would not benefit in the slightest from a 4K console at this time. Also according to rumored specs the NEO is in no position to offer such luxuries in its current state. Instead I think the NEO will in fact offer developers the ability to produce games at least at 1440p resolution with a consistent 60 frames per second. Also it is clear that Sony’s main focus is PSVR at this time so the release of the NEO this year would be in line to compliment that initiative. The NEO would provide more power for the periphial which currently requires a power adapter in order to reach the required 60fps mark.
Since the NEO did not make an appearance at E3 we could possibly get an actual reveal at GamesCom, The Tokyo Game Show, or even at the PlayStation Experience event. You can definitely expect that if they do reveal the NEO at any of these events they will not only release specs and details but will also show the console like they did with the unveiling of the PS4 itself. Despite the rumor, I do not believe we will see a release of the NEO this year. What I took from the lack of reveal at E3 was that Sony’s main focus is PlayStation VR and they do not want to convolute things by also having to explain to the populous what the NEO is and how it will impact gaming as we know it.
One thing is for sure, this console refresh is new to us all and both Sony and Microsoft have a lot more explaining to do. There is also quite a bit of weight on their shoulders to produce something that gamers will gravitate towards. Here’s hoping that these new consoles benefit us all.