Rumors of a Sony PlayStation 4.5 Circulate. Good Idea or Bad?

March 18, 2016 Updated: March 26, 2016

Sony Corporation might possibly be working on an upgraded edition of the company’s latest console, the PlayStation 4 (PS4). 

According to Kotaku, game developer sources have told them that this “PS4.5” will have increased graphical power and 4,000 pixel (4k) resolution to “enhance” games that will support the PlayStation Virtual Reality headset (PS VR), that will be launching in October this year.

Since 4k is about four times the pixel resolution of the current 1080p, this is a major upgrade.

Kotaku further reports that while its staff was at the 2016 Game Developers Conference, Sony discussed with developers the specifics of how a “PS4.5” would work.

The PS4, at the moment, can only display photos and videos at 4k, while its standard for games is 1080p. Since 4k is about four times the pixel resolution of the current 1080p, this is a major upgrade. 

The Sony Playstation Virtual Reality headset.
The Sony Playstation Virtual Reality headset.

However, these reports are still hearsay, for the moment. When contacted by Kotaku regarding the speculation, Sony declined to comment. It seems we will have to wait until Sony officially confirms if it’s a reality.

Perhaps more importantly, an upgraded PS4 allows for the Sony virtual reality experience to compete with the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive headsets—both designed to be used on powerful PCs rather than consoles.

If true, this move by Sony appears ill-calculated. Consoles have to been falling into obsolescence, in technical specification and in gaming culture, with typical console release events becoming less momentous. The console wars have sunk, possibly, into the realm of petty squabbles. XBox and PlayStation—read Microsoft and Sony—are so distracted with outdoing each other they have forgotten the looming threat capable of obliterating both them: the computer takeover. 

With the possibility of cross-network and the reality of cross-platform play—at least for Xbox Live gamers—a PS4.5 would be a bandaid on a festering sore.

Gamers and gaming industry types have taken to Twitter to comment on the idea of a “suped-up” PS4:

CEO of Sony, Kazuo Hirai, did jokingly tweet that “After PlayStation VR, and the leaked PS4.5, we have decided to change our slogan from the ‘Best Place to Play’ to the ‘Best Place to Pay.'” Here is another zinger from the Sony CEO regarding the rumors.