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Sony could be working on a new game console, according to some new rumors. The PlayStation 4 could be getting an upgrade to a PS4.5. The information is sketchy at best but it points to Sony putting in some more horsepower under the hood to make the PS4 a better companion for VR gaming.
Game Informer is reporting that some leaked information may point to Sony working on a PlayStation 4.5. According to the report,the new PS4 would be designed to take advantage of the new wave of virtual reality gaming, and it will have a more powerful GPU that will be able to support 4K resolution. At the moment, Game Informer notes that the console is capable of rendering photos and videos at 4K. It takes a heck of a lot of processing power to output at 4K and render decent looking graphics.
The interesting thing about it is that while a GPU would most certainly help to give the PlayStation 4 an edge when it comes to VR gaming, and it would most certainly help with the upcoming release of the PlayStation VR, the biggest drawback to the PlayStation 4 is actually the CPU.
Previously Ubisoft had mentioned how they were having trouble with Assassin's Creed Unity due to the limitations of the CPUs in the Xbox One and PS4. However, it was revealed by a leaked image document from a closed session benchmarking the specs of the Xbox One and PS4, that the Xbox One's CPU can slightly outperform the PS4's CPU. This was due to Microsoft adding a last-minute boost to the CPU timings before having the Xbox One hit the manufacturing belt.
What's more is that the Ubisoft benchmark also revealed that the PS3's CPU is still quite powerful. In fact the PS3's Cell processor actually outperformed the PS4 in the benchmark. When they meant that they could get 10 years of performance out of the PS3 they really meant it. The major issue with the PS3 came in with all of the SPUs that made it really difficult for developers to get the best performance out of the console, making it extremely expensive to make games run right proper.
The issue with the PS4 is really not its GPU, which is twice as powerful as the Xbox One's GPU, and this is according to the actual benchmarks. I'm surprised that Sony would be more focused on replacing the graphics unit instead of focusing on the central processing unit, especially considering that you would need both a powerful GPU and a powerful CPU to ensure that one or the other isn't bottlenecked.
If Sony does plan on putting a more powerful GPU into a PS4.5 then hopefully they'll tag-team it with an equally powerful octo-core with a much higher clock speed to match. Right now the PS4's octo-core APU performs at 1.6ghz per core, so that's actually a lot lower per core compared to the PS3's 3.2ghz Cell with the additional support from the SPUs. However, the PS4 has more cores in total but lacks in performance as evidenced in the benchmark.
Sony hasn't responded to the rumors, but gaming media websites are already expecting something to be announced at this year's E3. A PS4VR unit might make sense as opposed to just jumping right into a PS5, but we'll see what Sony comes up with later in the year as the PlayStation VR readies for release.