Just when you think consoles can't get any more powerful, #Sony pulls another card out of its all-encompassing sleeve. A number of sources have revealed to Giant Bomb that the gaming and tech giant will be releasing an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4 console in anticipation of its PlayStation VR launch.

The upgraded PS4 has been long rumored, dubbed by the rumor mill as the PS4.5 or the PS4K. Sony's own codename for it is NEO, probably in reference to the PlayStation VR's codename of Project Morpheus. The console will have an edge over the current PS4, with improved CPU, GPU, and memory (for the full specs, scroll to the end of this article).

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Different name, same game

No matter what it will be called, Sony is adamant about one thing: this will not be a standalone console. There will be no special NEO content-only content or exclusives, and developers are required to make sure that their game runs smoothly on either console. That includes the frame rate, which Sony specifically points out several times needs to be the same or higher in NEO more compared to the original PS4. Online games will treat both consoles as the same, matching people up regardless of which PS4 iteration they're playing on. PlayStation Plus accounts will also not be affected.

Sony has instructed developers to start thinking ahead. As of Octobr of this year, every new game that's released will be required to have a "Base Mode" for the regular PS4, and a "NEO Mode" which would be used for the NEO console.

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Of course, this doesn't mean that the NEO will be available in October, only that Sony is building a base group of games for the upgraded console's launch, whenever that happens. The NEO will be a good alternative for anyone on the fence about buying a PlayStation console, 4K TV owners, and VR enthusiasts.

Project NEO specs

For the tech-minded among you, here are the full specs of the NEO compared to the current PS4, as reported by Giant Bomb's sources:

CPU:

  • Original: 8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6 GHz
  • NEO: 8 Jaguar Cores at 2.1 GHz

GPU

  • Original: AMD GCN, 18 CUs at 800 MHz
  • NEO: Improved AMD GCN, 36 CUs at 911 MHz

Memory #Video Game

  • Original: 8 GB GDDR5, 176 GB/s
  • NEO: 8 GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s