Sony is currently developing an upgraded PlayStation 4 for launch shortly before it publicly releases PlayStation VR in the fall. The revised console will feature more powerful internals capable of supporting 4K Video Games and the high-resolution displays of virtual reality headsets.

Rumors suggest the console may be branded as the "PlayStation 4K" or "PlayStation 4.5." The current-generation PlayStation 4 will remain on sale alongside the new version, possibly at a lower cost as an alternative option for consumers. The PS4 currently retails from $299.

Gamers to get more graphically intensive games

A more powerful PlayStation would allow game developers to add additional graphical effects to their titles. Studios are currentlylimited by the performance of the components inside the console, preventing them from matching the graphical fidelity available on PCs.

A revised PlayStation 4 would let developers create better-looking games but could divide the community in two. Games may be released only for the newer console, preventing existing PS4 owners from enjoying the enhanced content.

PlayStation VR may need more power

The PlayStation 4K may be designed to give players more freedom in virtual reality worlds. Virtual reality has demanding hardware requirements, requiring consoles to maintain a stable frame rate of 90 frames-per-second or greater to avoid motion sickness and nausea.

Sony is developing its own virtual reality headset, the $400 PlayStation VR, to rival Facebook's Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. PlayStation VR will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4, letting console gamers experience virtual reality.

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The headset has a 1920x1080 display, the same size asa conventional television. The PlayStation 4 can already struggle to run games smoothly at this resolution, an issue that would become much more serious while playing in virtual reality. An upgraded console would allow games to run more stably and reliably, avoiding stuttering in VR and allowing developers to create richer immersive experiences.

Extended hardware generation

Assuming the rumors are accurate, Sony launching an upgraded PlayStation 4 would extend the life of its current-generation console and place the PlayStation5 further into the future.

The company would have more time to build its next-generation gaming platform without risking fans becoming disengaged and impatient for a more powerful console.

Rival Microsoft has also signaled it is taking a similar approach with the Xbox One. Xbox head Phil Spencer said "You'll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation" at a press event, indicating it is also working on an upgraded version of its current-generation console.

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