Rumors of a PS4.5 or PS4K have been flying around for the past month or two, and thanks to a huge breaking story by Giant Bomb’s Austin Walker earlier this week, it’s all but confirmed to be a reality. The PS4 NEO, as it’s being internally referred to as by game developers that Walker spoke with, will essentially be an upgraded PS4 capable of running games better than the current PS4 model can. The story stresses that Sony will not be abandoning the old model and will strive for parity between the two. While the idea of a better PlayStation 4 is definitely exciting, it’s not all sunshine and roses, and after careful consideration (and some crackpot theorizing) I’ve come to the conclusion that the PS4 NEO is both a great idea and a potentially terrible one. Allow me to explain.
GOOD: Sony Claims They Will Not Abandon The Old Model
As mentioned in the Giant Bomb story, every PS4 game will have to ship with both a “Base Mode” to run on original PS4 models, and a “NEO Mode” to run on the new console. Sony has also reiterated to developers that there will be no NEO-only games and that outside of differences in performance, owners of the older model won’t be missing out on any experience that NEO owners get. If true, this is a savvy move by Sony, as PS4 owners will likely already be pissed off enough that they bought the inferior version of the console and would only be more upset if NEO owners received exclusive content.
This was a mistake that Nintendo made with the New 3DS; while there haven’t been many games made exclusively for the device, the fact that there are any at all shows that Nintendo thinks of original 3DS owners as second class citizens. Whether or not Sony sticks with their plan for the NEO, it’s refreshing to see a games company take a hardline stance against practices that would result in a worse experience for a huge portion of their player base.