PS4.5 codenamed NEO: leak suggests upgraded, prettier games but no old/new console split

If Giantbomb are to be believed then we finally have clearer idea of what we can expect from the rumoured PS4.5, now codenamed NEO. Specifically, a slightly upgraded CPU and GPU for better performance and a 4K output. 

These are the rumoured specs, showing slightly faster speeds for the CPU and GPU. Memory stays the same but benefits from a marginally higher access speed. The hard drive will apparently be unchanged. 

Here are the specs: 

CPU Base PS4: 8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6 GHz  NEO: 8 Jaguar Cores at 2.1 GHz

GPU Base PS4: AMD GCN, 18 CUs at 800 MHz NEO: Improved AMD GCN, 36 CUs at 911 MHz

Memory  Base PS4: 8 GB GDDR5, 176 GB/s NEO: 8 GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s

It’s reported that every game will be required to run a ‘Base mode’ and a ‘NEO mode’. The latter will obviously use the upgraded specs to improve visuals and framerate, and while NEO games won’t have to be 4K it will somehow support 4K output. I say ‘somehow’ because with 4K PCs generally costing thousands it’s unclear how this new PS4 will pull off the resolution for its alleged $399 price. 

The leaked documentation suggests Sony are being fairly free with some aspects of the new tech and tighter with others. So developers are being encouraged to shoot for ultra HD resolutions and 4K output (seemingly via upscaling) but frame rate is non-negotiable. NEO games must be at the same frame rate or higher than the base version. Older games will be able to take advantage of the newer specs if developers want to take the time to patch in an upgrade.

Otherwise the two units should live together in perfect harmony, using the same Store and network. In fact Sony seem to be emphasising that, visuals aside, the two systems should basically be the same. So no NEO exclusive content, extra online modes or anything that would otherwise separate the consoles. This also applies to PSVR. You might get better performance but other than that, nothing that the base console can’t do. 

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Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.