Rumours have been circulating about a potential new PS4. If you’ve not seen them, this rumoured console would basically be a revamped version of Sony’s current console. It’s been stated that it could be twice as powerful as the PS4, that it could support 4K gaming and that it would be more compatible with PlayStation VR. These are, as of yet, rumours. But it still doesn’t change the fact that an updated console would be pretty unfair on current PS4 gamers. Here’s my reasoning.
Re-releasing a console is no new thing. Generally, a ‘slim’ version of a console will be released a few years after the initial release of the console, for example. With the Xbox 360, there were some minor changes between the original and the Elite – a larger hard-drive, and a more efficient motherboard helped to alleviate a lot of technical issues. Then we had the Slim, which replaced the Elite in many ways – this console having a specific port for the Kinect, negating the need for an adaptor. But, in the grand schemes of things, these weren’t wildly different consoles. With the Ps4.5, however, we’re being told that the console will potentially be twice as powerful – which is pretty damn powerful. Not only that, but it could also potentially upscale games to 4K, which is quite a feat.
For those who purchased the PS4 at launch, perhaps an updated console wouldn’t be the end of the world. Perhaps, even, it would be a welcome update. But, I would imagine that there are a lot of people who only recently purchased a PS4, seeing as there have been a lot of great bundles about recently, and that the console hasn’t been out for that long. My thoughts would be with those people, the ones who only just bought the PS4, or quite recently got it, and would perhaps have held out knowing that a better version was on its way. It’s usually a safe bet to assume that a drastically improved console wouldn’t be coming out in the near future, just a few years after a console’s initial launch – so you couldn’t blame them for being disgruntled, if they were of course.
The fact that these rumours are circulating around the same time that Sony are preparing for the launch of PlayStation VR is no co-incidence. And I wonder if, sooner or later, we’ll see some form of this updated console being shipped along with the VR headset. Sure, the updated console might provide a better gaming experience, one which may well work more seamlessly with PlayStation VR. And yes, it would be great to see a console working properly on 4K. But, despite all of that, I still feel that it’s a little unfair on current PS4 gamers. I mean, how are people expected to afford all of this?
I guess the thing that would unsettle me the most would be the fact that its release would only be two and a half years, potentially three, since the release of the initial console – which isn’t very long in a console’s lifetime. The PS4.5, looking at the rumoured specs, would be a considerably more powerful machine; a halfway house between the PS4 and PS5 (hence the name). This is the sort of console I’d expect to see four or five years down the line, and personally, I think that it would be a little unfair to release an ‘almost’ new console, as the PS4 hasn’t been around that long.
I also wonder what the take-up would be like, and whether it’s even necessary at present. For arguments sake, let’s ignore the potential for the PS4.5 to be twice as powerful, which would probably be my main issue with the proposed console – as that’s quite a leap forward from the PS4. Instead, let’s focus on the 4K issue, and the links with VR. Firstly, for the console to be worth the money, more developers would have to be making their games in 4K. Seeing as few are hitting the 1080p mark, at present, I wonder how many will actually make a true 4K game. And, even if they do, how many people will actually own a 4K TV at present? There’s a lot of expenditure there already, assuming that the person would need to buy a 4K TV and the PS4.5. Throw in the fact that PlayStation VR could potentially work better with the console, and you’re looking at a user who’d probably be needing a lot of disposable income, to make the most of the proposed console – so perhaps not your average gamer.
But maybe I’m just being short-sighted. Maybe PS4 gamers are excited at the prospect of a revamped console… or half new console, I guess. If that’s the case, let me know in the comments below! Until then, I’ll just sit back and watch the rumour mill turn, until Sony make some sort of official announcement.