The gaming world is currently abuzz with the current dearth of rumors surrounding Sony’s supposed “upgrade” to the PS4, the PS4.5. Though no major new features have been confirmed, the hype is mostly centered on the possibility of 4K gaming with the console. Touting an “upgraded GPU” that is assumed to handle a variant of 4K gaming and access to the PS VR, the PS4.5 is clearly an aesthetic and technical upgrade to an already stellar console. Not content with keeping afloat, Sony wishes to go full speed ahead, riding the momentum and success of their current console.
“4K” is currently the hot buzzword floating around when it comes to televisions and home media. As we finally come off consumer infatuation with anything labeled “1080p”, 4K televisions offer 4x the resolution and have been following the trend of rapidly shrinking in price as different models saturate the market. Given that these televisions are readily available and affordable to the general consumer, it makes sense that Sony wishes to flow with the trend and make their game console compatible.
Though the PS4.5 is being as a 4K gaming console, 4K output has been already possible on the PS4. The system is able to output pictures and video in 4K resolution, but it cannot do 4K gaming. Given that the PS4 is marketed as a “games first” console (as opposed to the Xbox One, which tries to be a complete home entertainment solution), shooting for a 4K gaming experience would be a sound business move, most likely allowing for co-branding in the future with Sony 4K televisions. This is similar to Sony’s aggressive marketing strategy with 3D televisions and the PS3, even going as far as releasing a dedicated 24” LED 3D set for the console. Given that Sony wishes to keep their lead-position in the console gaming market, as well as using their consoles to further the ubiquitous usage with other media devices, 4K gaming seems not to far off on the horizon.
Though the PS4.5 sounds as if it will be able to handle 4K gaming out of the box, it may not be what we are expecting. Bear in mind that 4K technology is still high-end tech, therefore not feasible for adaption to a game console. Given that most high end, enthusiast-level PCs sometimes chug with displaying 4K, this definitely counts game consoles out. This clashes with the numerous reports that the PS4.5 will be a 4K ready console right out of the box. Unless the console itself costs upwards to $3000 and comes with other features to justify the price, we may need to wait for more information from Sony before we can see what the PS4.5 is being built for.