After months of rumors, pundit speculation, and internet frenzies, Sony President and Global Chief Executive Andrew House, has revealed that Sony is indeed planning to release a console upgrade mid-cycle, the console dubbed “PlayStation Neo.”
In an interview with Financial Times, House confirmed the existence of the higher-end console, and that it won’t be making an appearance at this year’s E3, which takes place next week. House declined to comment on spec and pricing details. However, he did confirmed that the new console will cost more than the current $350 version, and is targeted at hardcore gamers and players with 4K televisions.
“It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4,” House explained. “We will be selling both through the life cycle. All games will support the standard PS4 and we anticipate all or a very large majority of games will also support the high-end PS4.”
House went on to chalk up Neo’s absence at E3 this year to the lack of games and experiences that can showcase Neo’s improved functionality.
Since initially leaked, many gamers have wondered and speculated that the Neo could very well split the player-base and those with the original PS4 could be left in the dust. House assured this would not be the case:
“All games will support the standard PS4 and we anticipate all or a very large majority of games will also support the high-end PS4″.
Another concern, also since initially leaked, is the potential issues the Neo poses for developers. After all, it’s one more piece of hardware they have to worry about. House again offered up some more reassuring words, saying developers should expect a “small but manageable” amount of extra work.
Speaking in broader terms about consumer reaction, House believes buyers have become accustomed to this type of upgrade system, largely in part of the emergence of high-end smartphones and a feverous PC upgrade culture.
“The consumer is attuned to a different cadence of innovation in technology thanks in great part for the upgrades cadence on mobile phones or PCs.”
In regards to PlayStation VR, House confirmed both the PlayStation Neo and the PS4 would support the upcoming headset though he did not divulge how the Neo would run VR games.
Finally, House revealed that like PlayStation VR, the Neo would be sold at a profit at launch, something that never used to be the case with past PlayStation hardware launches.
I pity Sony’s marketing team that has to try and market this. Whether on Twitter or website comment sections, I have seen the internet rallied up in opposition of not only this announcement, but the Neo’s existence in general. It’s pitchfork season Elmer Fudd voice. However, I do think it was smart of Sony to take E3 and focus on games — that will save some of their bacon over this announcement.
Tyler Fischer is an Associate Writer for MONG who plays video games when he’s not busy researching alien conspiracy theories at 2AM. You can find him on Twitter.