Developers looking to take advantage of the improved hardware inside Sony’s upcoming PS4.5 will have to ensure their games run on the original PS4.
The long-rumoured console revision has until this point been nicknamed the PS4.5 or PS4K, due to its reported support for 4K gameplay output, but is referred to internally at Sony as the ‘Neo’, according to new details from Giant Bomb.
According to the ‘multiple sources’ cited, the Neo will boast improved specs over the original PS4 – aligning with previous reports.
The PS4’s eight-core Jaguar CPU will be apparently boosted from a clock speed of 1.6GHz to 2.1 GHz, while its AMD GCN GPU will be doubled from 18 CUs running at 800MHz to 36 CUs at 911MHz.
The Neo will retain the existing 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, but will process data at a faster rate of 218GB/s, versus the PS4’s 176GB/s. An additional 512MB of memory will be provided for devs to utilise in their games. The console’s 500GB hard drive appears to remain untouched.
These hardware changes will allow developers to take advantage of the Neo’s 4K output, as well as improvements to framerate and graphical fidelity – such as texture clarity and rendering speed.
However, in documents issued to studios by Sony, the company states that any games released for the Neo must also be able to run on the original PS4 hardware. PS4 and Neo owners must similarly be able to play together in online multiplayer modes, and framerate on the Neo must match or exceed that on PS4.
To allow for the cross-compatibility, games released from this October onwards will reportedly include a ‘Base Mode’ and ‘Neo Mode’ to adjust to each console’s respective hardware and processing ability.
Developers will also be stopped from offering exclusive content to Neo owners, and all existing PlayStation Network content – such as digital purchases – will be accessible from the new machine.
While past rumours pointed the finger at a new PS4 as improving support for the upcoming PlayStation VR headset, these new documents also insist that the Neo must not offer exclusive peripheral support – meaning that all VR titles and experiences must be available on both PS4 and Neo.
Developers will be able to patch existing PS4 games to take advantage of the Neo, with titles released in late September onwards requiring a day one update to support the new hardware.