The previous Generation of consoles (PS3, X360) lasted 8 years, unusually long, and with PS4 released in 2013, Gamers expected another atleast 6 year console cycle before seeing another upgrade.
But before we get into details, here is some current news about the PS4K hardware.
Playstation 4K Leaks
Some more news flew in today about the upcoming PS4K and it states that the console will run on a custom designed SOC from AMD. The processor is an 8 Core 64 Bit x86 , based on the company’s new Jaguar architecture clocked at 2.1 Ghz.
As far as the Graphics are concerned the PlayStation 4K will be powered by the next generation ‘GCN’ architecture with 36 compute units. While not too much details are available at this stage, but it is quite likely the GPU can have similarities to the upcoming AMD R9 480.
The memory module is going to be 256 bit and will have the GDDR5 interface with 8 GB VRAM and 218 GB/S bandwidth. The console is expected to launch in 2017.
Whats is Going to Change with New PS4K
But recent multiple sources confirm that Sony is indeed working on a much powerful console than PS4, naming it as PS4K – signaling its ability to render games in 4K.
The new PS4K got confirmed in development is rumored to have twice the graphical muscle of PS4. It will be able to play 4K media, and could up-scale game resolutions to 4K.
Games would look and feel better on this new hardware against our “old beloved” PS4. This is not to be confused with a Elite or Slim version treatment we saw with PS3. The new PS4K might even cost more than $500(40K) at launch.
But there are some really compelling questions about the PS4K which impact the whole generation of console gamers.
Why Sony is Making New PS4K?
Why make a new PS4K console mid-Gen ?
Many console owners are not happy with this, thinking their only 3 years old console will get worse looking games with this new mid-cycle hardware launch. But they can put their worries to rest as the inception of that thought is over-blowen. Here are some reasons why SONY has decided to make this new console in the first place :
- Better VR-Market for Sony
A better hardware to run more demanding VR experiences is essential to ensure the victory over VR market and the mindset of gamers. Sony already has a leg up with PSVR in cost efficiency
- Rise in 4K TV Adaption
4K TV sales already surpassing 2015 period sales shows people are hungry for devices that would be able to play 4K media. Sony is aiming to repeat the era where buying a PS2 was better cost efficient than buying a Dvd-player. The market for 4K is increasing fast. In India scenario is different but in advanced countries people are moving to 4K.
- Lagging behind current Technology
6-7 Years is too much time in the world of technology. Previous Generation many Developers were even complaining about it. Expanding your understanding of the same old tech could yield better results but it will always be behind compared to using the new tech. Mobiles , Tablets and laptops are the prime example of it.
PS4K is Great for Console Gamers.
What does this mean for the Gamers who already own PS4 ?
The Real Question.
Gamers unhappy with this news are pointing out how mid-gen hardwares breaks the reason why they own a console in the first place. Their more annoyance comes from the fact that they won’t be getting the shinier – prettier – version of that same game anymore.
However this has been true for all PC releases for years, but Console gamers have understandably sacrificed better Graphical fidelity for better ease-of-use and less one time investment.
But now when that one-time-investment won’t be running the 6 year long yard, they are not happy. If your anger comes only from this fact alone, than we should get past that.
When Mobile gaming Industry is fighting and winning for casual gamers time and money. It’s natural to me that Sony would want to shake up the formula by introducing more new tech, as fast as appropriate, while still not taking away from their already 40M Strong user-base.
SONY PS4K Why it is Great for Console Gamers
- Compatible PS4K Games for PS4
As I have stated before, every PS4K game will be playable on PS4 too. So in reality, you would still be able to play those same games if PS4K hadn’t existed.
And you can be sure of this because no developer would make game excluding larger than 40M+ PS4 user base. PS4 or PS5 will always be less costly than PS4K or PS5-Pro, it’s given that the PS4 userbase will always be stronger than their mid-gen hardware upgrades and Developers will never risk abandoning the larger user base when selling games.
- More options are always good
If a gamer is primarily a console gamer, making him wait for 6 years for another tech is crazy in this time and age. PS4K gives those people with deep pockets an option, and more options are never a bad things.
Combined with my first point – the users who have no intention to buy PS4K has nothing been taken away from them.
- Better Experience
The joy of a better hardware fills everybody with new enthusiasm. While Mobile gaming market is getting strong, Analyst predicting mobile GPUs are going to match console GPUs is getting closer to reality with processors like A9 and Snapdragon 820.
A mid cycle hardware jump lets consoles always be up in that front, it also increases awareness about gaming among mobile casual players that the definite way of playing the most intensive and exciting games are on Consoles and PC.
- Matching 4K PC Gaming
These kinds of graphical jumps doesn’t comes often. With Nvidia Pascal and AMD’s Polaris with new Architecture and more competition in CPU sector with Intel, expected because of Zen, the new PS4K stops console feeling too outdated.
5. Better VR Experience
With better Console hardware we are going to get a better and more immersive experience with the next generation of Sony VR.
SONY PS4K Why it is Great for Console Gamers : These consoles now blur the line between PC and Consoles by still retaining the same ease of use consoles users love. With increased focus on Resolutions and Framerates, and people picking consoles where their 3rd party Games performs the best…it is fair to say PS4K would become a success in the terms Sony wants.
It will not outsell the affordable PS4, nor it is meant to. It’s just another option for console graphic hungry people with warm pockets, and PS4 will enjoy those same features and games till PS5 comes out in 6-7 years.
Author – Shubhendu Singh