Just over a month ago, rumors started circulating on the internet that Sony was going to release an updated version of the PlayStation 4. This newer version of the PlayStation 4 would feature improved internal hardware and would be capable of supporting games that run at 4K output resolutions. When the rumors of this upgraded PlayStation 4 first came out, the new console was referred to as either the PlayStation 4.5 or the PlayStation 4K, however a more recent leak has indicated that Sony is referring to it internally by the codename Neo. I don’t want to say too much on the PlayStation Neo until an official announcement is made and the exact details of it are revealed, but its existence, if true, could signal a new era in console gaming. For so long, those of us in the console gaming community have known a fairly simple way of life: we would buy a PlayStation, Xbox, and/or Nintendo console and then until the next generation of consoles came out we would only have to think about which games we wanted to buy. While there would often be slight revisions to consoles mid-generation that would make them smaller, cheaper, and/or more energy efficient, the internal components that dictated how well a game would run and how it would look remained roughly the same. Now we’re looking at a mid-generation jump that alters the console’s internal hardware such that there could be a very clear difference between how games perform and look on the standard PlayStation 4 and the newer PlayStation Neo. This would make console gaming even more like pc gaming (at least, for PlayStation) where games operate at a number of different levels, depending on the pc’s hardware. Another comparison would be to say that the PlayStation Neo would make consoles more like cell phones, which regularly get newer versions released every year or two. A fair number of people online are upset about the rumors surrounding the PlayStation Neo, and while I can understand their complaints I’m not going to come down on this myself until we know for sure what the PlayStation Neo is. The only judgment I will make at the moment is that this is a risky business move for Sony, as they’re doing something with little to no precedent in the console gaming world. The PlayStation has a commanding lead in console sales this generation, and depending on the market’s reaction to the PlayStation Neo they could very well see their lead cemented, or destroyed. I think ten or so years from now we’ll look back at the PlayStation Neo as either a very prescient move of pure genius, or a completely avoidable mistake of absolute stupidity.

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