E3 2016 came and went without Sony making a single mention of the PlayStation Neo, the company’s upcoming next-generation game console. Initially, many consumers and reporters alike believed that the company planned to save the console’s official announcement until the Tokyo Game Show in late September. However, the PlayStation Neo is now expected sooner, as Sony has made a rumored September 7 PlayStation event official.
Sony has officially invited journalists to a press conference in New York City on September 7, where an upgraded PlayStation 4, otherwise known as the Neo, is almost certain to be the star of the show.
A meeting of the PlayStations
These emailed invitations come a day after unconfirmed reports hit the internet that Sony was looking in to the first Wednesday in September as the date for its next big announcement. While the invitation simply says “PlayStation Meeting,” it’s difficult to imagine that the gaming giant is showcasing anything else than the Neo in such a high-profile venue.
The event will be held at the PlayStation Theatre, however the company is being coy about what it will specifically announce or introduce, instead saying that it plans to “share details about the PlayStation business.”
Given that Sony already acknowledged that the PlayStation Neo was indeed real and it wouldn’t be announced at E3 last June, every seems to be indicating that Sony is finally ready to announce the next-gen console to the world, just in time for a launch before the holiday season.
Will we see the PlayStation 4 Slim as well?
Besides revealing the PlayStation Neo, Sony is also reportedly planning on using the event to announce the PlayStation 4 Slim as well. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the existence of such a console, and if the PlayStation 4 Slim does indeed exist, it would seem probable that Sony would use this now-officially-confirmed event in New York City on September 7th to announce both consoles simultaneously.
Competition heating up
Microsoft is planning on releasing a console sometime next year to directly compete with the Neo. Dubbed “Project Scorpio,” Microsoft’s console is set to be even more powerful than the Neo, but will also be launching a year after Sony’s console.
If Sony does in fact decide to unveil both the Neo and the PS4 Slim simultaneously at their upcoming event, it will be in a similar vein as to what Microsoft opted to do at this year’s E3 conference. At their press conference during the event, Microsoft unveiled both the upcoming Xbox One S and teased certain details regarding Project Scorpio, the company’s next-generation console set to release sometime next year.
By officially announcing both consoles at the same time, Microsoft attempted to demonstrate that it is moving towards a future of incremental console upgrades rather than massive generational leaps. If Sony decides to announce both the PlayStation 4 Slim and the PlayStation Neo, then it too will be demonstrating a similar idea in console development.
PlayStation Neo to usher in next generation for Sony
Rumors of a more powerful PlayStation 4 codenamed “Neo” started emerging in March on video game blog Kotaku. The new console is expected to be much more powerful than the existing PlayStation 4 in order to support more demanding games, display 4K, and for the upcoming PlayStation VR headset.
Andrew House, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, had confirmed an updated version of the PS4 was on the drawing board in a pre-E3 interview with the Financial Times in June. While the console wasn’t shown or mentioned at the annual gaming conference, the story confirmed the “Neo” codename, the fact that the new console would offer enhanced Ultra HD 4K graphics, and that it would “sit alongside and complement the standard PS4.”
The Neo isn’t the PlayStation 5, but rather something like a “PS4.5,” promising updated graphics on existing titles while keeping compatibility with the game library between both levels of PS4 models.
4K and virtual reality gaming requires top-tier gaming machines, and many PC gamers have been steadily buying new and improved graphics cards for their computers. As the PlayStation 4 was released three years ago and has what many consider to be outdated technology, it could potentially be a bottleneck for running demanding virtual reality video games.
If a smooth, glitch-free gaming experience is what you are looking for, a game needs to run at a consistent frame rate at 60 fps or above. Since the virtual reality screen is also very close to your eyes, a high resolution is also required. The existing PlayStation 4 will support the upcoming VR headset, but the Neo is the console that will truly let the device shine.
In addition to VR, the Neo is also intended to be used with 4K television sets. The console is set to support 4K movies, TV shows, as well as games. Additionally, all upcoming games for the Neo will also be available for the existing PS4 – Sony doesn’t want to fragment its user base.
We will keep a close eye on any upcoming rumors or reports regarding the PlayStation Neo, and will keep our readers updated with information as soon as it becomes available.