Sony have confirmed the existence of Playstation Neo, the improved version of the PS4 that will include upgraded hardware and better graphics. However they have also confirmed that the console will not be making an appearance at E3 – either at their press conference or on the show floor.
The mere fact of Neo’s existence is a pretty big deal – it’s the first time Sony have offered an improved console mid-generational cycle. The plan, according to Sony, is to ensure they maintain their lead over hardware rivals Microsoft and Nintendo.
The latter is debuting their new console, codename NX, later this year with a view to launch in March of next year. The former is rumoured to be ready to release a new, more powerful Xbox next year as well.
Andrew House, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, spoke with the Financial Times about the upgraded console:
“It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4. We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle.
We want to ensure we have a full range of the best experiences on the new system that we can showcase in their entirety. 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 also confirmed that, as with Playstation VR (due for release later this year), the Playstation Neo will be profitable at launch. In the past Sony have sold their hardware at a loss, subsidising this with profits made via software sales. He also added that the investment required to develop Neo has already been accounted for in Sony’s latest financial results.