In case you’ve been hiding under a gaming news rock over the last few days, you’ve certainly heard the leaks/speculation surrounding Sony’s yet-to-be-officially-confirmed-but-almost-certain-to-happen PS4K. Being unconfirmed, it’s hard to know which rumors regarding the new specs, if any, can be believed. Be that as it may, what’s more interesting is the question of exactly how a better CPU/GPU would actually improve the already crisp PS4 experience.
One rumor claims that the GPU will have twice the power as the current PS4, while the specs for the CPU are still up in the air. This would provide more processing power for routinely getting games to 1080p/60fps, and enable upscaling of games not native to the PS4K. A 4K blu ray player would also be on board, but I don’t really see a scenario where a PS4K is shipped without one, so I’d say we can count on that part being true. It should be noted that the likelihood that games will run at 4K resolution is very, very low. Developing a game at 2160p is just too expensive and unlikely to happen until things get cheaper.
There is a lot of speculation out there, but perhaps the best write-up comes from Eurogamer. In fact, their in-depth analysis of what we could expect from Sony is so thorough – and admittedly, over my head – that I’m going to leave the tech discussion to them and devolve into a friend’s theory concerning the release of a PS4K console. The only thing I would add to Eurogamer’s thoughts is that PS4K would likely help PSVR (Playstation VR) in a big way. Since any latency is cause for motion sickness when wearing a VR headset, the extra power would obviously allow for a smoother experience. We won’t know if that’s an issue with PSVR until release, but it stands to reason that PS4K + PSVR will be a superior experience.
That being said, with PSVR due for release this fall, it stands to reason the PS4K won’t arrive until 2017. If for no other reason than asking consumers to purchase $900-$1000 worth of new Sony stuff in one quarter is a tall order. As such, we’re saying Spring 2017 for PS4K. Why spring and not fall 2017? That’s where the prediction really goes off rails.
We finally know that PSVR will have a crisp OLED screen capable of 1080p resolution and is due for release this fall. We are also pretty certain that the PS4K is a thing, and that it will release in 2017, most likely in the spring. So, having already fragmented a market in which Sony has a stranglehold, our bold prediction for fall 2017/spring2018 is PS4KVR, which for the sake of everyone involved, had better have a better name. Heaven forbid some grandma walk into GameStop asking for the PS4 Kevlar for their sweet little grandson.
I think it goes without saying that if you’re going to bother with VR and 4K, you might as well eventually combine them into one piece of super tech. The theory here is that the soon-to-be-released PSVR box will work with either PSVR or PS4KVR (Should it be PSVR4K? Does it matter? I’m just going with PS4 Cadaver.), so the PSVR Fork would essentially be a headset with a higher resolution screen. That would allow for a lower than expected price point. Of course at this point, if you’ve purchased each console/peripheral at launch, you’ve likely dropped almost $1500 on hardware. To which I say, build yourself a gaming PC, buy an Oculus, and be happy with the good life you have.
Shout out to Aaron Helbert for basically predicting everything you just read and giving me permission to put it into words and claim it as my own. Note: He is not responsible for the terrible PS4KVR puns.