Today at 3 p.m. Eastern (noon Pacific) at the PlayStation Theater in New York City, Sony is going to tell the world about some of its new products and you can watch it right here. But you don’t have to wait for many of the details because we’re going to tell you what to expect.
Sony has kept today’s event, which it is calling PlayStation Meeting, a secret. It hasn’t said what will show up on stage in Midtown Manhattan. But secrets require keepers, and Sony’s secret keepers are lacking in the lip-sealing department. We already know a lot, and we’re going to share that with you now.
PlayStation 4 Neo
This is the big one. Sony has confirmed that it is making an upgraded PS4 featuring more powerful components. It hasn’t said much else about the device, but a number of other leaks suggest some of the most important details.
The original PS4 uses an AMD APU that combines both a graphics processor and central processor on one chip. The Neo runs on similar tech, but it is likely incorporating AMD’s new Polaris technology that features a 14nm design. Put simply, this next-gen chip from AMD can render more faster while using less power.
Here are the rumored numbers for the Neo:
- 8 CPU cores running at 2.1 GHz
- GPU with 36 compute units running at 911 MHz
- 8 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 218 GB per second
Compare that to the 2013 PS4:
- 8 CPU cores at 1.6 GHz
- An 800 MHz GPU with 18 CUs
- 8 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 176 GB per second
All of this means the PS4 Neo will be able to run games faster and at a higher resolution.
Sony wants the PS4 Neo for a few reasons. One of those is that mobile devices like iPads and Nvidia Shield tablets are going to get close to the power of the PS4 and Xbox One soon. Embracing more power means Sony can ensure consumers continue to see a reason to own a console.
But, more important than that, a more powerful system that can take advantage of upcoming technologies, like 4K displays with HDR, means Sony can charge more money. A new PS4 sells for $350. The PS4 Neo will likely cost more than that. This will give Sony a higher average sales price, which is something that will help its bottom line.
A costlier device will require Sony to sell gamers on why this is necessary. Expect the company to show off the benefits of the Neo’s capabilities with games running at a higher resolution and a faster framerate. But Sony will also make a big deal of telling its current customers why the original PS4 is still great. This means that you’ll hear about how every game will work on both systems, and you won’t see Neo-exclusive modes in any games.
Sony has a major challenge here of making the PS4 Neo look enticing without upsetting people who just spent $350 to $400 on the PS4 over the last three years.
PlayStation 4 Slim
Sony hasn’t announced the PS4 Slim — and yet, the internet already has a teardown video of the system.
Retailers around the world have reportedly got this device in their backrooms, and you should expect Sony to announce that these devices are up for sale very soon.
Sleeker with small improvements
The Slim is smaller and quieter, but other than that it is still the same PS4. Sure, you can expect physical buttons instead of the dreaded touch sensors on the original, and the system now has a matte finish. But this is still going to play the PS4 games the same way the PS4 always has.
Sony has already told us a great deal about the PSVR. The virtual reality head-mounted display will debut October 13 alongside a number of games. It sells for $500 and requires only the original 2013 PS4 to work.
It’s possible that Sony won’t mention PSVR at the event today, but with the launch imminent, it’ll probably use this opportunity to remind the world about the system.
At event like the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles earlier this year, Sony demonstrated PSVR like Batman: Arkham VR, Final Fantasy XV, and more. But Sony should tell us more about these games and anything else it has in the works for people who pick up the headset next month.
Like with the Neo, Sony will have to choose its words carefully with PSVR. If it mentions the headset during the event, it could give people the impression that they need to buy the more expensive Neo for the VR system to work. That isn’t the case, and Sony will need to reinforce that to avoid any confusion.
Anything we don’t already know?
While many of Sony’s announcements have leaked, the company may have something gamers don’t already know about. Maybe that’s a game. Maybe that’s some new handheld. More than likely, Neo and Slim are the only new products we’ll see today.
Don’t worry, Sony. We’ll pretend to be surprised.