Chances are pretty good that you’ve heard the whispers both Microsoft and Sony are considering upgraded hardware for their respective consoles, and GameStop’s COO has said during their official investor day that the launch of these new consoles is ‘imminent’.
Tony Bartel, GameStops Chief Operating Officer spoke of multiple upcoming launches. We can obviously attribute one of those to Nintendo’s NX hardware – which is rumored to be released by the years end. The NX has quite a few of its own rumors, including that it will offer performance up to 30 percent higher than Sony’s PlayStation 4 (which is currently the faster of the two systems available).
Speaking of the PlayStation 4, rumors persist Sony is indeed working on a new machine. Supposedly this upgraded hardware will tout about twice the GPU performance of the ‘vanilla’ launch model, meaning its GPU will put out about 3.6 to 4TFLOPS of performance.
It’s less certain how the other specifications of the PlayStation 4K will fair, but word is that Sony are considering a faster processor (to keep up with the GPU) and possibly more RAM. As we’ve discussed here at RedGamingTech a few times, the 4K in the name likely isn’t referring necessarily to the graphical ability of the PS4, but instead the ability of the machine to play 4K Blu-Rays and stream 4K content, something the original PS4 isn’t capable of.
Switching to camp Microsoft, and things are a little less clear. Despite Phil Spencer suggesting Microsoft were considering an upgraded machine, he quickly recanted, and said they weren’t considering it. More recently he said that he totally understood Sony’s interest in the PS4.5 / Playstation 4K, but he was only interested in ‘big numbers’ – suggesting that the Xbox Next would be considerably more powerful than the current Xbox One system.
Most recently, a few FCC filings have hinted Microsoft may indeed be working on new Xbox models, and while one of them is (from what we can understand) based upon the ‘vanilla’ Xbox One, one of them is looking to be a rather different beast. Whether this is a slimline Xbox One or a radical departure from the Xbox One we currently are using today remains to be seen.
It’s fair to say that it’ll be an interesting E3 if these announcements take place simultaneously, and also how the market will react to these announcements, considering neither the Xbox One or the PS4 have been on store shelves for too long. But with gamer’s hungry for Virtual Reality and higher resolution displays
It’s probable that if Sony and Microsoft are working on upgraded hardware, they will probably make use of the upgraded AMD 14nm FinFet process and potentially take advantage of the upgraded Polaris architecture.