The rumors were true and Sony has essentially made an announcement — an upgraded version of PlayStation 4 (PS4 Neo, if you will) is in development.
A comprehensive 42-page document the company provided to developers to explain the reason behind the upgrade and what it’s looking for in terms of supporting content have shed some light on the PS4 Neo, covering everything from development tricks to reach 4K resolution in games to dates for when prototype units can be expected.
A few things stand out, notably that, similar to the Xbox One Scorpio, the Neo will coexist with the original PS4. Both consoles will use the same store, system software, application package and online services.
PS4 games released in October 2016 or later should be able to support both systems.
Although the upgraded PS4 is aimed at 4K TV owners, HDTV users should still see benefits like improved graphical fidelity or higher frame-rate. In fact, the console will be able to detect your TV’s resolution output and adjust accordingly.
Sony is leaving it up to developers to decide whether or not they would release patches to make their older games compatible with Neo. The aim, however, is to have existing games run on the new console as they do on the regular PS4.
The documents (a few highly informative pages can be found below) also provide some interesting details on the technical aspects of the console, such as rendering techniques used to reach acceptable frame-rates on very high resolutions.
As for when we can expect to see the PS4 Neo, the company mentioned different release dates for various prototype units. The release date for a mass-produced unit, presumably a consumer version, is still TBD.