"High-Power" PS4 Model Something Sony Might Consider, Exec Says Hypothetically

Right now, it's just talk, but executive Masayasu Ito says it's an idea that Sony hasn't ruled out.

311 Comments

Sony might consider offering a "high-performance" model of the PlayStation 4, a system that the company has already repeatedly referred to as the "world's most powerful console." That's according to Sony Computer Entertainment senior vice president Masayasu Ito, who was asked for his thoughts in a new interview about offering a new PS4 model with better performance sometime down the road.

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Speaking with Japanese gaming publication 4Gamer, as translated by DualShockers, Ito said because the PS4 uses X86 architecture (unlike the PlayStation 3's Cell processor), improvements to performance can be made over time. However, Ito stressed that Sony has no immediate plans to introduce a technically superior PS4 model; he also explained that the bigger question is if Sony would actually want to do this at all.

Offering a beefier PS4 model would conceivably split the PS4 audience, which doesn't sound like something Sony would want to do at this stage with the PS4 enjoying such strong sales and momentum. Whether or not Sony would have some solution to fracturing its audience remains to be seen. It's also important to note that Ito was speaking hypothetically after he was asked a direct question. Still, he said releasing a higher-power PS4 model alongside the existing one is an idea that "might be considered."

Consoles do not typically receive major updates of this nature. Revisions historically come in the form of things like better energy use and smaller overall form factor, while technical performance usually remains locked from the start of the console generation to the end.

GameSpot has reached out to Sony for additional comment on the matter. We'll update this post with anything we hear back.

There is some precedent, however, in the portable gaming world. In 2014, Nintendo released a New Nintendo 3DS model with improved CPU performance that it sells alongside the regular model. This beefed-up system plays all Nintendo 3DS games and many from the Nintendo DS and DSi libraries; some games, however, are playable only on the New Nintendo 3DS, as they leverage its increased power.

Would you be interested in a PS4 with improved performance? Let us know in the comments below.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for quintex96
quintex96

Sony would really end up shooting themselves in the foot if they did this, Microsoft will likely pull ahead as multiple PS4's with different performances will only end up splitting the audience and the consoles selling less overall.

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DannyDouble

@quintex96: I don't think so. I think millions of people would just buy the new console.. people love new hardware. People do not want to wait every 10 years for a new console. Plus iphone has a new phone every year and they are much more powerful than the prior ones and everyone still plays all the same games with varying models and it works fine even in multiplayer games.. So i dont know whats the excuse of why consoles can't have varying hardware (besides an even playing experience which the developers can always cap the framerate if need be)

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NiceMouse

So basically upscaling existing games like upgrading a graphics card on a pc would probably be the case.

Probably support 4k for existing games too.

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cojuelodevil

I wouldn't mind if the take back my old ps4 and I pay the different

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berzerk0912

If this is going to be a Super PS4 why not throw in the cell chip from the PS3 for BC.

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NiceMouse

@berzerk0912: I'd buy that!

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ConsoleHaven

Game engine optimization will push the consoles harder. I expect PS5 to be backwards compatible if Sony keeps the same architecture, so, a higher spec console every five years would make sense now. Or even an upgradable console where you swap out a module every five years and not have to pay for a new HDD and blu ray player and controller every console generation.

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jecomans

If there was the option to have a PS4 that could play all the 30fps exclusives at 60fps, I would buy it. Or devs could just start prioritizing gameplay over visual fidelity.

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alexhammersley

So if they brought out a higher powered PS4, in thoery could it run the same games but at a higher resolution / FPS? But also be able to play people on the lower powered PS4? Like PCs? If yes i'm 100% up for this, iPad do this every year and it works, plus iPads are more expensive!!

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berzerk0912

I'll trade in my current PS4 for a beefier one. I got no problem with that.

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Angrypcgamenerd

It might be a bad idea to beef up the console. It would cause a lot of confusion and disappointment between those who got a PS4 a year ago (or so) and realized that there is a buffed up console that give out outstanding performance towards the older model and better compatibility than the older versions. Even so, why call it the PS4 anyways and try to add another console with better performance? They would have called it the Playstation 5 if they had to and say that it would offer the best buffed out console than the PS4. But trying to say something like the New PS4 is not something that they should do.

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ishsgames

I think Sony made a lot good decisions architecture wise, but these are a few things i think could of been done to make hardware better and development a bit easier. Sony, should of developed a console such that the console retailed for $500. That extra $100 could probably allowed an early "Tonga" architecture or an enhanced APU to be implemented. Considering the ps4 absolutely dominates the console market all over the world, Sony shouldn't have a shred of anxiety for return of investment.....

Microsoft on the other hand should of seriously considered a $400 console with hardware similar to the actual ps4, and immediately integrate x1 with PC as supposed to showing hesitation and negligence. Considering the shared API's between xbox and PC for over 10 years, i think at this point of time it would reasonable for MS to have at least devised a way to make optimization easier once a game is ported.....I am sure Spencer would of probably considered that.

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stalepie

@ishsgames: It dominates the console market in part because of its price at the time of release. One of the biggest reasons the PS3 was slow to take off was because of its high initial price.

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Marky360

I think releasing a new PS4 with improved performance would be a bad move. The advantage to consoles is you don't have to worry about specs. You know every game available for the console will work because the game was built with the consoles specs in mind. The advantage to programmers is there is no guess work involved they know the specific hardware capabilities of the platform they are developing for and don't have to instead develop for a multitude of configurations with different specs and capabilities. You introduce a newer more powerful version of the PS4 then you kill all that and the gamer would be better served buying a PC then a gaming console because they could upgrade it on their own over time. Even a pre-built PC would be a better option if Sony really did introduce a higher spec'd PS4.

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justerthought

@Marky360:

It's a great idea. All your list of negatives won't exist.

You won't have to worry about specs because the PS4 architecture is scaleable so everything will happen automatically. They could sell a PS4 standard and a PS4 elite at the same time depending on what you can afford.

There is no guess work by programmers either because they just make the game automatically detect the hardware and set the quality between two preset states.

If you pop a game in the PS4 Elite, the game will set itself to run with PC max graphics at 60fps, if you pop it in the PS4 standard, the game will set itself to run with PC mid/high graphics at 30fps.

That would be a real nice solution if they can pull it off. There is no reason why they cannot. I will definitely upgrade to a PS4 Elite.

.

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k9kal85

@justerthought: Except none of what you said is that easy. You are basically asking developers to make a game they will run at two completely different specs. That would make game development longer, more expensive, and difficult. Or at worse developers would have to make two versions of the game. One for the old PS4 and one for the new PS4. Plus you have to think about integration between standard PS4 owners and people who own the more powerful PS4. You are potentially separating your own player base. That would kill everything Sony has done so well this generation. There is a reason why no one does this kind of thing anymore, because in the past it has failed miserably. Ask Sega. Sony needs keep this idea a idea.

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Croxus

NO! just no! MS would follow suit and not before long, we will need an annual upgrade...

There is a golden rule about the consoles and thats that the gamer doesnt have to invest on new hardware every couple of years. They should have thought an upgrade option, maybe next gen.And why would Sony want to upgrade in the first place, devs have yet to learn how to harness its power. PCs are still lagging behind, with prime example pc batman.

So there is no real pressure from the PCs as long as game devs look them down.

And the xbone is not even able to render 1080p games, so they are more likely to push for an upgrade first in order to reach the full HD era, by the time they do thgat, Sony should be getting ready for 4k. 4k is not yet mainstream, there is no content for it and only a very small percentage off customers have one.

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justerthought

@croxus:

Your golden rule still stands. You won't have to invest in new hardware every two years. Nobody is forcing you. You can stay where you are and still play all the future games but at the quality your PS4 standard will allow.

Those that upgrade to a PS4 Elite will buy the same games as you but the console will be automatically running them at PC max graphics 60fps with a 4TB hard dive, while your PS4 standard will run the game at PC mid/high graphics 30fps with a 500GB hard drive.

The only reason to complain is if you're sucking sour grapes and want to deny other gamers from having better than you, keeping everyone at the lowest common denominator. Times are changing. Console are becoming more like PC's so scaleability is now on the cards.

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Baconstrip78

Why not take a baby step and make the PS5 backward compatible...?

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justerthought

@Baconstrip78:

The answer is because the PS5 is over 5 years away and yes it will be backwards compatible because Playstation is now running a PC architecture from now on.

The PS4 architecture is now scaleable so they are considering a PS4.5 or PS4 Elite right now. Not 5 years time. I would buy it day one.

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chriswilkes509

Sony computer entertainment america to release a PS4 slim model that has more power but does not get has hot and make a 1TB PlayStation 4 hard disk drive system

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justerthought

@chriswilkes509:

A more efficient slim version is not what is being considered here. They are considering ramping up the power to make a PS4 Elite.

A PS4 slim will still run future games at PC mid/high graphics at 30fps same as the standard PS4, but a PS4 Elite could be running the same game at PC max graphics at 60fps.

Do you see the difference. This is a game changer.

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k9kal85

@justerthought: Except the PS4 can't run games at PC Max Graphics and never will. Unless they come out with $1000+ PS4. Consoles will never again compete with PC performance.

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Mickeyminime

as much as i'm up for it, deep down, its a bad idea. PS4 is both powerful and better than the X1 in all ways, there is no need to make it even more powerful or better than it already is. Think about using the money on more exclusives or better PSN or even better internet security. Save the more powerful console for the PS5. Thats what MS will try to do. I can't imagine they would want to make the same awful mistake that was made with the X1 and all.

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RazeAndJadith

If they mean High Power then great! But if they mean another weak APU then no.

People saying they are worried about needing to buy another console don't need to. They can easily release a more powerful PS4 that is x86 compatible with the old one and games can be compatible in the other direction. Most modern game engines can easily scale down to 7850 level GFX load like the PS4 or have all the glorious eye candy like we see on PC with gtx 980ti. With this generation being full x86 compatible and the PS4 being a variation of OPENGL we could see this type of mid gen upgrade that wouldn't cause issue for 1 iteration users and 2nd. Also, VULCAN being based on opengl would be very nice to see on the consoles.

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elessarGObonzo

the only arguments here i see are people complaining that they are or would be stuck with a lower quality version. the others that could afford the newer higher quality version seem to think it's a great idea.

if you're gaming on a PC and stuck @ 30fps it would be great if all it took was $50-100 more to have a constant 60fps system. it's the same theory; the consoles now may cost $350 but for $400-450 they could easily make an upgraded version with newer hardware that ran better. same software, same OS, just more efficient and more powerful hardware.

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kazeswen

@elessarGObonzo: Because it defeats the whole purpose of home consoles. If you want tiered performance based on your hardware spend, they game on PC. That's what PCs are for, multi-tiered gaming based your ability to spend on hardware. Console gaming is based the philosophy that everyone gets the same game on every machine.

You change that and consoles and PCs become one in the same, if that happens, why ever bother playing console games, it costs more and the performances are varied.

You cannot make the argument that making consoles the same as PCs as being a good thing, because PC games are more less free, consoles would lose massive leverage in the market place.

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justerthought

@elessarGObonzo:

I agree, but those gamers are stuck on the lower quality version anyway whether the PS4 Elite comes out or not, so why suck sour grapes and try to deny other gamers from upgrading.

The PS4 now has a scaleable architecture, so they could produce a PS4 standard and PS4 Elite side by side and make all games automatically set the quality depending on which hardware is detected by the game.

Those gamers have no justification trying to keep everyone on the lowest common denominator. It's all about customer choice. If you can afford it, buy the PS4 Elite, if not, just buy what you can afford. Same as everything else in life.

I bet a load of PC gamers would jump ship if a PS4 Elite came out for just $450 and was running the latest games on PC max graphics at 60fps. It would be a no brainer for anyone with common economic sense.

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BarcaAzul

Seems daft even talking about this!

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wearelegion5000

What surprises me is that it took Sony two years to admit that their console had been underpowered at launch. M$ is still in denial though.

Avatar image for kazeswen
kazeswen

Bad idea. Consoles are supposed to have a unified performance standard no game should ever look better on one system over another in the same generation.

That's the whole point of consoles, as soon as you start to create performance gaps between consoles in the same family you lose userbase, because you essentially become a PC, so why would people not just use a PC and steal the games for free.

Consoles have dominated due to one reason, unified performance. You remove unified performance and its all over.

Why would anyone buy a game on a console when they can just pirate it for free on PC? The reason has always been console's unified performance. You remove that and consoles become pointless.

P.S Great job on Sony's exec, he just killed half their holiday sales, now people are gonna hold off on getting a PS4. Dumb move Sony.

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HarlemStruggle

@kazeswen: LOL @ just killed half holiday sales.

Why would you even say something so ridiculous? You had a good point then just had to crap all over yourself eh?

Avatar image for justerthought
justerthought

@kazeswen:

Why not. Times change. Get use to it.

There is nothing wrong with a two tier system. We are not talking open ended totally unlimited hardware configurations like PC. We are talking about two tiers of unified performance.

According to your argument, if I bought a Sony TV, they would not be able to bring out a higher quality version a year later because I would feel I just wasted my money. The TV would still work the same as it did when I bought it, so what's the problem. It's just sour grapes trying to prevent other consumers having better than you.

Avatar image for kazeswen
kazeswen

@justerthought: Explain to me what the difference is from consoles and PCs if you introduce multi-tiered game performance? A console becomes a PC when you strip consoles of unified performance across the board.

So, if my console is the same as a PC, and I'm paying 60 bucks for a nerfed version of a game, why on Earth would I bother gaming on consoles? When I can spend money and build a PC and get all my games for FREE and not spend a penny on Sony's expensive monthly servers fees?

If a console is no different than a PC, then I choose to game on PC everytime, because A) its free no DRM, and I pirate everything. B) No monthly server Plus Account fees.

The Only reason I play console games is for its unified game performance, you remove that and I'm choosing free games on PC everytime. I couldn't care less about ethics, I'll save my money and just get everything for free and Only spend money on upgrading my PC performance.

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Trifler

I think this would be a plus. The key would be to make games that can benefit from improved frame rates or other graphics settings, and avoid making games that will only run on the higher end version. Basically, give the games some adjustable graphics settings like PCs have (but fewer).

I do agree with some other comments on here that new purchases would shift heavily to the more powerful version, but that's not a problem. As long as the existing owners of the less powerful version aren't left behind, and the games all run on both versions, it's all good IMO. If they get to the point that there are games that only run on the newer system, then it should be called the PS5 rather than a more powerful PS4.

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ConsoleHaven

Just an additional thought, higher ups should Never ever discuss this kind of possibility, no matter how remote, to the press, even for the sake of transparency and honesty towards customers, until the project is rock solid and real. Especially when enjoying such strong sales. Way to kill sales momentum if the 'news' spreads like wildfire.

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ConsoleHaven

I would be interested in a better performing ps4. 4 years from now. And while you're at it, may as well call it the PS5. In all honesty, the console market could benefit from having hardware that is upgradeable, if it was a really simple procedure even a two year old could do; there was a clear indication of when the upgrade was released and if there are any better ones on the market; cost between 100-200 at most, and released no sooner than four years from the previous upgrade. If Sony or MS engineered a console like that, it would mean much lower production costs. It would be great not having to pay for a new controller, hdd, and disc player every console generation. Developers could still leverage a homogenous hardware ecosystem against engine optimization to keep software development at manageable costs, and mean a lower risk to The console manufacturer. But, please, don't repeat Sega's mistake of releasing constant console upgrades and attachments. This will drive people away from consoles altogether.

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MecaEcco

This would put me out of gaming. I moved to Europe from the U.S. My Xbox one is bricked because I tried to use the power adapter and it fried on the 240 V. Then I can't get games in the U.K. because the downloadable content is region specific (when the discs aren't). The whole process is confusing and a pain in the ass. Add to it that the one system that kinda works over here for me (the PS4) will possibly not play all PS4 games and I just give up...

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toffifee

If they did this, I would switch to Xbone. I buy consoles because I know that I will be able to play all the games that comes out for that console. Making a better version of it, like with the 3DS, is just idiotic and is one of the reasons I dislike Nintendo.

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nbf4548

It's a very interesting idea. Especially if this console generation is 8 or 10 years long. If there was a PS4.5 in a few years that shares the same game library but perhaps plays them at higher graphical settings that would be pretty awesome. PC games are already very scale-able this way. Somebody with a monster computer can run something at 1440p at over 120hz, while I run the same thing at 1080p 60hz. The PS4 is running a lot of stuff at 900p.

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justin4444

If they make exclusive games for the high powered one, then its just like making a PS5.. I even consider PS4 as PS3.5 because its just a little better than its predecessor.

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XenomorphAlien

So, they're just going to alienate the fanbase too?

Looks like everyone did it by now.

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PNOVA

do it sony, just do it

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TunaRage

The tech is advancing faster than the market can keep up. Devs are pushing the limits and the consumers are expecting them to. In 3-4 years we will either see cloud based computing fully integrated with the current gen or a new generation of consoles in that are not only more powerful to begin with, but will also draw power from the cloud.

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sainraja

How they time the introduction of the beefier console is what is important. If they introduce a beefier PS4, after 4 years, they could be successful. I am surprised not many have said this....

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Justicar_1

Were it to be the same price or cheaper, yes I would.

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atakanovic

PS4 already killed WiiU and Xbone now its time to kill PCs. All hail the PS4 Master Race!!!

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justerthought

Sony should definitely produce a PS4 Elite along side the PS4 classic. Those that can afford the enhanced PS4 will do so, and those that can't will buy the standard edition PS4. That's fair. You pay for what you get, so it suits everybody's budget. It's would be wrong to allow budget gamers to hold back the potential by setting the quality to the lowest common denominator.

Ideally, the PS4 Elite should include a 4TB hard drive (2x 2TB slots) and economic power consumption. CPU capacity should be doubled and include 4 GB of DDR3 RAM for low latency CPU access. CPU latency is the weakest link right now, causing controller latency and jerky frame rates. An additional 4GB of GDDR5 for games and a more powerful high end AMD GPU would seal the deal making a high performance console.

All future games could be optimised as usual for the current PS4's, but allow additional hardware to be used if present in an enhanced PS4 to further improve the frame rate and controller latency. The game could automatically switch to max PC settings at 60fps when it detects PS4 Elite hardware.

Hardware scaleability similar to PC is the way to go for consoles. Sony should be working on systems that allow that to happen.

In the mean time, Sony should manufacture a PS4 hard drive expansion module that clips onto the left side of the original PS4, adding an extra 3TB of hard drive space alongside the original hard drive, using a plug and play installation. All PS4 gamers would benefit from that add-on, so we don't have to delete games to make space.

The PS4 Elite could even be sold as a bundle with the hard drive expansion module making a total of 7TB hard drive space. That would take the PS4 right to the end of its lifespan without gamers having to delete the games they buy. Gamers will then buy more games because we are passing on certain games we want because we don't have the hard drive space for them without deleting our favourite games.