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Sony Planning More Powerful Version of PlayStation 4 (Report)

The upgraded PS4 will be able to output games at 4K resolution and help with processing virtual reality games

Rather than waiting several more years to release the next generation of PlayStation hardware, Sony is reportedly developing a stopgap that would either upgrade the current model PlayStation 4 or exist as a separate bolstered version of the console, according to a report on Kotaku.

Known as “PS4.5” behind the scenes, the updated console would feature better graphical power and the ability to play games at the 4K screen resolution (3840?–2160) on screens that support it — which is very much a niche thing at this point in time.

The increased graphics capability would also be a bonus for PlayStation VR in the long term, as the standard PS4 is significantly hamstrung in that realm compared with its PC-focused VR competitors, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

For consumers, the prospect of a PS4.5 might be worrisome, as it would be a largely unprecedented move for a game console, which gamers have typically been able to expect to exist as is for as long as a decade before a new model hits the market. Nintendo in 2014 released a more powerful version of its handheld 3DS platform, dubbed “New Nintendo 3DS,” that can play games an older model 3DS cannot. But a 3DS retails for only $200, whereas a PS4 costs $350.

It is not known if the PS4.5, for which Sony began closed-door developer briefings this week at the Game Developer Conference, will play games than can’t be played on the current-model PS4, or if the updated hardware will simply allow for bolstered visuals on games that are made for both models.

A representative for Sony refused TheWrap’s request for comment.