Reports surfaced earlier this week that Sony is developing an iteration of its PlayStation 4 console, subtlely dubbed the ‘PS4.5’, that will add an incremental upgrade to its hardware capabilities. Digital Foundry is now claiming that it has independently verified these reports.

The site goes on to say that more than one source has referred to the new hardware as the PlayStation 4K and that Sony’s Research and Development division have already developed a prototype.

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It is important to note that while the PS4.5 would boast increased graphics processing power, Digital Foundry says the upgrade is not enough to deliver a robust 4K gaming experience. This graphics processing upgrade may help Sony with its upcoming PlayStation VR as well, but it won’t be able to deliver a true 4K gaming experience akin to a high-end gaming PC.

Digital Foundry then goes on to speculate three paths they believe Sony could be taking to bring such a product to market.

One leverages the new CPU and GPU technology developed by the consoles current chip manufacturer AMD. AMD has since moved on to smaller chip sizes with greater capabilities, and the site suggests Sony may take current off the shelf consoles and fit them with these smaller, more powerful chips.

The second option suggests that Sony could also “scale up the existing [PS4] chip” to allow for select 4K features to be added, but notes that Sony risks fracturing the market they already have in doing so.

The final option would be a slim PS4 similar to the slim PS3 that came out later in the PlayStation 3’s lifecycle, but with “minor boosts to functionality” added.

Could Sony be gearing up to deliver a slimmer, more powerful PS4 like it did with the PS3?

Could Sony be gearing up to deliver a slimmer, more powerful PS4 like it did with the PS3?

It is important to remember that while Digital Foundry has said they have verified the previous reports of the existence of a PlayStation 4K, the three options outlined above are speculation on their part. None of this information has been verified by Sony directly.

In what would seem like a bizarre change of pace for console gamers used to their hardware remaining the same throughout it’s life cycle, the idea of incremental upgrades to previously closed hardware has been floating around more and more recently.

Sony executive Masayasu Ito previously discussed an upgraded version of the PS4, saying the company might consider introducing a “high-power” PS4. In March, Phil Spencer of Microsoft said the company is building towards a future where their Xbox hardware is upgradeable as well.

Hopefully the surfacing of such reports will force Sony’s hand on the matter and we won’t have to wait very long for official confirmation.

What do you think of the PS4.5? Would an upgraded PS4 be a purchase you’d be interested in? Let us know in the comments.

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About The Author

Evan W
Senior Staff Writer/Review/Editorial Writer

Evan discovered gaming with Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis and never looked back. He has spent the last 20 years criss-crossing genres and platforms, and is an equal opportunity rager, breaking consoles and PCs alike. If you spent summer days off from middle school playing classic PC shooters instead of developing a tan and social skills, you've got a friend in him. Mom might not understand the pain of being "180NOSCOPEWTFPWNED, SON!", but he does. Oh, he does.