According to the latest rumors, the hypothetical new version of the Sony PS4 (dubbed PS4K or PS4.5) is more than hypothetical, to the point that some have even claim to know what will integrate new hardware. What is ringing trueue in recent days is that Sony could use an AMD Polaris GPU, namely a Polaris 10 with 2,304 stream processors.
The PlayStation 4K is known internally as “NEO” within Sony (or so they say, because we should remember that there is no confirmation from the brand), and leaving aside the controversy of whether or not a hardware upgrade of the current PS4 is necessary, or whether it would be better to launch a completely new console, certainly a performance boost to the Sony console would suit it well. And how is this achieved? Logically with more powerful hardware and better optimization of the games.
According to Giant Bomb, the Sony PS4K will feature a custom SoC from AMD, but this time with a far more powerful GPU than any of the current generation ones. Specifically they talk about “an 8 core processor based on the Jaguar architecture and operating at 2.1 Ghz (Note that the current SoC operates at 1.6 Ghz) accompanied by a GPU with 36 compute units (CUs) based on the next-generation architecture Graphics Core Next“.
There is no talk of any concrete graphics, as you may have noticed, but if we look back to what we know about AMD’s “next architecture Graphics Core Next”, those 36 CUs sound much like the Ellesmere chip (Polaris 10) that will be used by the Radeon R9 480, a chip that has 2,304 Stream Processors, which means precisely twice the 1,152 that the current SoC of the PlayStation 4 from Sony has.
According to the source, they also assume that the SoC will be accompanied with 8 GB GDDR5 dedicated memory (which could very well be GDDR5X in our opinion) under a 256-bit bus. It would be, as it is well know, shared memory between the system and GPU, as it is in the current generation PlayStation 4. If so, the memory would have a bandwidth of 218 GB/s versus 176 GB/s of the current generation.
Personally I do not know if with this hardware configuration the alleged PlayStation 4K can actually handle games at an Ultra HD/4K resolution (I really doubt this is the case, at least not at a decent FPS rate), but you could loosely handle 1080p at 60 FPS without slumps frames, and of course it would result in a PlayStation that is perfectly capable of handling Sony’s PlayStation VR virtual reality system (which would use the AMD’s LiquidVR technology, of course).
I do not know what will happen at the end, but certainly if Sony follows these paths things are going to paint very well, in my view. We will see then if the price of the new console sticks or gets out of hand, of course.