There’s been a lot of talk in the last few months of a PS4.5, with improved specs and exclusive games rumoured. This week the rumour mill is in overdrive with the leak of specs for what is being called the PS4 “NEO” with an October release date also touted. The PS4 NEO could mean big trouble for the Xbox One if the rumours are to be believed. Microsoft’s console is already way behind the PlayStation 4 in terms of sales but if a new and improved machine is on its way then it may be the final nail in the coffin for the big black box.
The Xbox One is already inferior in terms of power against the PS4, but the NEO rumoured specs are quite a boost and makes the Xbox One look quite pitiful in comparison. The other upside to the NEO is that Sony will want all developers to include a NEO mode in all PS4 games which will allow the games the run better and look superior, though because it is optional players using older PS4’s will not be left in the dark. Take a look below at the comparison chart and the rumoured specs for the Neo:
|PS4 NEO||PS4 ORIGINAL||XBOX ONE|
|8 Jaguar Cores at 2.1 GHz||8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6 GHz||8 Jaguar Cores at 1.75 GHz|
|36 CUs at 911 MHz||18 CUs at 800 MHz||14 CUs at 853 MHz|
|8 GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s||8 GB GDDR5, 176 GB/s||8GB DDR3 RAM and 32MB Esram, 204 GB/s (102 In/102 Out)|
If these specs are to be believed (according to several sources they are and an E3 unveiling is likely) then the Xbox One is in big trouble and sales could take a big hit. It would be a big blow as Microsoft has done a lot of work to try and win back the favour of gamers with the Xbox One after its early fumbling.
What Does Microsoft Have Up Its Sleeve?
Well this is where it gets interesting. Microsoft is said to be already preparing its own updated console and in fact, rumours about an updated Xbox One surfaced well before that of the PS4 Neo. Since the launch of the two consoles back in 2013, the Xbox One has been trailing behind its counterpart, with the PS4 beating the Xbox One practically every month. Microsoft claims to be happy in second place but you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be itching at the opportunity to one-up its competition and an updated console that is more powerful than the competition could work wonders for Microsoft.
When you look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we’ve ever seen. You’ll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible- Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox Division
Microsoft has worked tirelessly to try and repair the damage to its brand and consistently updating the Xbox One to make the system a far better console then what was originally shipped. Improving the UI, loosening on their restrictive policies, adding backward compatibility and making more of an effort in producing a decent amount of exclusive titles has helped the console’s credibility by a mile but its simply not enough to close the gap with the PS4 and its enormous sales lead. Nothing concrete has been revealed about the rumoured console upgrade but we have heard Phil Spencer talk about how if such a thing was to happen then it would have to work with all gamers and not alienate anyone and be a substantial upgrade. Basically they’d need to implement the same optional, increased specs mode the NEO games are rumoured to have, allowing them to work with both old and new consoles and not having exclusive titles that will only work on the upgraded console (like how the new 3DS did).
who knows maybe the Xbox Two is already better than the “NEO”
If these rumours regarding the NEO are true (and they do appear to be extremely credible rumours) then it allows Microsoft to analyse the data and decide whether or not its upgraded console can go head to head and close the sizeable gap. Microsoft does not have to beat Sony to punch either; it could even wait for the Neo to launch and then immediately launch a significantly more powerful upgrade to the Xbox One soon thereafter. Ideally for Microsoft, it would have enough time to increase the specs to better its rivals before unveiling the console. Who knows though, maybe the Xbox Two is already better than the NEO and Phil Spencer and his cohorts are secretly high fiving themselves knowing they may just pull themselves back into the race?
Do you like the sound of the Neo? Will you buy one? What about the “Xbox Two” and what do you want from that? Let us know in the comments below (no registration necessary)
[UPDATE]- Reports today suggest that Microsoft has been testing out new Xbox prototypes with upgraded components that are usually used to improve the performance of PC gaming rigs, further adding fuel to the fire that an new version of the Xbox One is on the way.