Prepare thy wallets; a bunch of new console hardware is nearing release. Due to a series of leaks, we know now that Sony is most likely prepping the announcements of the PS4 Slim and PS4 Neo for their PlayStation meeting on September 7. Incidentally, they held a similar event when showcasing the PS4 for the first time. We released the exclusive story that the PS4 Slim is reported to release September 14 worldwide and rumours point to Sony’s PS4 Neo releasing this year also.
In light of the leaked PS4 Slim, many have doubted the release of Neo this year but here’s why it’s not too insane to stay on course with the rumours that Neo is indeed coming this year. First off, the PS4 Neo has experienced many leaks in the past few months, notwithstanding a 40+ page official document leak.
Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry who were first to leak specific hardware specs also report that its very unlikely the Neo specs have changed.
The biggest obstacle to a Neo specs boost is rather more mundane in nature though – production timescales. A 2016 release date is looking likely and we could even see Neo on shelves as soon as October, meaning that the console spec would have been nailed down many, many months ago. This is the reality of creating a mainstream consumer electronics device with a production run in its millions. The processor would have been in production for some time, and the memory module deal would have been completed many months ago – probably way ahead of the Scorpio specs reveal.
Of course, the release date could be pushed back but then all that would mean is Sony sits on a ton of Neo stock which not only makes the hardware susceptible to leaks such as the PS4 Slim but also means Sony would miss out on the holiday rush. Another advantage they would hand over to their competitor is 4K/HDR compatibility. Leaks suggest the Slim PS4 doesn’t boast these features so it only makes sense that Sony plans on releasing the Neo this year as their 4K premier machine to go alongside the cheaper, more budget-friendly Slim model.
Why not push it into early 2017 then? Well, Nintendo’s NX is set to release in this timescale and two consoles launching in a season where hardware sales are typically low benefits nobody. Nintendo picked this spot likely so they don’t have to go up against the PS4 Slim/Neo this holiday or the Xbox Scorpio next holiday. Again, it doesn’t make business or financial sense for Sony to push the release to early 2017.
Even more unlikely then is that the Neo is released holiday 2017 to coincide with the Scorpio launch. Microsoft’s upgraded Xbox is nothing shy of a “monster” and promises to deliver a true 4K/VR experience and with the official confirmation of the machine at Microsoft’s E3 show this year, you can tell they’re confident they’ll be coming to market with the most powerful console in history.
In case you missed it, here’s what we know about the Scorpio specs thus far:
Scorpio will provide 6-teraflops of GPU power along with 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR gaming. It’ll also have 320GB/s of memory bandwidth and is currently over 4x more powerful than the current Xbox One. The console will likely be able to go toe-to-toe with the brand-new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 which has 6.5 TFLOPs of performance.
It’s not impossible that Sony would delay the Neo to boost the specs comparable to the Scorpio for holiday 2017, except this doesn’t benefit Sony at all. Research and development costs, planning costs, contracts and the whole lot are already in place, Sony wouldn’t just lose a few million dollars if they decided to do this, in reality, they’d probably face hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
The truth is that Sony can afford to give up a power advantage and stick to their plans to release the Neo this year, since 2013 they’ve dominated the market share of console gaming and that lead can be continued if they instead focus on delivering more exclusive games than ever before to really take advtange of the Neo hardware. But for those thinking it’s “insane” to think Neo is releasing this year, it might not be as insane as they think with the NX and Scorpio right around the corner.