Sony landed with some good and bad news for gamers today with the news that its PS4.5 (NEO) is a real thing, but it will not be making its debut at E3 next week. Speaking to the Financial Times, PlayStation head Andrew House confirmed the 4K capable console is in development but is not part of the company's plans for the gaming expo.
Before getting on to the details of the PS4 NEO, Sony's announcement has implications for Microsoft and its plans for the Xbox One. It is almost a certainty that the company will not launch the rumored Xbox One Scorpio at E3, the VR capable version of the console is still more likely for a launch next year.
However, Microsoft now heads into E3 as the only console maker that will be introducing a new machine to the market. The Xbox One slim is expected to land at the event and be more affordable than the current Xbox One. If nothing else, Sony's announcement means the pressure is off Microsoft and the Xbox One Slim will not be overshadowed by a more powerful PS4 NEO.
As for the new PlayStation, now that the NEO is confirmed to exist, when will it launch? It was widely believed that the console would be available in the fall, but that now seems unlikely considering September is only three months away.
A more likely scenario at the moment is that Sony will announce the NEO in a dedicated press event in the fall and then launch it before the Holiday Season in late November.
In his interview with the FT, House said that the PS4.5 will cost more than the PS4 and said the console will support Sony's PlayStation VR headset. He did not delve into specification details but said the device is not a replacement for the current PS4 and that developers only need “small but manageable” work to create games for both PS4 variants.