PlayStation 4K intended to launch alongside Nintendo NX?
The rumors around the PlayStation 4K or whatever it will be called continue to roll. What can we learn about PS4 from the reaction of other key players in the Video Game industry? It seems that Sony may be aware of Nintendo's NX plans, and PS4 could be their response to that.
Well, let's just take this with a huge pinch of salt, but...according to information posted by a source known as '10K' at NeoGAF - who has at least been 'verified' by the admins at NeoGAF - the Nintendo NX will be more powerful than the PS4. Not by a huge amount, but noticeably so. This aligns with what we've heard about the Nintendo NX for a long time now. Given the 2 and a half year gap since PS4 launched, it makes sense that Nintendo could launch a system with a bit more oomph, even if they wanted to keep the price lower than PS4's launch price.
Furthermore, it's suggested that the NX will be x86 based, not that this matters quite so much these days. However if NX is based on an x86 architecture with an on-board GPU of some kind it will make life easier for 3rd party developers brining multi-platform games to NX. So, this too makes some sense.
PlayStation 4 & PS4K
PlayStation 4's hardware is set, with the 7th x86 core that Sony unlocked, there's really not a lot left under the hood; unless Sony is hiding the ability to safely overclock the systems by 10-15% from their current clock speed. Somehow I doubt that, it would create a lot of extra heat, and systems would inevitably suffer. The current PS4 is likely unable to respond to the NX directly.
However, the rumors about the PS4K have not really mentioned much about specific performance increases. So, could the PS4K be Sony's ace in the hole for when Nintendo launches NX, allowing Sony to steal some of Nintendo's thunder? In the nearly 3 years since the PS4 design went to manufacture, AMD has had time to tweak the architecture of its’ x86 cores as well as tweak the GPU.
AMD's manufacturing process has improved. The original PS4 APU was manufactured on a 28nm process. About a year ago AMD announced a die-shrink from 28nm to a 20nm process. Even if the only change is a die shrink, the smaller APU consumes less power and allows a higher clock speed. PS4K could be using a smaller APU with a higher clock speed and more efficient design.
Sony first acknowledged the potential of an upgraded PS4 in October 2015. SCE Senior VP Masayasu Ito confirmed in an interview, that there is the possibility of performance improvements over time. The question is whether they should do it or not.
No conclusions, just questions and grains of salt. There are a lot of IF's in this area. We don't know if and when PS4K will launch, we don't know if it even exists yet, we don't know if and when Nintendo NX will officially be announced (E3 anyone?). However we do know that a die shrink has happened with the PS4 APU production. We know Nintendo should be launching the NX this year. Finally, we know that Sony has previously talked of the possibility of an upgraded PS4.
If Nintendo NX is indeed a bit faster than the PS4, could a faster, cooler and possibly quieter, PS4K arrive at the same time. Would such a move by Sony nullify one of the marketing points Nintendo is likely to use?
Related Game(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4K, Nintendo NX
4/13/2016 3:49:02 PM Gordon Turner