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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.

Nintendo NX
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.

Conclusion?

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

Tags: PlayStation 4, PS4, PlayStation 4K, PS4K, Nintendo NX

4/13/2016 3:49:02 PM Gordon Turner

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Legacy Comment System (6 posts)


Jawknee
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 @ 5:21:56 PM
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Lol this is little to nothing to do with Nintendo and everything to do with VR I believe.

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TheHighlander
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 @ 5:36:08 PM

I wouldn't be so sure about that Nintendo is still golden in Japan. If Nintendo drops the NX and it's perceived to be better in Japan, PS4 could suffer there.

I think it's highly likely that PS4K covers 3 bases all at one time. It's 4K video & game output, PlayStation VR in one box and a preemptive answer to Nintendo NX.

It's entirely coincidental of course but the October launch of PlayStation VR, coincides with the rumored launch of the PS4K, and handily ties in with the likely launch window for Nintendo NX. I can't help wondering whether Sony will have a new more mainstream price sensitive range of 4K screens arriving around about October too...and a whole new expansion of the Ultra streaming service which will be 6 months old by then, or even 4K via PlayStation Vue...

There are several threads flailing around begging to be tied together here, and Answering Nintendo NX is just one of them.

Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/13/2016 5:41:02 PM

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Hexen
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 @ 7:47:17 PM
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It will be interesting if all three companies end up releasing a new system this year, I'm actually excited to see how this all plays out.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 @ 10:48:39 PM
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I doubt Nintendo's presence has much bearing on Sony's marketing decisions directly for the time being.

If this PS4K is a legitimate increase in tech (while I still doubt it) I suspect it would be, in part, to break the hard reset of the standard platform cycle in an attempt to secure their market dominance.

Why? Console manufacturers create the most market share risk for themselves when they transition into a new gen of hardware.

Sony may be attacking this fact directly in an attempt to dissolve the need to totally reset your gaming library and user-base by switching to a more incrementive model. Where there's scaleable architectures, having trans-hardware compatibility between software titles.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/13/2016 10:53:10 PM

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TheHighlander
Thursday, April 14, 2016 @ 1:45:03 PM

The problem with scalable architectures in consoles though is that you fragment your customers, and give them more reasons over time to migrate to other platforms. If your platform remains constant then your customers know that the existing investment in games that they have made is safe. Keeping the number of platform changes low helps reinforce the value of the game library players collect.

If the console changed every 3 years making the prior one obsolete, there would be far less reason to stay with one over another.
That's because of the simple fact that the game library no longer has as much value, and no longer creates as much inertia for the buyer considering a change to overcome.

This is one of the core problems I have, and always have had with going to a commodity architecture like x86. Because commodity hardware ages relatively fast, you have to be ready to perform a platform refresh earlier than on a less commodity system.

Making scalable systems that retain backward compatibility is 'fine'... Except by creating a new and better console every three years or so, you place all your customers on a treadmill that they clearly did not wish to participate in. If they did, they'd already have a gaming PC and wouldn't need your console.

Even a scalable architecture that retains backwards compatibility still creates a problem because the cycle of obsolescence has been shortened to 3 years. Essentially, every three years or so, everyone is told, "Hey, these new games will look like crap on your newly obsolete console."

These are all facets of PC gaming that I did not want to fart around with, and still do not wish to get sucked into. 3 years is too damned short for a console lifecycle.

PC gamers might be used to that upgrade treadmill, but as I said, a lot of console owners consciously avoid that by going console, and the others take a longer view because of price sensitivity. A 3 year churn cycle is a comparatively expensive console lifecycle. I don't think that price sensitive game console buyers will appreciate that.

Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/14/2016 1:46:26 PM

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Bio
Thursday, April 14, 2016 @ 8:06:40 PM
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Sony has zero reason to worry about Nintendo. They don't even compete in the same arena, anymore.

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