PlayStation 4.5, Sony’s confirmed mid-generational upgrade, wasn’t on the guest list for E3 2016 as planned, but with news of Xbox and Microsoft pushing ahead with Project Scorpio, more and more information is beginning to come to light regarding the hardware currently codenamed PS4 Neo.
Technical specs and the actual appearance of the console remain up in the air for now, but one thing that is nigh on certain is that PlayStation 4.5 won’t incorporate the PS VR processing box internally.
Come October, the PlayStation VR will launch with an external unit that renders images in virtual reality, essentially splitting the visual output of the PlayStation 4 to display the experience across the headset and TV. And so, when news of Sony’s hardware refresh began to seep online, many had anticipated that the extra processing power would negate the need for PS VR’s complementary unit. According to PlayStation R&D director Richard Marks, though, that simply isn’t the case.
Per Game Informer:
“That box is very particular. We need something that will take the HDMI out of the PS4 and split it into two different places. We need something that will gather the data back from it via USB. It’s not really possible to not have something. It’s doing this correction for the television set. What we do is render the best possible image for the PS4 out of the headset. We want to also show the image on the headset, so we have to undo this weird warping that’s been done for the headset. It’s also 120 frames-per-second for the headset, and most TVs don’t support that. You could potentially put it in [the PS4], but there’s no reason to do that.”
For now, PlayStation 4.5 is without a release window. PlayStation VR, meanwhile, is pegged to arrive across North America and Europe on October 13. We Got This Covered has boots on the ground in Los Angeles, and you can find out our early impressions of Sony’s virtual reality device here.