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  1. #1
    MPV Major Stains's Avatar
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    PS4K Pro/ PS4 Slim




    Following article taken from Eurogamer


    Ever since the mid-generational PlayStation 4 upgrade was revealed, and then confirmed, the big story we've all been chasing is the complete lowdown of the hardware specification. We're still not entirely sure why Sony is looking to release a mid-gen upgrade to its massively successful console, but at least now we have a firmer lock on the technological boosts Sony is bringing to the table, courtesy of this Giant Bomb report.

    Let's take a look at the three core component upgrades:


    CPU: The good news is that there will be a CPU upgrade over the lacklustre x86 cores found in PlayStation 4. The bad news is that the cores themselves have not been changed at all - they have simply been overclocked from 1.6GHz to 2.1GHz - a 31 per cent improvement. As with the current PlayStation 4, one core and a time-slice from another is reserved for the operating system.

    Memory:
    We're still at 8GB of GDDR5, with a 24 per cent boost to bandwidth compared to the original PS4. The current machine uses 5.5gbps memory modules. Basic maths suggests that Sony has pushed this to the same 7.0gbps modules we see on high-end graphics cards like the GTX 980 and GTX 980 Ti. There are some concerns here. The boost to bandwidth isn't exactly huge, it will still be in contention with CPU utilisation (they both share the same interface), and the bandwidth doesn't scale particularly well with the mooted GPU boost, which - to be frank - is massive.

    GPU: This is the most exciting aspect of the spec. Compute unit count doubles from 18 to 36, and clock-speed increases from 800MHz to 911MHz - a 14 per cent increase. That's an overall increase of 2.3x in FLOPs. The question is, what technology is being used here? AMD has created both of its current-gen console processors so far by taking older, off-the-shelf components and disabling a couple of compute units. In effect, Xbox One got the Radeon HD 7790, while PlayStation 4 got a more capable, semi-custom Radeon HD 7870. Here's where things get interesting - the 36 compute unit count cannot comfortably fit any of AMD's existing GPUs. It suggests that Sony and AMD have pushed the boat out, that they are using the upcoming Polaris technology.

    Specifically, 36 compute units paired with a 256-bit memory bus sounds uncannily like the rumoured spec for one of two new Radeon graphics chips AMD has in development, codenamed Polaris 10. AMD itself hasn't revealed any official data on this processor yet, but canny enthusiasts have pieced together the spec by isolating Polaris 10's hardware ID from a Linus kernel submission, then comparing it to a Sisoft benchmark run. Curiously, this Polaris test run is carried out with an 800MHz clock-speed and 6gbps GDDR5 memory - a downgrade from the mooted PS4 spec. Some believe it may be the result of pre-production silicon, but it may also be a simulated run for a laptop variant of the processor where lower clocks are a prerequisite.
    polaris

    Assuming Neo benefits from AMD's new Polaris technology, we'll see a bunch of useful efficiency enhancements from the revised architecture as well as a raw boost to overall FLOPs.

    We suspect the situation will become clear quite shortly, but for now, the balance of probabilities suggests that PlayStation 4K will feature AMD's next-gen graphics tech as opposed to older chip designs. Sony specifically says that an 'Improved AMD GCN' is used, giving us only two real alternatives to choose from - Polaris, which almost certainly has 36 compute units, or the older Tonga, which definitely has just 32. Sony's documentation mentions new GPU instructions exclusive to Neo, which would again support the idea of a more modern architecture. However, to play Devil's Advocate, we should stress that neither 14nm technology, nor Polaris itself are explicitly mentioned by Sony.

    Our concern was that PS4's low-level APIs may not be compatible with the newer architecture, meaning problems running older games, but it seems that this is not an issue. And the good news here is that Polaris' efficiency improvements could add still further to the expected increase in performance. Certainly, we should expect to see cumulative improvements to memory compression, which should help us to get more out of the constricted 256-bit GDDR5 interface. To the best of our knowledge, there were no such technologies in place on the original PlayStation 4.
    How two PlayStations will co-exist: Base and Neo modes

    Sony seemingly acknowledges the need to integrate the two models of PlayStation 4 available simultaneously on the market - internally dubbed as 'Base' and 'Neo'. There will be no games exclusive to the Neo model, every title will be available on both, and there's no suggestion of VR-exclusive Neo modes at this point. Developers are prohibited from creating Neo-exclusive gameplay features, and enhancements are expected to be graphical and performance-based in nature. Gamers on both systems will be tied into the same ecosystem, meaning that users of both models will be competing against one another in online games. The user interface and PSN systems will also be identical.

    The big question is just what is possible using the enhanced hardware. The need to support existing PlayStation 4 hardware puts a ceiling on the kind of experiences developers can offer - any kind of multi-platform development is defined by the lowest common denominator, and it's rare to find a developer that will dedicate significant resources to a small minority of users.

    Expect to see better performance for new - and patched - PlayStation 4 titles. Based on what we've seen of Final Fantasy 15, some games could really benefit. We just hope it doesn't open to the door to unoptimised code for older PS4 hardware.

    Well, according to Sony's own documents, there is a focus on delivering 4K gaming content, though upscaling to UHD resolution is likely. Owners of 1080p screens can expect benefits too, explicitly stated as:

    Higher frame-rates
    More stable frame-rates
    Improved graphics fidelity
    Additional graphics features

    Sony describes 'forward compatibility' via patches, allowing developers to revisit their existing PS4 library and add Neo features to existing games. Sony has opened up more memory for Neo titles too. Quite why this extra RAM can't be given to games running in Base mode isn't revealed but Sony states that Neo titles will have access to 5.5GB of memory, with 512MB "only available" for Neo mode. Sony also reveals that the background media functions of the PS4 "might be" expanded - such as the addition of 1080p gameplay recording.
    What isn't in PlayStation 4K/Neo

    In our original piece on PS4K, we suggested that Sony may be looking to add support for higher colour gamuts and high-dynamic range - part and parcel of the new UHD 4K spec and definitely supported in upcoming Radeon hardware from AMD. It is not mentioned at all in Sony's documentation, though the support should be there as the platform holder will be using AMD's display blocks. The omission says to us that it's simply not a priority at this time.

    There's also no indication at all that any of the functionality found in PlayStation VR's external processing box will make its way into the Neo hardware, nor is there any mention at all that Neo will benefit PSVR, though we would expect that the same base/Neo spec differentiation will apply to those titles just as they would to any PS4 game.

    On top of that, while the documentation says that the hard drive will remain the same (Sony has several in circulation, so we assume it means 2.5-inch laptop drives generally) there are no indications of any changes to the Blu-ray drive. This is surprising, as we would have assumed that Sony would take this opportunity to support the new UHD 4K movie standard, supporting standard 50GB discs along with 66GB and 100GB variants. For now it seems that developers are set to stick with 50GB of storage.
    psvr2

    There have been some murmurings of PSVR's external processing box being fully integrated into the new PlayStation. There's no indication that this is true, based on the documentation we have seen.
    When is PlayStation 4K/Neo coming out?

    Developers have the ability to add Neo support to their existing PlayStation 4 titles coming out in September via a day one patch, while dual base/Neo supported titles are expected to arrive from October onwards. Sony isn't telling developers when the unit will actually launch and states that it's perfectly OK with Neo-compatible titles shipping before the actual hardware. Either the platform holder is playing its cards close to its chest or else the firm itself simply isn't clear when it plans to launch the kit.
    I was patched out of EVE Online How one update ended a six-year career. I was patched out of EVE Online

    Everything about this hardware spec suggests it is indeed running on 14nm processor fabrication technology, and demand for that is set to rocket in Q4 this year. AMD itself will be launching its new graphics technology in the same window, while the demand from mobile phone manufacturers will be immense too. It may well be the case that Sony may not be able to accommodate demand, and may delay as a result. All we know about this from the Neo documents is that prototype development and debugging hardware will be recalled in January, replaced with 'mass produced' units. Historically, this tends to happen on or after launch.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!!!"

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  3. #2
    MPV HardlyCapable13's Avatar
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    I absolutely despise this direction.
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    This hobby we love called gaming has a huge proportion of scrotums playing it. - Major Stains

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    MPV Spike Forehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyCapable13 View Post
    I absolutely despise this direction.
    I like the backwards compatibility - which imo was mandatory for a mid-generation upgrade. Also nice to see the ability for older titles to have neo-compatible patches.

    Will wait for final reviews before buying, but if it's true that this will make VR even better, then I'm in.

    Presto Bitch!!

  5. #4
    Moderator DeadChaos's Avatar
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    The moment I'm told that I can not play multiplayer with someone on Neo because I have a base version....console gaming is over for me.

    They claim nothing will be exclusive to either console but I find that hard to believe and these people have gone back on their word many times before. If this is not a big issue then I would expect to be able to play the same game on PS3 with people on the PS4 which is not the case regardless if PS+ is not required to play PS3 online. They have to use some kind of a strategy to ensure the Neo sells well so will be interesting to see if they just rely on VR alone.
    Last edited by DeadChaos; 04-21-2016 at 03:56 AM.



  6. #5
    Moderator DeadChaos's Avatar
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    "Neo Won't Shorten PS4 Lifecycle, Sony Boss Says"
    The release of Sony's more-powerful PlayStation 4, codenamed Neo, doesn't mean the lifecycle for the existing console is going to end earlier than expected. PlayStation Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida said in a new interview that the Neo is not expected to replace the PS4.

    "Well no, PS4 is PS4, you know the new high-end PS4 is still PS4, so you know the lifecycle is not going to be shorter," Yoshida said in an interview with Gameswelt.TV (via NeoGAF).


    He was responding to a question about if console generations were getting shorter as companies like Sony (and Microsoft with Project Scorpio) release hardware upgrades before a console cycle has ended.

    From the way Yoshida answered the question, it seems like he wants to stress that Neo and PS4 will complement each other. Neo will be the more high-end (and thus more expensive) model, while the standard version will be more affordable and still capable of hosting great-looking games such as Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

    Yoshida's comments match up with what PlayStation president Andrew House said this month when he announced Neo. "It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4," he said at the time. "We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle."

    As for why Sony is introducing new hardware in this way to begin with, House said it comes down to how the company is responding to consumer behavior.

    "The consumer is attuned to a different cadence of innovation in technology thanks in great part for the upgrades cadence on mobile phones or PCs," House said of this new strategy to offer a more powerful version of the same system.

    Nothing like Neo or Scorpio happened in the last console cycle. The PlayStation 3 launched in 2006, with the PS4 arriving seven years later in 2013. On the other side of the fence, the Xbox 360 debuted in 2005, and the Xbox One came out in 2013.

    Neo is currently without a release date, but a report said it would arrive this year, while Scorpio is scheduled to launch in holiday 2017. There is no word yet on pricing for either system. In terms of specs, it sounds like Microsoft believes it has the stronger system, as it describes Scorpio as the "most powerful console ever made."

    Looking further out, Sony is reportedly unsure if there will ever be a PlayStation 5."

    http://www.gamespot.com/articles/neo.../1100-6441129/

    Somehow I do not believe him. Surely developers will concentrate on developing games for the more powerfull system and less effort and resources will placed on the standard PS4 or will games start to get graphical settings like on PC?



    Not the best video but I thought you guys might enjoy the eye candy.
    Last edited by DeadChaos; 06-23-2016 at 04:35 AM.



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  8. #6
    MPV Spike Forehand's Avatar
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    Sony to announce not only Neo but also a slim PS4 version at lower price in September:

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/22/12...console-4k-wsj


    Sony will show off a new slimmer version of its current PlayStation 4 console next month, The Wall Street Journal reports, a smaller and less expensive machine that would go on sale alongside the upgraded 4K-capable PS4 that the company described earlier this year. The news comes soon after pictures appeared in an online auction that appeared to show a thinner and smaller PlayStation 4, suggesting that we may already have had our first glimpse at the device in question.

    I think the key for the Neo to be successful is that it incorporates the ability to play Ultra HD 4k discs. One of the original reasons I used to justify buying PS3 was it's built in Bluray player. I think Sony would be very smart to give that same capability in the new PS4. However, at this point 4k content on discs is just starting and probably doesn't have as much legs as bluray did, as people are a lot less likely to buy physical discs these days (I know that I stopped buying blurays or DVD's a couple years ago). Has anyone heard that neo will have this ability?

    Presto Bitch!!

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  10. #7
    Moderator DeadChaos's Avatar
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    Planning on buying a second console for the bedroom so if the upgraded PS4 is a decent price I'll pick it up otherwise the slim one will have to do. Not to bothered with the VR and slightly improved graphics so this will all come down to price for me.



  11. #8
    MPV GRRowl74's Avatar
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    Been saving up, and I am now on the verge of buying another ps4 for the house(=me) since my son is hogging it all the time. But if there's a new one on the way, maybe I should wait? If nothing else for the price to drop a bit on the "old" model. What say you, friends?

  12. #9
    Moderator DeadChaos's Avatar
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    I'd definitely wait till the release date\price is announced next week. Between the slim and old model my pick would be the slim, just hope they atleast release a 1\2TB model, not going for 500GB again.

  13. #10
    MPV Spike Forehand's Avatar
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    I had this on my list to get, but it's pretty low priority for the immediate future. Eventually, if I upgrade my home theater projector to 4k then I think something like this will be a must buy for the 4k capability, but since it's not required for PSVR and games will probably be slow to offer "neo enhanced" versions, I'm gonna wait a bit. Of course, I'll probably change my mind after the press conference cause I'm a sucker for a good marketing pitch.

    Presto Bitch!!

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