Over the past couple of weeks, rumours have run rampant about a new upgrade to the PS4. A new console that does everything the original could do but is simply able to run games better. As of now the response to these apparent leaks have been mostly negative, with a huge backlash over something that is still unconfirmed. So is any of this outrage justified? Is a PlayStation 4.5 even a good idea?
First let’s get this out of the way, this news has to be true by now. Sony is pushing its sales down just by allowing these reports to proliferate. People won’t want to buy a console if there might be something better coming just a few months later, so it would be idiotic for them not to immediately debunk this news if it wasn’t true. However, all of this seems to be one huge step in the wrong direction anyway.
The current PlayStation 4 is doing just fine. It’s already on track to become one of the best selling consoles of all-time and is trouncing the Xbox One in sales month after month. There is almost no reason or need for there to be such a dramatic upgrade to the console so soon. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any developers begging for more system power and we haven’t even seen the best from this console. It took developers around seven years to reach the maximum potential of the PS3 and right now we’re only two and a half years into the PS4’s lifecycle.
The whole idea of the PS4.5 is more trouble than it’s worth, just imagine trying to market this thing. Not only would you have to reassure existing PS4 owners that their system is still usable, but also persuade others that this new version is worth buying. And then whenever new gameplay releases for a video game, we would all have to ask which particular PS4 it’s running on.
This is also just more stress on developers overall. Now they would have to develop their games for two different types of PS4s, on top of the Xbox One and PC versions. Sony is just setting itself up for disaster. Inevitably there will be a game that is broken on either the original PS4 or its enhanced counterpart, creating even more of a gap between the two consoles that are supposed to be in the same ecosystem.
Many bought the PS4 at or around launch because it was an investment. There weren’t many great games at the time but we knew there would be in a few more years. This new version would be a giant middle finger to all the people who supported Sony by buying the PS4 so early. Instead it would be rewarding those who sat and waited.
So what is the PS4.5 actually for? Do the benefits of higher quality games, a better VR experience and 4k compatibility really outweigh the negatives? In my opinion, no it does not. In two or three more years, Sony could go out and announce the PlayStation 5 and I would be fine with it. If you’re going to do an upgrade, go all the way. Don’t take baby steps around the idea before actually going through with it.