Apparently the PS4.5 is a real thing - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-24, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Apparently the PS4.5 is a real thing

Is The PS4.5 Real? - IGN Video

I'm expecting this is going to be a PS4 slim with a beefier GPU ONLY to stream 4K content and will not affect games in any way other than perhaps a patch that allows for any games not running at 1080P to get an upgrade.

I can't possibly imagine that Sony will segment their marketshare
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-24, 11:29 AM
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Why not? Coming out with a more powerful console that is architecturally compatible with their previous console would be a smart move. That's why PCs are so capable.

Plus, when the PS4/Xbox One came out, they weren't even considered "fast" compared to contemporary gaming PCs at the time. Previous console generations were better relative to gaming PCs at their introduction.

In addition, we have VR and 4K TVs that demand more horsepower than the current generation of consoles have. Maybe the console vendors don't want to wait on the sidelines for the next 4-5 years and let PCs get all the "glory" of high resolution gaming and VR.

The key, of course, is software compatibility. I've seen some articles talk about how game developers can't handle new hardware releases this frequently, which is of course ridiculous. I figure the people writing these articles just don't know the first thing about software. As Sony sticks with x86 and a architecturally similar GPU, it should be no problem for old games to run on the new hardware. This happens all the time on PCs. And it's usually the same game engines that run on many different consoles (including last generation consoles) and PCs, and sometimes even Macs. Those game engines are already built to be hardware agnostic.

If software vendors seem to be able to take new hardware in stride with mobile devices and PCs, why not consoles?

Just to underscore the relatively poor CPU performance of the PS4, on the PC side, the AMD chip architecture that the PS4 uses is called "Jaguar", and the closest equivalent to the PS4 chip is a 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 5150. Here are CPU benchmarks of the chip:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php...with+Radeon+R3

Note that it scores 2051 while a Intel Core i5-2500K (a chip from early 2011 that gamers often used in their PCs) scores 6455. And the newer PC CPUs almost double that number.

So, there's lots of room for improvement.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-24, 02:27 PM
 
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It definitely makes sense to release an upgraded 4K (more accurately UHD) gaming platform and building it on-top of the existing PS4 eco-system. With 4K televisions dropping significantly in price, anyone in the market for a new living room TV would be wise to future-proof themselves and pick one up. Add in new technologies like UHD Blu-Ray and Virtual Reality gaming and there's enough there to justify a new product class.

The Xbox One and PS4 were launched at an awkward time and were not in-sync with the rest of the consumer products like 4K televisions and UHD Blu-Ray. In some ways, they arrived too soon and too under-powered for the 4K world we have quickly entered.

By contrast, the PS3 and Xbox 360 arrived at that perfect time when HD television sales had just gotten steam. And the support on the PS3 of the Blu-Ray disc (or HD-DVD on the Xbox 360) only further added to their value and completed the whole HD experience. We don't have that product cohesion with the PS4 and XB1 with 4K.

I do think segmentation of the existing PS4 gaming community could be a real challenge and it will be interesting to see how that is handled. Technically a "PS4K" console could be backwards compatible with existing games without much issue.

Where I see issues arise is with competitive online multiplayer games. With PC gaming, gamers with high-end PCs and video-cards most certainly have a significant competitive edge because of their higher screen resolutions & faster frame-rates. This could also become a thing when a PS4K player is going toe-toe with a regular PS4 player in a first-person shooter, for example.

I think a similar issue arises with the recent announcement from Microsoft that they are embracing cross-platform gaming. We already know the PS4 version of games more often then not out perform the Xbox One versions graphically, and the PC version outperforms both - not to mention the keyboard/mouse advantage.

Part of the fundamental advantage of console games has always been the platform consistency amongst gamers. And with online multi-player, that is even more important - there's a certain "peace-of-mind" knowing the guy/gal you are battling with is using the exact hardware as you. So true gaming skill is far more appreciated on a level playing.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-24, 03:05 PM
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Personally, I'm ok with it if the upgrade is just to add 4k support for blurays/video. 4k video games need a helluva good graphics card so I'm not sure they can pull that one off yet.

On the other hand if the ps4.5 offers better graphics for existing/future ps4 games, I'd be a little peeved I had the inferior console. I'd rather they wait for a ps5, and put out all the new perks in the next console. I don't want to see a trend of having to rebuy my console every couple of years for incremental upgrades (and I'm pretty sure I'd do it).
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-24, 05:14 PM
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Right now, the only UHD Blu-Ray player is ridiculously expensive ($600 Canadian). If Sony puts one in the PS4.5 then this new console could be significantly more expensive than the regular PS4.

Not really sure just how feasible this would be for Sony TBH

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-24, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I'm personally perfectly fine with it even if they fragment their user base. I just don't think it's a smart move. As long as developers can release the same game for 4.0 and 4.5 no issues. If they are different SKU's that are incompatible then this is an incredibly stupid move and I don't think Sony is that stupid. I see this as an upgrade to 4K movies and maybe a shot in the arm for PSVR.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-24, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audacity View Post
Why not? Coming out with a more powerful console that is architecturally compatible with their previous console would be a smart move. That's why PCs are so capable.
Key is ensuring it's 1 version of a game. There's still just 1 version of Uncharted 4. Maybe the 4.5 gets access to a patch to make it prettier or maybe it runs better but it's the same SKU. I can see this being like the old Intel strategy. Tick/Tock. This is the die shrink which Sony always does anyway but because these consoles weren't that special even out of the gate it's cheap and easy to add a little horsepower on the tock.


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Originally Posted by audacity View Post
Plus, when the PS4/Xbox One came out, they weren't even considered "fast" compared to contemporary gaming PCs at the time. Previous console generations were better relative to gaming PCs at their introduction.
MS and Sony have 50/50 blame for that. Sony bet too much of their PS3 CPU and not enough on GPU or making it coding friendly. MS came in cheaper with comparable power and won substantial ground last generation. The PS4 would look very different if the 360 never existed. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just that Sony could ill afford another PS3 generation.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-24, 07:56 PM
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Mobile devices have been getting rapidly better every year. Just like PCs.

Why should consoles be stuck in the past? Software vendors figured out how to support multiple hardware configurations long ago.

Regarding the PS3 hardware generation, that was Sony being stupid. You want to make your hardware as developer friendly as possible. If you want great games, don't produce hardware configurations that are hard for developers to use since that takes time away from making the actual game better.

It looks like Sony has changed their ways this generation, and that's a big step forward for them.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-25, 08:46 AM
 
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^^^I dunno.
With this release, I'm already starting to feel alienated by Sony.

Every time they release a new console, it seems they leave their other customers to rot. No compatibility between consoles - none. And while I was excited that they would finally be making PS2 emulation a reality, to say the catalogue of PS2 games is disappointing is a gross understatement.

I feel bad for developers.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-25, 12:03 PM
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Don't feel bad for developers, it's not like it's hard to make your code run on a newer, faster console that has binary compatibility with the old console.

They'll just keep building for the slow PS4 as a minimum spec and support better graphics for the faster "PS4K".

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Originally Posted by Abysmal
Every time they release a new console, it seems they leave their other customers to rot.
The original PS3 has the emotion engine included as a small piece of hardware that allowed backwards compatibility. It's subsequent versions of the hardware that removed this feature.

But, again, this time it's different if they do what PCs have done for years. Stick with the same ISA to provide a path for software compatibility.

I don't know why people are having such a difficult time understanding this. It's not like game developers need to change a single line of code when new Intel chips come out for PCs, or when a new iPhone comes out. In the iPhone case, this is provided that they are using the best practises by designing for arbitrary device resolutions by using tools like auto layout.

Sure, the developer could come along and add support for new hardware features - like Force Touch in the iPhone 6s, but that doesn't make the game stop working in the iPhone 5s.

And game developers write their software to be cross platform to begin with. That's why it runs on different platforms from the get-go. Sure, they might have written a contract to be exclusive on a particular platform for a limited period of time, but that's just a legal thing. When that agreement expires, the game studio would want to be able to make ports easily to leverage their existing investments in making that game. And all the big game engines are naturally cross platform from the get-go.

This backdrop of how games are architected makes releasing a hardware speed bump a non-issue for game devs.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-25, 12:52 PM
 
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My feeling is this is for VR and you will want the new "PS4K" for a good VR experience. I also believe it will release at the same time, however they don't want to steal the conversation from PS4 VR, much like the NX is predicted to launch this fall, I think you will see this new PS4 in the fall as well it will be a quite launch and they will probably sneak in at the last second that this is the console to play VR on.

I think the fact the "internet" thinks this new PS4 is going to play video games at 4k is kind of a joke. When games like battlefront are 900p on the current console.
While it potentially could, I think the cost would be very high if it could. .

More likely it will have HDMI 2.0 which was a huge mistake for both consoles not to have IMO this gen.
It will up-convert to 4k as well as support things like 4k Netlix, Youtube etc. as well.
4K gaming IMO is years away given will truely haven't reached 1080p gaming in consoles. Something I have very much learned since getting into PC gaming, my 1080p games look soooo much better than anything I've ever played on console at 1080p.

PS4 has been on my list of things to buy, I think I'll wait till this launches now, and see how it effects the price of the currant PS4.

Another interesting question is do they stop production on the current PS4? If so do they really get to call it a PS4, given hardware upgrades in console are usually considered a new generation?

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-25, 02:51 PM
 
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Sony trying to steal Nintendo's thunder by releasing this at the same time as them? That could be the deathblow if "NX" doesn't become an instant hit!

Just trying to remove that damn setup progress bar.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-25, 09:45 PM
 
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From what I hear, $400 USD launching this winter, Digital foundry says it's impossible to render native 4k at that price and size, but games will be upscale to 4k.

There will be exclusive titles,

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-26, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve604
I think the fact the "internet" thinks this new PS4 is going to play video games at 4k is kind of a joke.
Why? It shouldn't be too tough to render 4k frames with new hardware. It's always a balance between how much detail is in each frame and what resolution you're going to render it at. PCs only have trouble rendering at 4k when you crank up all the graphics settings to "max". Those setting add more detail to frames that the console versions omit.

The real question is "where's the best place to spend your computational horsepower", and the answer is that you often get better overall results if games add more detail to frames/scenes and lower the resolution that you're rendering to. Resolution hits diminishing returns at a certain point, especially on a HDTV 2 meters away from you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve604
Digital foundry says it's impossible to render native 4k at that price and size, but games will be upscale to 4k.
Digital Foundry is obviously wrong here, you could render a simple scene with a single cube on it at 4k resolution at 200+fps on smartphone GPUs these days. Any sort of blanket statement like the above just shows general ignorance of all of the dials that can be turned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve604
Another interesting question is do they stop production on the current PS4?
Who knows what they'll do, but I think the most sensible thing (i.e. the thing that would make developers happiest) would be to release two consoles: a cost optimized "cheap" version that uses existing hardware (a PS4 "slim"), and the PS4K which is the new high end console.

Software developers care about installed base, and nothing grows an installed base like inexpensive hardware.

There is still a big market of people who don't have a UHDTV, have no plans to buy one and don't have a PS4 yet. The "PS4K" would also render with higher detail and frame rate at 1920x1080, I'm sure, so it's appeal isn't limited to UHDTV users.

I also want to take exception to something that Digital Foundry said in their article (I just went and read it):

Quote:
However, realistically, achieving even a 2x increase in GPU power compared to the current PS4 would be a remarkable achievement. To fit into a console-sized box, even this may be too optimistic.
Why? If you look at the rate of GPU performance improvements, over a period of 3 years we should expect performance to more than double, and there have been both architecture and fabrication improvements in the meantime. To only have GPU performance double wouldn't be very ambitious. CPU performance should hopefully more than double because the Jaguar cores in current consoles are pretty pathetic.

Throughout their article they have this attitude that "Sony can't make the new console much better than the old console" - and that attitude baffles me.

Quote:
A potential danger in making PS4K too different from the older model is that developmental resources would be split, and software quality for the existing PS4 could slip. PS4K has to walk a tightrope - it has to offer something new to the core enthusiasts that propelled the original model to success, but at the same time, a 40m-strong userbase can't be left behind.
That's like saying "Apple can't make the new iPhone too much better than the old iPhone. How stupid is that? Apple wants each iPhone to be so amazing that everyone wants to upgrade to it. That way they sell more iPhones.

The statement about splitting development resources just shows an ignorance of how games are design/developed in the first place. Modern game engines are designed to be cross platform. Hardware speed bumps are trivial to deal with. If this was such an issue, the PC game market and the mobile game market would be impossible.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 2016-03-26, 09:22 PM
 
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I should have been more clear, playing a game at 4k is possible, playing the next CoD title at 4k 60 fps isn't going to happen on a $400 console without selling at a huge loss.

I was more referring to AAA titles maintaining the quality we are used to seeing.

I would call Digital Foundry the experts of the industry, they go through every game with a fine tooth comb.

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