Looks like Sony is gearing up for Playstation 4’s midlife hardware refresh — and it’s a biggie:
All games will target 1080p as the minimum resolution: While there are no mainstream televisions that target 1440p as a native resolution, game developers will have the option to render internally at higher resolutions and down-sample the game to 1080p output. Done properly, this provides a visual quality boost that’s quite similar to smooth-screen antialiasing. Both Nvidia and AMD have provided technologies that can perform this task in-driver on PCs; it’s one way to play older titles at 4K levels of fidelity even if you’re stuck on an older monitor.
Game saves and online play are both cross-platform: All applications are supposed to be capable of saving games that can be played on either console, both consoles must be able to play together online, and the operating system will be identical across both platforms. Backup data will be accessible on either console, though you can only have one primary console and one PSN ID logged in at any given time.
No Neo-specific or PS4-specific titles: Older games can be patched for the Neo to offer forward compatibility, new titles must include such support from Day 1. All games will be available in unified binaries; the CPU binary is common to both platforms while the GPU binaries will come in up to three flavors: Neo-specific, PS4-specific, and a shared binary for both GPUs. This suggests that the CPU is a straight port of the earlier Jaguar APU, with a 500MHz clock speed bump.
My family is still clinging to a original Xbox 360, which has somehow avoided the “red ring of death” after all these years. Our Wii finally died of old age, so I asked my sons (ages 5 and 10) what kind of console they’d like to get for Christmas. And if this is any indication of how this cycle’s Console War is playing out, without hesitation and in perfect sync my boys said, “Playstation 4.”
Well. If those leaked hardware specs turn out to be correct, then I know two little somebodies who are going to have a very merry Christmas.