E3 2016 has been filled with surprises, most of them revealed even before it officially kicked off in Los Angeles. While Microsoft introduced Project Scorpio during its media briefing, Sony’s Andrew House made it official the Japanese platform holder is working on a new and more powerful console based on PlayStation 4, something that is said to provide hardcore gamers with technologically high end performances.
So, it is clear just by reading these words (and adding Shuhei Yoshida’s, who said PlayStation Neo is not shortening PlayStation 4 lifecycle since it’s a new PlayStation 4) that Sony wants these two models to co-exist, and we could say Microsoft’s vision for Project Scorpio is more or less the same since they talked about an Xbox One family with the standard Xbox One, Xbox One S and Project Scorpio.
The question is, now: is it worth to go and give this console a try? Why should we buy PlayStation Neo when it releases later this year or sometime next year (the first hypothesis, based on our sources, is only possible in case a less performing PS Neo is actually in the works)? Let’s try and take a look at some of the reasons you should consider if you are not too convinced about investing on PlayStation Neo.
1 – IT’S MORE POWERFUL
You are a gamer and you always want to have the best out of your games. So don’t try and fool us on this, you’re going to need that 5.5TFLOPS console offering the titles you love at native 4K and with improved graphics. PlayStation 4 has been selling a lot so far, it’s by distance the best current-gen console out there (basically because Microsoft completely screwed up Xbox 360’s success last gen) and all, but PlayStation Neo is different. It may be a bit less powerful than Project Scorpio (6TFLOPS) but it sure is going to be the most powerful PlayStation out there, so.
2 – NATIVE 4K
Ok, so let’s take a look at what this improved power is going to bring in when it comes to PlayStation Neo. Microsoft promised native 4K for its Project Scorpio, and being PlayStation Neo its competitor we’re assuming it will do the same. Digital Foundry has raised some concerns about this topic, meaning that those teraflops wouldn’t be enough to have native 4K gameplay (Microsoft even targeted 60 frames per second at that resolution) on equivalent PC hardware, but if there’s something we’ve learnt from consoles so far is good developers do good optimizations based on the hardware they work on. So a 4K God of War wouldn’t be a huge surprise, quite frankly, and it would finally represent a good reason why you should upgrade to a 4K TV.
3 – PLAYSTATION VR
Sony promised PlayStation 4 will be enough to have a good VR experience when PlayStation VR finally launches on October 13, but let’s be honest. Our opinion is we’re going to see pretty soon the difference between PS4 and PlayStation Neo in this segment. We’re already wondering about virtual reality games being offered at 120fps on PlayStation Neo and barely 30 or shaky 60fps on the current-gen platform. Developers clearly needed more power to create good VR experience and Sony gave them, our only hope is these first months of PlayStation VR won’t make the virtual reality a bad name in gaming at all.
4 – IT WON’T COST YOU THAT MUCH
Considering you already own a PlayStation 4 by the time of reading this, our opinion is PlayStation Neo won’t cost you that much if you trade in that console. At this stage it is really too early to go and guess how much money we are getting back from GameStop or whoever when PlayStation Neo and Project Scorpio release next year. But, in case you are interested, for Project Scorpio the best solution seems to be getting the new Xbox One S model trading in the standard Xbox One (it should be around $200 for the 2TB model, which is the only one available for pre-order now), and then trading in Xbox One S for Project Scorpio and possibly another $200. It’s not like you are not going to spend a lot on this, but it’s at least not a huge amount of money you are set to invest all of a sudden. Also looking at this, it would be great if Sony could ship a first, less performing PlayStation Neo model in order to have it in competition with Xbox One S.
5 – YOU NEVER REALLY FELL IN LOVE WITH PS4 AND XBOX ONE
This is a final and more personal consideration about a gamer who have never fallen in love with current-gen platform and really look forward to getting rid of them. This works especially for Xbox One, since it has had for a long while an operative system which is bad, very bad, and currently remains a mess where Phil Spencer and his team are trying to do it any better by releasing patches after patches. And it’s a shame since, in comparison with PlayStation 4, it has many more and much more consistent exclusive games, which is problem with PS4.
Sony has struggled so far to release good games at a good pace coming from first-party teams, so it’s really winning the console war based on the trust users have in the PlayStation brand and an initially better prices than Xbox One. If it had a more consistent competition from the kick-off, we’d be in a much different situation right now. So, despite being considered an upgrade upon the current generation, it is nice to think of PlayStation Neo as a way to reboot the console space and restart right from the end of last one, where PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (the latter at least until a couple years before the generation actually “ended”) really had a great showing of what Microsoft and Sony can do when they work for gamers.