Two weeks ago, rumors emerged about a new PlayStation with 4K support. Digital Foundry has chimed in to say that it is real and that the console will be built on AMD’s next-generation graphics chip bringing with it support for 4K, HDR, and wide color gamut.
PlayStation 4K is coming
Games site Kotaku was first to report on the new console from Sony, which was referred to as PlayStation 4.5 and PlayStation 4K. Digital Foundry now chimes in to say that it has independently confirmed that the console exists and that it is being referred to internally as PlayStation 4K.
The game console will reportedly be based on next-generation AMD CPU and GPU technology – named Polaris – and built on 14 or 16 nm chips. The current PlayStation 4 is built on 28 nm chips. Taiwanese TSMC manufactures the processors and has said that its 16 nm chip will increase graphics performance on PC/console by 65 percent and reduce power consumption by 70 percent compared to 28 nm chips without making the chip larger. Today, mainly tablets and phones (such as iPhone 6S) use 16 and 14 nm chips.
The new chip will enable support for 4K resolution, HDR (high dynamic range) and a wide color gamut. The same picture improvements are currently being built into new high-end TVs, including Sony TVs. In addition, it would have an HDMI 2.0 output to be capable of outputting 4K at up to 60 frames per second, as well as HEVC decoding. Besides supporting games in 4K, it would support 4K streaming from the likes of Netflix.
Digital Foundry presents three scenarios for the console but is skeptical about whether games will run satisfactorily at 4K. Even if the processor is twice as powerful as today, it would struggle to deliver games in 4K and 60fps, they argue. Today, many PS4 games run at 1080p and 60fps but the most demanding games often halve the frame rate to 30fps or reduce resolution to 900p.
Based on this information the PlayStation 4K is predicted to hit the market in 2017.