Sony confirms new, more powerful PlayStation 4 in development

Sony has confirmed that it is working on a newer, more powerful version of the PlayStation 4 video game console, days ahead of the gaming industry's biggest trade show, E3.

Latest PS4 model will not appear at E3 next week, as industry analysts predicted

A man holds a Sony PlayStation 4 after purchasing it at the Lincoln Park Best Buy store in Chicago on Nov. 15, 2013. He may have to do it again soon, because Sony confirmed it's working on a new, more powerful version of the console. (Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press)

Sony has confirmed that it is working on a newer, more powerful version of the PlayStation 4 video game console, following months of rumours and reports that the gaming industry might adopt a more frequent, smartphone-like update schedule for its machines.

PlayStation's chief executive Andrew House told the Financial Times Friday that a new, "high-end PS4" would be more expensive than the current model, which sells for $399 in Canada.

He also confirmed that it will be able to play games at 4K resolution, instead of the current 1080p standard. No specific technical details, price, or release date were given.

The new model, code-named "Neo" and nick-named the PS4.5 or PS4K, won't replace the original model, which launched in 2013.

Sony Interactive Entertainment's president and global chief executive Andrew House confirmed to the Financial Times that the company is working on a new version of the PlayStation 4, which will be more powerful - and more expensive - than the original model. (Yuya Shino/Reuters)

"It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4," House told the Times. "We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle."

House also said that while the new console will boast improved visuals over the current model, both will support new PS4 games, as well as the upcoming PlayStation VR virtual reality headset.

New model won't be at E3

However, House said that fans won't get to see the new model at next week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), suggesting it isn't yet ready for the main stage at its press conference.

"We want to ensure we have a full range of the best experiences on the new system that we can showcase in their entirety," he said.

Gaming news outlets like Kotaku, Giant Bomb and Eurogamer have written about planned updates to the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One in recent months. Microsoft has not yet confirmed or denied rumours that a more powerful Xbox One, code-named Scorpio, is in the works.

Microsoft is also rumoured to be working on an incremental upgrade to its Xbox One console. (Nick Adams/Reuters)

Gaming companies have traditionally released new consoles every six to eight years, each with new features and a substantial jump in processing power.

But more powerful versions of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One might suggest a move towards the more frequent, incremental upgrades commonly found in smartphone, tablet and PC markets.