Sony’s about to make a few major PlayStation announcements.
The Japanese video game company is holding an event in New York City on Wednesday, September 7. Appropriately, it’s called the “PlayStation Meeting.” We’re about to see two new PlayStation 4 consoles from Sony, a final look at PlayStation VR ahead of its October launch, and much more.
Here’s everything we know!
Let’s start with the event itself: It’s called “PlayStation Meeting,” a nod to the original PlayStation 4 announcement event (back in 2013).
The event is being held on September 7, 2016 in New York City, at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square. Business Insider is attending, and Sony is streaming the event live on YouTube.
We’re expecting a lot from the event: two new PlayStation 4 consoles, a ton of information about PlayStation VR (the PlayStation 4 VR headset which comes out in October), hopefully some new games, and a broad look at the future of the PlayStation platform.
The only information we have from Sony about the event is from the invitation we received, which says, “We can’t wait to share details with you about the PlayStation business.” Not very specific!
There are two new PlayStation 4 consoles being detailed, but only one has been announced: the PlayStation 4 “Neo,” a more powerful PlayStation 4 capable of powering 4K gaming.
PlayStation 4 Neo is “intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4,” Sony’s head of PlayStation, Andrew House, told the FT.
To that end, all your old PlayStation 4 games will work on the PlayStation 4 “Neo,” and vice versa. Games will look <em>better</em> on the Neo console.
- Quantic Dream
The PlayStation 4 Neo is slightly different internally from the current PS4. It’s not a gigantic jump in power, but it is a notable lift. Here’s the full rundown, care of leaked specs:
-It’s got the same main processor, but it has been tweaked to run slightly faster.
-It’s got a new graphics processor that’s far more capable than the current PS4’s graphics processor (just over twice as powerful).
-It’s got the same amount of memory, but it’s also been tweaked to handle more equations.
All of which is to say: No, you don’t need to replace your current PlayStation 4 with Neo.
We haven’t seen what the Neo looks like just yet, so it’s possible we’ll get our first glimpse this week!
- Warner Bros.
Next up: The PlayStation 4 Slim.
Despite what you may’ve heard, the PlayStation 4 Slim is the real deal. A bunch of them are already in the wild, even though Sony’s not said a peep.
It looks like the console was received early by several retailers who were willing to sell the console ahead of its planned launch date: presumably very soon.
This puts Sony in the very weird position of announcing a console that’s not just been bought by some people…
But one that’s been unboxed:
… and reviewed:
- Let’s Play Video Games
UK freelancer and LetsPlayVideoGames.com co-EIC Laura Kate Dale got a PlayStation 4 Slim from, “a retail store manager who sold the unit on eBay.” She went on to review the console favorably:
“Overall, I really have no complaints about the PS4 Slim, besides the removal of the optical port which I have not ever personally used. It’s smaller, thinner, quieter, cooler, features a nicer controller with additional features, and I personally love the new matte curved design. It’s not an Xbox One S-style upgrade with additional 4K functionality for those using ultra-HD screens, but I won’t be upset seeing this replace the current model.”
The PS4 Slim has even been torn down.
- Sony / YouTube / Links-Tech
Other than the slender frame and rounded edges, there are a few small differences on the PlayStation 4 Slim.
The power and eject buttons are now physical, and there’s a sweet little LED light strip:
The front two USB ports are slightly farther apart than before:
And the new PlayStation 4 gamepad is also a bit different (it comes with the Slim):
Next up: virtual reality. The PlayStation 4 is about to get its own VR headset in “PlayStation VR.”
PlayStation VR works with all three versions of the PlayStation 4: the original, the PlayStation 4 Slim, and PlayStation 4 “Neo.”
The headset is comfortable and easy to use. It plugs into a small box, and that small box plugs into your PlayStation 4. To be clear, that means you’re gonna have a wire running across your living room.
PlayStation VR requires the PlayStation 4 Camera, which is sold separately. There are also two motion controllers, PlayStation Move, that can be used in several games.
Since VR is dependent on precise motion tracking, the PlayStation VR headset needs to be tracked carefully using the PlayStation Camera. That’s how games on the PlayStation 4 know that you’ve moved your head, thus displaying the right image in front of your eyes.
And since the goal of many VR experiences is immersion, the PlayStation Move motion controller is being used by many games. These are also sold separately, though a bundle with the VR headset, the Camera, and the PlayStation Move is in the works.
Here’s the kicker: PlayStation VR costs $400, without the Camera or any motion controllers.
There’s a $500 bundle that comes with everything you need:
-One PlayStation Camera,
-Two PlayStation Move motion controllers
-One copy of “PlayStation Worlds” (a collection of VR minigames made by Sony)
And finally, the future of PlayStation. If you ask us, it looks a lot like mobile phones.
Both Sony and Microsoft are pushing toward a more iterative game console release schedule. The PlayStation 4 Neo from Sony and Project Scorpio from Microsoft are both attempts at changing their respective consoles – PlayStation and Xbox – from boxes you buy once every 5-10 years into boxes you buy every 2-3 years.
So the logic goes: consumers (you and me) get more choice, and console makers don’t have to live and die by game console launches. Instead of focusing on hardware, the focus would be more on “platforms” – think iOS and Android in place of iPhone and Galaxy S7. Sony’s made moves in this direction in a number of ways. Most notably, the PlayStation Now streaming service, which enables people to play PlayStation games without even owning a PlayStation. They’re streamed, like Netflix, directly to your TV – no PlayStation required. If that isn’t the future, I don’t know what is.