If the rumors are true, there may be a new video game console on the horizon. This won’t, however, be the Xbox Two or the PlayStation 5, but something somewhere in between. Various sources have hinted that a PlayStation “4.5” is in the works, and while Sony has denied all of the rumors, it’s not unlikely that they’re working on an updated PS4 model. While it would almost certainly have a snazzier name, a new model with improved hardware would allow the upcoming PSVR peripheral to handle better visuals in order to compete with the PC-based Oculus Rift while simultaneously blowing the XONE even further out of the water when it comes to hardware.
Only if current owners also have the ability to access similar features.
One important question to ask, though… would it be greeted with positivity? At the end of the day, Sony is a business, which means their top priority is money. For a PS4.5 to be released, Sony would have to know that it would sell well enough to give them a good return on investment. The answer to that is hard to predict, but we could make a few educated guesses. In order to do so, we’ll look at the three main customer types that Sony needs to please:
- PS4 owners
- Xbox One/Wii U/Gaming PC owners
- Future console owners
PS4 sales are higher than any other console on the market today, meaning that a lot of people already own the original console. If a new and improved version of the PS4 was released so soon after the initial release, it’d be easy to predict that a lot of owners (especially those on a tight budget) would be upset. These gamers would need to be offered a decent trade-in or upgrade option in order to keep them happy, and GameStop is only buying PS4s for $200 (a price that will drop the instant PS4.5 is announced). Getting less than 50% of your money back only to spend even more to upgrade doesn’t sound very fair, does it? Still, gamers who can afford it and who already love their PS4 will be excited to get a new product so soon.
XONE/Wii U/PC Owners
For those who don’t already own a PS4 but are gaming on another system, the PS4.5 seems like it’d be a great incentive to make the switch. Xbox One and Wii U gamers would get access to a vastly superior console hardware-wise (something which Wii gamers don’t care too much about anyway, though), and PC gamers would get all the power of their machines on a more accessible platform. The response here would likely be neutral, then, unless these gamers were thinking about buying another system anyway.
Future Console Owners
For those saving money or still on the fence about which gaming system to buy, PSVR and a PS4.5 would be a solid one-two punch for the win. Not only would the 4.5 be the “newest” console on the market, it would offer so much more than any other system. The smart money is on the fact that these consumers would be elated that a new system is coming out right when they’re ready to make a purchase, and if Sony can keep the price of the 4.5 down and market it right, there really wouldn’t be a reason for these consumers to go with any other system aside from their exclusive games.
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, the reception would be mixed but mostly positive, with only a portion of current PS4 owners seeing the PS4.5 as a negative thing. If Sony can dream up a good trade-in or upgrade program for these consumers, it’d be easy to see the PS4.5 announcement as being overwhelmingly positive.