Sony 'PlayStation 4.5' rumored with upgraded graphics; will Microsoft follow suit?

Microsoft's Xbox leader Phil Spencer recently hinted that the Xbox One might get hardware upgrades in the future. Now a new report claims that rival Sony is planning to release an updated version of its PlayStation 4 console, with more powerful graphics hardware.

Kotaku reports:

"Based on conversations with developers who have spoken with Sony, this 'PS4.5' will include an upgraded GPU both to support high-end 4K resolution for games and add more processing power that can enhance the games supported by PlayStation VR, the headset Sony will launch this fall. It's unclear if 'PS4.5' is an official name or just a nickname that developers have been using. One developer jokingly called it the 'PS4K' while telling me about the device."

The report didn't offer any information on when the "PlayStation 4.5" might be released or how much it would cost.

In his comments a few weeks ago, Spencer offered up these hints on the Xbox One's possible upgradable future:

"We can effectively feel a little bit more like we see on PC, where I can still go back and run my old Doom and Quake games that I used to play years ago but I can still see the best 4K games come out and my library is always with me. Hardware innovation continues while the software innovation is able to take advantage and I don't have to jump a generation and lose everything that I played on before."

Spencer clarified some of his statements on the Major Nelson podcast a few days later, stating:

"Am I going to break open my console and start upgrading individual pieces of my console? That's not our plan,"

However, it is possible Microsoft could release some kind of graphics module for the Xbox One to increase its performance, similar to the recently revealed Razer Core, an external graphics enclosure for increasing the visuals on notebooks and other PCs on the low hardware end.

John Callaham