While the name of the next-gen Sony Playstation Neo is still unconfirmed to be PS4K, PS4.5 or just Neo – the fact it’s coming has been officially confirmed. Also official is the fact it will be bringing 4K capabilities, potentially making it the centre of your new home cinema system setup.
President of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House said that the console release is being held back until there is “a full range of the best experiences on the new system that we can showcase in the entirety”. It will need to stand up to the Microsoft Xbox One S with its 4K video and Ultra HD Blu-ray playback abilities and may even need to match Microsoft’s Project Scorpion which is rumoured to offer 4K gaming too.
So, based on rumours so far what will you be able to do with the Sony PlayStation Neo as a 4K HDR home cinema system?
Sony PlayStation Neo as a 4K HDR home cinema system: Connected to go UHD
Since the Sony PlayStation Neo is confirmed to be coming as a console that stands alongside the current PS4, it’ll likely be an upgraded version for those that want to playback 4K UHD video content.
To achieve these levels of quality we’d expect the PlayStation Neo to come with ports for HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. These are also on the Xbox One S and mean the console will be able to output 4K UHD and HDR video to a capable TV or projector.
Leaked documents have also shown the PlayStation Neo should come with an upgraded octa-core processor, more powerful GPU and more RAM. This should all help to offer a high frame rate even when at that high resolution. It should also mean the console will be able to output High Dynamic Range video too.
Sony PlayStation Neo as a 4K HDR home cinema system: Your Ultra HD Blu-ray player
Sony helped Blu-ray as a format get off the ground to begin with, sneaking a Blu-ray players into homes across the globe by way of the PlayStation3. Naturally, the PS4 also comes with a Blu-ray player and as such it’s highly likely that the PlayStation Neo will come with the latest Ultra HD Blu-ray player capabilities.
This is compounded by the fact that Sony is also a film studio, embracing Ultra HD Blu-ray with several of its movies already released in the format.
These discs are the highest quality way to enjoy 4K and HDR content right now. While Ultra HD Blu-ray players are expensive at the moment, the Xbox One S will undercut them. Sony will either need to offer something more or match the Xbox One S for pricing at around the £250 mark.
Sony PlayStation Neo as a 4K HDR home cinema system: 4K streaming
The current PS4 comes with plenty of apps capable of streaming video. Since lots of those are already 4K capable, (where the hardware supports them), these will more than likely work on the new PlayStation Neo.
Video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube are all able to stream at 4K UHD resolution with the first two also airing some shows in HDR too.
Sony PlayStation Neo as a 4K HDR home cinema system: Should I buy one?
The big consideration here is if you need the PlayStation Neo over the Xbox One S. The two consoles will likely be the cheapest fully comprehensive Ultra HD Blu-ray options out there.
However, rumours suggest the PlayStation Neo may support higher resolution gaming – something the Xbox One S can’t do. While Microsoft has said Project Scorpio will support 4K gaming, that’s still a while away. The PlayStation Neo is expected sooner rather than later.
If you own a 4K and HDR-capable TV it more than likely has most of the popular streaming apps built in for 4K Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. But if you want even higher quality, which only an Ultra HD Blu-ray can offer, you’ll need a compatible player. Since UHD Blu-ray content is still dribbling out slowly, it might not hurt to wait a little longer until the PlayStation Neo pricing and its full capabilities are revealed. If nothing else the Xbox One S may have dropped in price by then too.
Sources suggest Sony will launch the PlayStation Neo alongside it’s PS VR headset, which likely needs the extra power, scheduled for this October for $399.