And while we know nothing for sure, there's one factor that makes a slightly more powerful console a much more feasible and acceptable idea: VR. Sony's open admission that PlayStation VR won't have the processing chops of Oculus Rift or HTC Vive originally felt like a humble moment of honesty that felt in line with the firm's more open approach to public relations (read: Shuhei Yoshida), it now feels like a galvanizing call to arms.
Oculus Rift and Vive haven't properly hit retail shelves yet, but it seems Sony is already getting nervous about just how big that deficit is going to be in the performance stakes. Which seems a little futile when you consider the open-ended nature of PC development. But, nevertheless, a desire to close the gap and present an even more 'VR ready' console could be guiding the firm's hand.
PlayStation VR is already an impressive VR platform in its own right, launching itself onto an install base that big positions it as one of the headsets most likely to bring VR into the mainstream, but that VR profile isn't going to get any favours from a split in that audience if we get a more powerful PS4 to give it a little extra juice.
The same argument can be applied to the other potential feature of the PS4.5: 4K. The new super-duper resolution has barely taken off yet in the home cinema world and Sony is already hoping to apply the support for it to PS4? If true, it's essentially a move to future proof the PlayStation brand should 4K really gain some momentum, but again, that's a sizeable chunk of the audience that simply won't have the option to play a 4K-ready game with their 'vanilla' PS4.
Of course, there's no smoke without fire and hardware rumours in this day and age usually tend to hold some credence, even in the earliest stages of their gestation. And whether Sony reveals the PS4.5 this year or not, the fact remains the same: creating a new improved version of your console this soon into a generation will certainly ensure Sony is geared up for the years to come but it'll be leaving a lot of its own early adopters in the dust.
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