When we heard the rumor that Microsoft had not one, but two new consoles to talk about at its E3 2016 keynote, we were skeptical. And yet, on June 13, that's exactly what happened when Xbox Chief Phil Spencer unveiled both the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio. And while Microsoft used its stage time to talk about new hardware, Sony decided instead to focus on software.
But that might be because Sony was saving its juiciest announcements for September's Tokyo Game Show (TGS).
A new report from The Wall Street Journal claims that Sony has both a PlayStation Slim and PlayStation Neo ready to be shown off at TGS on September 15, 2016.
The report, written by WSJ's Tokyo technology reporter Takashi Mochizuki, contains an interview with Macquarie Securities analyst Damian Thong, who says that Sony could choose the biggest videogame show in Asia to pull back the curtain on the two new systems.
We can only speculate the purpose of the PlayStation Slim, as Mochizuki's source doesn't enumerate what features the system will have, but it's fair to assume that like the Xbox One S it will likely not only have a smaller physical footprint, but possibly come with a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray player as well.
If it will be able to upscale games to 4K like the Xbox One S is still to be determined, but usually the way these things go is that if one console has it, the competition does too.
Sony's US President and CEO Andrew House has confirmed the existence of the PlayStation Neo – what many have affectionately dubbed the PS4.5 – before this year's E3 in a brief statement to The Financial Times that said, in effect, "yes the system exists … but it won't be on-stage in Los Angeles."
In Mochizuki's report, entitled "Sony's PlayStation 4 Sales Help Keep Profit Target Within Reach", he points to declining sales in sensors for high-end cellphones for possible profit loss for the Japanese tech giant this quarter. The redeeming factor, he says, will be the burgeoning videogame side of the business.
"Sony plans to ship 20 million units of the PlayStation 4 during the current fiscal year, with momentum likely to be fueled by releases of blockbuster game titles and a high-end version of the console," Mochizuki wrote.
"Macquarie Securities analyst Damian Thong said Sony might also introduce a slimmer version of the PlayStation. Sony declined to comment on that possibility. The new variations of the console might be released at a game show in September, Mr. Thong said."
Without confirmation of Sony, this is still a definite rumor, but Michozuki did tweet "Sony analyst says "PlayStation 4 Slim," not just "Neo," due by Tokyo Game Show in Sept, report with @YukaKoshino" on his personal account this morning if that makes you feel any more confident that two high-powered consoles are on their way.
Is there something more here? Only time will tell.
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