“I think, all the guys will end up releasing just a early or bi-yearly upgrades to these things, like the iPhone.”
The PS4 Pro is a far more moderate upgrade over the existing PS4 than the Xbox One Scorpio is over the standard Xbox One. The result is a machine that, while extremely well designed, and the most powerful console currently on the market, is still decidedly a half step towards the goal of 4K gaming that it wants to achieve- the system is, essentially, too weak to render most of its games natively in 4K, so it resorts to techniques like Checkerboard rendering instead.
Would, then, Sony have been better advised to simply wait an extra year and release a more capable machine? When GamingBolt got the chance to talk to Brad Wardell, the CEO of Stardock, a company on the cutting edge known for pushing graphics and technology, we decided to ask him this question. His opinion? 4K took off far faster than Sony may have expected- and in the end, it might not matter, since he believes Sony and Microsoft are about to enter an era of continuous rolling hardware upgrades.
“I don’t know. I think 4K is becoming pretty common now, but I think when they were starting out, I don’t think any of us expected it to take off quite as much as it did,” he said. “On the other hand, there’s still quite a lot of exciting things waiting- HDR is going to be a big deal. So that’s another thing these guys will all want to support via upgrades in their hardware (and by the way, Nitrous Engine supports HDR, I think we’re the only ones who do). And that’s- it creates a pretty tremendous visual difference. I don’t think that many people have HDR yet, though. So give it another year or two… I think, all the guys will end up releasing just a early or bi-yearly upgrades to these things, like the iPhone, and they’ll all going to end up following the iPhone model, where you must have at least this model for it to work.”
Rolling hardware upgrades is something that we have speculated might be happening for a very long time now– and while Microsoft certainly seems to be hinting at that via its rhetoric, Sony so far has been far more reticent to commit to the idea, saying that a proper PS5 may yet come.
Stay tuned for our full interview with Brad in the coming days.