For what feels like months now, rumors have been swirling about a mid-cycle upgrade for the PS4 and XBOX One. Although Sony and Microsoft remained tight-lipped about their iterative console strategy in the months before E3, both companies eventually revealed the existence of new boxes. Microsoft took a more traditional approach with their announcement, opting to close out their E3 press conference with a spec tease for Project Scorpio along with a Holiday 2017 release date. Sony, on the other hand, casually confirmed their box’s existence in an Andrew House interview with the Financial Times saying very little about the console’s actual capabilities or launch window.
At first glance, it would seem that Microsoft’s Project Scorpio is much further along than Sony’s PlayStation Neo. However, sources tell Richard Leadbetter at Digital Foundry that this isn’t the case…
Several sources have indicated to me that PlayStation Neo launches this year, despite its E3 no-show. If that is the case, it’ll be interesting to see how developers utilise its resources, and whether 4K really is the focus. And we can be equally as sure that Microsoft will be watching just as intently as it gears up for its own next-gen roll-out.
Given the leaked power differential between the two machines – Scorpio is rumored to be a roughly 6 Teraflop console vs. Neo’s roughly 4 Teraflops of power – it wouldn’t surprise me if Sony had been targeting 2016 all along. It would certainly explain the lower spec of their console, but not the low-key announcement. However, one important thing worth noting is that Andrew House told Videogamer.com in reference to Project Scorpio that he “was surprised by the step of announcing something over a year ahead of time,” adding that “The dynamics of the tech industry are such that there’s a much heavier emphasis on immediate gratification than there was. A lot of that is to do with how Apple has very cleverly and elegantly managed the ‘available now’ approach. So yes, that was a slight surprise to me.”
While nothing is concrete yet, that seems like a pretty pointed quote to me and I imagine that Sony will choose to announce PlayStation Neo at either Gamescom or Paris Games Week later this summer before launching the console in time for the holiday season.