PlayStation 4 VR Still Works Without Upgrade, Neo Aims To Win PC Gamers Over

The PlayStation 4 VR plans might not require the PlayStation Neo after all. Apparently, when the headset launches, current PS4 owners won’t need to upgrade to see the fully immersive results.

This is relieving, yet troubling. The Neo was said to be intended to improve performance and give us compatibility with the upcoming headset being released in October. The lack of an upgrade could mean those standard definition visuals will be showing off how outdated they are as gamers start counting the jagged pixel edges.

This is the reason why many gamers seeking better visuals and performance often end up moving on the gaming PC systems. The Neo is aimed to hopefully take back those gamers and prove to them that a console can handle the same things. Sadly, the “PC master race” will be a tough crowd to convince. The average HDTV is only capable of displaying 1080p visuals, while even low-end PC monitors can double it without breaking a proverbial sweat. Watch any YouTube video on 1080p settings and it only takes up maybe half of the screen.

Sony’s Jim Ryan has come out to say that PlayStation 4 VR won’t need a Neo to work just yet.

“Go to our [E3] room and check out the VR games and make up your own mind. That’s for you and others to decide upon. We are completely confident that the line-up of 50 games – plus some of which [were] announced yesterday – are going to provide a first class VR experience. What we can say is that we have a fertile ground of [40 million] PS4s, all of which will run PlayStation VR.”

This isn’t saying that we won’t need a PlayStation Neo to play VR titles in the future, though. It’s important to remember that new consoles, or even new upgrades as the Neo is being called, are often little better at the start than previous consoles. It took three years before PS4 games actually started looking significantly better than those on PS3, and it could be just as long before PlayStation 4 VR will be impressive enough to require a Neo upgrade to run new titles smoothly.

The idea of the PlayStation Neo being able to compete with the latest PC technology is almost a losing battle, logically. PC systems are designed to be upgraded over time, while consoles are not. The only thing Sony lets you upgrade on the current PS4 is the hard drive. Get a higher capacity “laptop” hard drive and you can store even more games on it. That’s the extent of what you can upgrade on Sony’s console.

Sony’s Andrew House remains confident that the PlayStation Neo will compete with high-end PCs.

“We’ve traditionally seen that some of the core audience tends to gravitate back to high-end PCs at some point because these are the people who want the finest graphical performance. So here’s a great opportunity to have them stay within our ecosystem. … If you are a person who’s just purchased a 4K television, maybe there’s not that much content around right now, so there’s something interesting about games being able to fill that gap and offer that experience. Those are the fundamentals of Neo.”

We still don’t have any specs to judge the PlayStation Neo on, and the PlayStation 4 VR could eventually need the upgrade to function. All we have for now is confirmation that Neo exists.

The question is whether or not Neo is the one gamers will gravitate to.

[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]