These past few weeks have been dominated by news and rumors of games and other features that will be showcased at E3 this year. Now, as a change of pace, video game fans have something that they know won't be showcased at E3: the PlayStation 4 Neo.
In an interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House announced the PlayStation 4 Neo would not be making an appearance at the convention this year, since the company wants "to ensure [Sony] has a full range of the best experiences on the new system that it can showcase in their entirety."
Though this is certainly bad news for fans who had been looking forward to seeing the console for the first time, there is a bright side to all this. By confirming that the PS4 Neo won't be making an appearance at E3 this year, it also means that the long-rumored console is indeed real. As an added bonus, fans now have some idea about what the enhanced PS4 will be like.
According to House, the PS4 Neo won't be a direct replacement for the standard the PS4. Instead, the Neo is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4, with both versions to be sold "through the life cycle." As such, the introduction of the new console is not expected to cause interoperability problems between old and new PlayStation 4 hardware.
So, what will be main the difference between them? House says the Neo will be aimed at hardcore gamers, as well as consumers with 4K television sets looking for more high-resolution content. Of course, the upgraded specs will come at a higher cost for prospective buyers, with House promising that the Neo will be more expensive than the current $350 version.
Unfortunately, this bright side leads to yet another disappointment: fans won't be able to see the showdown between the PS4 Neo and Xbox "Scorpio" this year. Just like how many expected to see the Neo at E3 this year, they also expected the "Scorpio" to make an appearance during the convention as well. Rumors about the Neo predate the Scorpio by a wide margin, but reports about the new Xbox began to spring up late last month, claiming that Microsoft would showcase it this year at E3.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft had no intention whatsoever on doing this, but reportedly decided to do so due to the "faster-than-expected timeline for Sony's own upgraded PlayStation 4."
Of course, there's no way of knowing for sure that this is true, but if it is, Sony's announcement now leaves Microsoft in an awkward position. Sony and Microsoft have a tradition of showing off their latest consoles back-to-back at E3. For the past few weeks, E3 2016 looked like it would be a repeat of that of trend, but that all changed with Sony's most recent report.
Microsoft (unless it cancels it) now has a huge announcement coming up and has nothing to go against or "beat" it — an unfortunate turn of events, since the Scorpio was rumored to outperform the Neo by a reasonable margin. It will be hard for viewers to make a reasonable comparison if they don't have any information about its competitor, and it gives Sony extra time to prep up a counter now that Microsoft is slated to throw some of its cards on the table.