Sony may have some surprises on stage at E3 next week, but one thing it won't have is the Playstation NEO. This news comes along with official confirmation of the NEO's existence via an interview with Sony Interactive Entertainment's Andrew House over at the Financial Times.
Though House doesn't get into details about teraflops or memory amounts, his statements line up with what we've reported in the past. It will be a "high-end PS4" that sells for over the current unit's $350 price tag, and will "sit alongside and complement the standard PS4" throughout the entire cycle of the PS4. He confirmed that future PS4 games would continue being supported on the PS4 and that "all or a very large majority of games will also support the high-end PS4."
When it comes to placing this decision inside of a larger strategic context, House used phrasing similar to Microsoft's Phil Spencer when describing this strategy change, stating that console buyers are now "attuned to a different cadence of innovation in technology thanks in great part for the upgrades cadence on mobile phones." That said, there's nothing in this interview that indicates that Sony is looking to make upgrades like this a yearly thing.
Ever since Patrick Klepek broke the "Playstation 4.5" story back in March, I've been eager to see how Sony would message the console's existence while still trying to move units of the current model. But despite this official confirmation that the NEO is in development, it seems like we'll be waiting for a while before getting more information. When asked why the NEO won't show up at Sony's E3 presentation, House stated that Sony wants "to ensure we have a full range of the best experiences on the new system that we can showcase in their entirety." Given that the earlier leaks suggested that the NEO would launch before fiscal 2017, I suspect that we'll see a full announcement of the NEO sometime later this summer, possibly at Gamescom in mid-August.
With the NEO out of the way, Sony will be able to focus its E3 press conference on upcoming PS4 games and features. As excited as I was to see how they'd sell the NEO, I'm just as curious to see if the company has any new surprises up its sleeves. If you're curious too, you can watch along with all of us here at Giant Bomb on June 13th at 6 PM PT.