In an interview with the Financial Times, Sony Interactive Entertainment president Andrew House confirmed that the upgraded PlayStation 4, code-named Neo, is real. The reason for the early confirmation is that the new system won't be unveiled at E3 2016 next week.
"We want to ensure we have a full range of the best experiences on the new system that we can showcase in their entirety," House explained.
He didn't go into many specifics outside of what we've already heard, including the fact that all Neo-ready games are supposed to support both the original PS4 and the more-powerful Neo. Sony intends to sell both systems as separate SKUs during this generation and players can expect the Neo to cost more than the current PS4.
"It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4," he said. "We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle. All games will support the standard PS4 and we anticipate all or a very large majority of games will also support the high-end PS4."
House admitted that smartphone and mobile vendors had primed this shift in how Sony (and potentially Microsoft) are delivering home consoles. People are used to upgrading their phones one a year or once every two years, so an upgraded PS4 during this console generation is no longer a huge stretch.
"The consumer is attuned to a different cadence of innovation in technology thanks in great part for the upgrades cadence on mobile phones or PCs," said House.
Price and release date? Still under wraps. I'd hazard the original PlayStation 4's launch price of $399, while that system drops to $299 to shut out the Xbox One. Sony does have room to play around though, since this will be a premium system and the 'budget' model will still be on store shelves alongside it.
We're at E3 next week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!