Sony is now openly sharing this specification with developers and while Giant Bomb beat us to the punch, we have access to the same documentation. There is no doubt - this is real. This is the new, more powerful PlayStation 4.
The release window is unclear, but the schedule for hardware roll-out to developers is black and white: development kits prototype are on their way to studios now.
A test kit (debug station, if you like) housed within a non-final chassis - which Sony is asking developers not to show - follows shortly. A second-gen test kit, again not based on the actual retail shell, goes out in June. Sony gives more intensive Neo briefings at its DevCon event in in May, while code submission for Neo-compatible titles begins in August.
Well, according to Sony's own documents, there is a focus on delivering 4K gaming content, though upscaling to UHD resolution is likely. Owners of 1080p screens can expect benefits too, explicitly stated as:
More stable frame-rates
Improved graphics fidelity
Additional graphics features
There's also no indication at all that any of the functionality found in PlayStation VR's external processing box will make its way into the Neo hardware, nor is there any mention at all that Neo will benefit PSVR, though we would expect that the same base/Neo spec differentiation will apply to those titles just as they would to any PS4 game.
On top of that, while the documentation says that the hard drive will remain the same (Sony has several in circulation, so we assume it means 2.5-inch laptop drives generally) there are no indications of any changes to the Blu-ray drive. This is surprising, as we would have assumed that Sony would take this opportunity to support the new UHD 4K movie standard, supporting standard 50GB discs along with 66GB and 100GB variants. For now it seems that developers are set to stick with 50GB of storage.
Developers have the ability to add Neo support to their existing PlayStation 4 titles coming out in September via a day one patch, while dual base/Neo supported titles are expected to arrive from October onwards.
Sony isn't telling developers when the unit will actually launch and states that it's perfectly OK with Neo-compatible titles shipping before the actual hardware. Either the platform holder is playing its cards close to its chest or else the firm itself simply isn't clear when it plans to launch the kit.