Sony has officially invited journalists to a press conference in New York City on September 7, where an upgraded PlayStation 4 is almost certain to be the big reveal.
The emailed invitations come one day after reports hit the web that the gaming giant was locking in to the first Wednesday in September as the date for its next big announcement. And while the invitation simply says "PlayStation Meeting," it's hard to imagine that the company would be showcasing anything else in such a high-profile venue.
Andrew House, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, had confirmed that an updated version of the PS4 was on the drawing board in a pre-E3 interview with the Financial Times in June. While the console wasn't shown or mentioned at the annual gaming confab, the story confirmed the "Neo" code name, the fact that the new console would offer enhanced Ultra HD 4K graphics, and that it would "sit alongside and complement the standard PS4."
In other words, this isn't the PlayStation 5, but rather the "PS4.5," delivering upgraded graphics on existing titles while keeping compatibility with the game library between both levels of PS4 models. Sony fans are also hoping that the Neo would possibly offer a smoother (read: nausea-free) experience on the company's forthcoming PlayStation VR add-on, which hits October 13. All-in-one VR bundles could well be a possibility, too.
For Sony, an event right after the US Labor Day holiday would line up perfectly with the ramp-up to the Christmas holiday shopping season. And today's "save the date" announcement is perfectly timed to give pause to gamers tempted by Microsoft's new Xbox One S, which offers 4K video and UltraHD Blu-Ray compatibility, but not more graphically intense gaming.
Microsoft, for its part, has already said that VR and 4K gaming is coming to the Xbox line in the form of its Project Scorpio console, due in late 2017.
CNET will have live coverage of the PlayStation event when it happens in Manhattan on September 7 at noon PT, 3 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. UK, 7 a.m. AEST (September 8).
Updated 3:16 p.m. PT with additional details and analysis.