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Sony is reportedly planning a newer and more powerful version of the PlayStation 4 with increased graphical power and games running at 4K resolution, according to multiple developer sources.

The speculation comes on the heels of Microsoft hinting that hardware upgrades were a possibility for the Xbox One going forward.

According to Kotaku, the PS 4.5 has an upgraded GPU that would support high-end 4K resolution gaming and resource-heavy games supported by PlayStation VR that's slated for launch in October 2016. It isn't clear whether the PS 4.5 would come in the form of an upgrade for the current PS4 or in an entirely new box.

Although it is common for new versions of consoles to come out during a console generation, the changes are usually minor features that would include a slimmer design or add-ons like integrated wireless.

If the PS 4.5 console would be released, it would be a significant step-up in terms of improved graphical and processing capabilities, despite not being a new full-generation system. It would also make it a more competitive console in the world of virtual reality with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which both require higher desktop graphics. Developers might also be able to use the PS 4.5's increased horsepower to bring more sophisticated visual effects to their titles as well. The current PS4 can output 4K photos and videos, but cannot support 4K resolutions for games.

It is unclear if the rumoured version's current name is in fact the "PlayStation 4.5" or just a nickname. According to Kotaku, one source said the device felt "exploratory" and may not even be released this year.

However, if they do release a mid-generation system, it would allow Sony to stamp a higher price for the console after the PS4's prices dropped to $350 (£240) last fall and further down to $300 during the holiday season. There is also no word on how games would be differentiated between the traditional PS4 and the new rumoured console.

When Kotaku contacted Sony for comment, the company gave the expected response in an email: "We can't comment on rumors or speculation."