During the years a games console is on sale the internals and external look of the machine goes through multiple changes. Both the Xbox 360 and PS3 got smaller and more power efficient, as did the PS2 and PSOne before them. Even the PS4 has received its first hardware tweaks in recent months. What never changes, though, is the performance game developers rely on when creating a game. It’s a constant, which is what you want in a platform.However, this year Nintendo decided to buck that trend with the New 3DS and New 3DS XL. One of the upgrades the handheld received was a faster processor, meaning we now have games appearing that won’t run on the older, slower 3DS models. Now Sony has said it would, hypothetically, consider doing the same thing with the PS4 in the future.Such an option would never have been considered for older PlayStation consoles as they used a custom hardware platform, which would have been extremely expensive to produce a new, more powerful version of. However, the PS4 uses the x86 architecture. Higher performance x86 chips are being produced all the time, meaning an upgrade would be significantly easier/cheaper to perform. But that doesn’t mean Sony would do it, just that it’s the first time they feasibly could.Masayasu Ito, Sony Computer Entertainment Senior Vice President, confirmed this during an interview with Japanese gaming website 4Gamer. He also went on to say the real question is whether it should be done.Announcing a new, more powerful PS4 in the immediate future would be a big mistake as it would create two tiers of games: those that run on the current and new PS4 and those that require the newer model. However, as we reach the end of the typical 8-10 year lifecycle of the PS4, then it could be a genuine consideration. Instead of releasing an all-new PS5, release a PS4.5 and get another few years of life.Of course, the other side of this argument also holds true: now Sony has moved to an x86 platform, the development of the PlayStation 5 is going to be much cheaper than in previous generations. It’s also going to be much easier to offer PS4 backwards compatibility from launch. So why consider doing anything else except a brand new machine carrying the name PlayStation 5?