Sony may be working on a new version of the PlayStation 4 that's able to output 4K graphics for games. Kotaku reports hearing about the PlayStation 4 upgrade from several developers, who Sony has briefed on the plans. It's not stated when the upgraded PlayStation will be ready or how it would be sold, but the implication is that Sony could, potentially in the next year or so, begin selling a 4K-compatible PlayStation alongside the existing PS4.
Mid-cycle console upgrades could become the norm
A 4K PlayStation would require stronger graphics capabilities than the current PS4 has. Kotaku reports that the upgraded model, which developers seem to be colloquially referring to as PS4.5, includes both an upgraded processor and GPU. Both would be necessary to output PS4 games at 4K resolution, which requires much more power than it takes to push a game out at 1080p. (The current PS4 supports 4K photos and videos, but not games.)
Though upgrading a console mid-cycle is an uncommon (but not entirely unheard of) move, it would make a lot of sense in this case. TV sets are currently transitioning to 4K — more affordable 4K sets are starting to make their way on the market, and we're not too many years away from most new models being 4K. Additionally, console makers may be moving away from the idea of nearly decade-long hardware cycles. Microsoft has already suggested that the Xbox One could get hardware upgrades, so it's not terribly surprising to hear that Sony is taking the same approach.