Well, the rumors about a PS5 Pro are appearing at a bizarrely fast pace. The regular PS5 completed its second anniversary in November last year, and that was one of the most problematic release rides for a Sony console. Don't get me wrong, there is no problem with the current console, and it brought significant upgrades after almost ten years of PS4. However, the console launched amidst the peak of the semiconductor crisis. For that reason, it was a super-hard task to grab one unit.
For months, we saw the stocks coming and going away in a few seconds. Two years passed, and the situation is much better now, but it's hard to not consider it a fresh release considering the problematic start of the new generation. However, there are a lot of rumors pointing to the release of a new PS5 Pro, much to the displeasure of some PS5 owners.
Disclaimer: Most of the PS5 details are based on rumors, so treat them as rumors until official information comes from Sony
Are the PS5 Pro rumors absurd? Is it coming soon?
Some may consider the rumors of a new PlayStation 5 Pro simply absurd. Well, there are a lot of players that could not grab one due to the obvious supply issues. Some players had to go through an odyssey to get their unit, and now there are rumors pointing to an all-new console. Does this make any sense? To be honest, it's not really absurd to expect a PS5 Pro from Sony at this point.
The PS5 looks like a fresh device, but it already has two years. The history of launching incremental upgrades is not something new for Sony. The company started this trend with the launch of the PS4 Pro. The higher, more capable model, came three years after the PS4 became a thing. The PS4 was launched in November 2013, and the Pro came in November 2016 alongside a Slim model. The PS5 was launched in late 2020, so in November 2023, the console will complete its third anniversary. If Sony follows the same pattern, the PS5 Pro could be launched in November this year.
Some will say that the PS4 Pro was a needed upgrade, after all, the PS4 could not handle 4K gaming. It was an easier task to grab a PS4 at its launch, and that was not the case with the PS5. So it probably felt like an older console by the launch of the PS4 Pro. But the fact is that it was launched just three years after the regular model. If the PS5 Pro comes with significant upgrades like more powerful hardware to handle ray-tracing and high resolution at the same time, then the upgrade will be justified.
Sony recently launched the PS5 DualSense Edge, which seems to be the company's new take on the Xbox Elite controller. What about launching a new PS5 Pro that comes with that controller straight out of the box? From a business perspective, a more capable PS5 Pro would eventually cost more (that was the case with the PS4 Pro), so it would not directly hurt those going for a PS5. To put things in perspective, the PS5 costs about $499 in the US and £479.99 in the UK. The Dual Sense Edge costs $199 or £209.99, respectively. Just imagine the price of a console that comes with that controller. Perhaps, the same buyer that gets a PS5 would not get a PS5 Pro, but this is relative. With new hardware, the console can end up costing a lot more than the current one. We would not be surprised to see if reaching the $599 or even the $699 price tag. But this is just speculation, and Sony tries to play safe after the PS3.
“2023 will be exciting for the PlayStation 5”
The rumors point to a release in July this year. But that is just a rumor, we will need to wait for official word from Sony. The company tends to make announcements in the middle of the year, with an actual launch (the console reaches stores) by November. So the rumors for a July announcement are not too far from reality. At the end of 2022, Hideaki Nishino, SIE Platform Experience SVP, made an interesting statement about 2023: “By the end of fiscal 2022, cumulative sales will exceed 37 million units, and we believe that it will be a very important time for the platform as well. I hope you will look forward to next year (2023).”
That sentence fell like a bomb to spread rumors about the PS5 Pro. However, there is a good portion of users that believes he was teasing the new PS5 model with a removable disc driver. His statement was vague, but certainly teases a platform update in 2023. For now, we will need to wait for official details. But that will not prevent the leaks from spreading out.
PS5 Pro likely brings a new design
Well, the PS4 Pro was a bulkier, but stylish version, of the PS4 Slim. Therefore, the PS5 Pro should follow the design of a PS5 Slim… Wait! Now we are talking about a PS5 Slim. C'mon, it will come, Sony always launches slimmer versions of its PlayStation consoles. And if there is one that desperately needs a compact version is the PS5. The console in its current state can easily dominate any living room. It's a miracle that it runs quietly and colder than its predecessor. It's quite a machine with powerful hardware and presence, but Sony will eventually launch a compact version. It can ditch the removable plates for something more streamlined. Meanwhile, the PS5 Pro may come as a mix of the current one and any new design language introduced with a slim model.
The PS5 Slim can end up being the so-called PS5 with a removable disc driver. That would allow Sony to sell it in both Digital and Disc Driver versions. Or perhaps, Sony plans to launch it as a Digital-Only model that can easily get access to discs through a separately sold disc reader. This does not sound absurd, and apple would like the idea. Xbox's cheaper Series S is a digital-only console that sells for a little less. Anyway, we would not be surprised to see the PS5 Pro also getting this new design approach. The new concept may bring some relief to Sony's stressed supply chain.
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PS5 Pro's alleged specifications
Considering that everything about the PS5 Pro is based on rumors and speculations, it's hard to guess the specs of this console. However, if Sony follows the same pattern as the PS4 Pro, then it should benefit from certain quality-of-life upgrades. First, the console should deliver Sony's promised 8K resolution. In theory, the PS5 is capable of doing so. However, reality tells us a different story. None of the PlayStation Studios' titles reached the console with 8K support. In fact, even [email protected] is not available on all games, especially when you enable Ray-Tracing.
We all know that Ray-Tracing is heavier even on PCs, and bringing NASA's computer hardware to a $499 package does not seem to be possible. Still, we expect it to offer something beyond what the PS5 is capable of. Maybe we won't have to choose between resolution and frame rate, and the PS5 Pro could be capable of handling these at the same time. We can't see ray-tracing on all games unless a DLSS-like tech comes into motion. But still, it should be more powerful than the current model.
8K for VR and Water-Cooling
Sony may want to take a ride on the launch of the PS VR2 to combine it with a more powerful version of the PS5. Maybe you won't feel the need of playing on 8K, but this becomes useful when you're playing in Virtual Reality. If Sony plans to compete with the other giants of the segment, then it may consider an upgrade. Sony may look to incorporate new GPU and CPU architecture like the 5nm Zen 4 and RDNA-3 GPU from AMD. That would be an upgrade over the current model that uses a Zen 2 processor with RDNA 2 graphics. Again, the hard part is to bring it to an affordable price, but may in the future, it will be possible.
More recent rumors have been pointing to the use of advanced Water Cooling. Right now, the PS5 uses metal liquid which proved to be a better solution than the silver thermal paste used on the PS4 series. The metal liquid seems to be doing the job just fine, but maybe the current Fan will not be able to keep up with the new (alleged) hardware temperatures. So Sony may want to employ a better thermal engine to keep the console cold and free of throttling. Of course, that would also mean a price increase and could make the overall hardware more complicated.
A new console to handle the next round of PlayStation Studios games
Sony basically ended the first round of PS games for the PS5. The generation began with Spider-Man Miles Morales, Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7, and God of War. We also had a couple of other exclusive PS games that were developed by partner studios like Deadloop, Ghostwire Tokyo, and Forspoken. Unlike the third-party AAA Games, Sony's exclusives (until they come to PC, of course) reached both the PS4 and PS5. There were some exceptions that came to show the power of the new console like Ratchet and Clank: Into the Rift, Demon Souls, and Returnal. But with the most-anticipated ones reaching the PS4, we can say that the first round of games was made of cross-gen titles. Now, we expect a new round of games that will show the true power of the PS5.
You may argue that these titles look and perform better on the PS5. You're right, but we want to see some games that will never run on a PS4 with its 2013-based hardware. The new round of exclusives set to push the PS5 to its limits also offers good hype for the PS5 Pro to take a ride. There are some titles that were not announced. However, we already have Death Stranding 2, Spiderman 2, and Wolverine reaching the PS5 soon. The PS5 Pro could take a ride on these new exclusives, whenever they come.
Should I buy the PS5 or wait for the PS5 Pro?
I'll say one more time that everything related to the PS5 Pro seems open to speculation. The rumors will keep feeding our thirst for news about this console. We seriously expect Sony to launch it at any point ahead of a PS6, but for now, we need to be realistic. Unless that more concrete info appears, the PS5 Pro is still something for the future.
Sony has plans in the 8K space, after all, it was promoting TVs that offered support for 8K with 120 frames per second. The company teased them as “PS5-ready” on the PS Blog. There is also a comprehensive Q&A that explains that the current model is compatible with 8K, but a future system update will enable it to output 8K content when available”. If the company is serious about bringing 8K, 120fps, ray-tracing, and more, then this is where the PS5 Pro will find its space.
We don't expect the PS5 Pro to hurt the regular model, it will probably cost more. It will likely be something made for enthusiasts. For that reason, if you really can't wait to play on a PS5 and find one for a good deal, we don't see a reason for waiting for the PS5 Pro. Considering that the console is speculative, you can have fun with a regular model right now if you want. However, if none of the current games has attracted your attention to the PS5, then you may opt for waiting a few months. The truth will be uncovered soon.
Sony is likely bringing “something” in 2023. Although most of the official details have been based on vague words, there are some rumors spreading about the hardware. So in the less shiny reality of the rumors, we will get a new regular model with the detachable disc driver. Still, this will be something that should make it easier for Sony to ensure the stocks of this console.