There’s a strong chance we’ll see a PS5 Pro at some point in the future, but the question is, what can we expect from a more powerful PlayStation 5?
Sony kickstarted the trend of releasing mid-gen console upgrades during the PlayStation 4 generation with the PS4 Pro back in 2016 – a more technologically advanced system that was capable of 4K visuals and higher frame rates. This was a first for major home consoles.
PS5 Pro: cut to the chase
* What is it? A mid-gen upgrade of the PS5
* How much will it cost? We expect it to be the same price as a PS5 launch at $ 499 / £ 449
* When will it be released? 2023 at the very earliest
The PS4 Pro was successful enough that Microsoft followed suit with its own mid-gen console refresh a year later, the Xbox One X. Much like the PS4 Pro, the Xbox One X trumped the original Xbox One in almost every department.
Nintendo has always had a habit of releasing upgraded hardware during a console generation, though the company tends to refine an existing design as opposed to making something more powerful. The Nintendo DSi, New Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch OLED are all recent examples of Nintendo making improvements to its original hardware but not overhauling the technical specs to any notable degree.
The PS5 has just had its year and a half anniversary on sale, then, but that doesn’t mean Sony isn’t drawing up plans to release a more capable model in the coming years. It’s unclear right now exactly what a PS5 Pro could improve upon, though – we still haven’t seen any 8K resolution support on PlayStation 5 as of yet, and we’ll have to wait for a PS5 Slim if we want to see a noticeably smaller console.
Still, it’s always fun to speculate and round up all the rumors, so let’s dive deep into the possibility of a PS5 Pro, we’ll make a few predictions along the way.
PS5 Pro price and release date
We can make an educated guess for when the PS5 Pro will be released alongside its price, based on what Sony did with the PS4 Pro. The PS4 Pro launched in 2016, which was three years after the original PS4 came out. That means we could see a PS5 Pro release as early as 2023, then, as the PS5 launched in November 2020. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing component shortages could push a PS5 Pro launch well into 2024 or beyond.
In terms of price, the PS4 Pro launched at the same price point as the original PS4, which was $ 399 / £ 349. The PS5 costs $ 499 / £ 449, so it’s likely that Sony could offer the PS5 Pro for the same price point, assuming it follows the same strategy it did for the PS4 Pro.
PS5 Pro design
The PS5 is already a gargantuan machine, which means that unless Sony can make drastic improvements, a PS5 Pro could match or even exceed the size of a regular PlayStation 5. A similar situation occurred with the PS4 Pro, which was bigger than the original PlayStation 4 by some margin. Thankfully, a PS5 Slim will likely be available around the same time for those who really want a smaller system.
We imagine that, much like the PlayStation 4 Pro, Sony’s design will build upon the existing futuristic look of the console, but could include some additional flourishes that aren’t present on the current system.
PS5 Pro specs
This is where things get a lot harder to predict. The PS5 is already an extremely powerful console, capable of 4K gaming at 120Hz in specific titles, ray tracing, and generally sumptuous visuals across the board. A PS5 Pro would certainly help developers hit even higher resolutions and frame rates, but it’s unlikely to represent a tangible leap, like we saw going from 1080p to 4K.
However, with the PS5 still unable to output any games at 8K, despite the feature being advertised on the console’s retail box, perhaps the PS5 Pro will target the next-gen resolution standard. We’ve already seen one game, The Touryst, running at 8K / 60fps on PS5, but you can only view it at 4K currently.
8K isn’t widespread right now, but in three years’ time, 8K panels will likely be more affordable and accessible to non-enthusiast consumers. Let’s not forget that Sony also manufactures TVs, and the Japanese company might want to use the PS5 Pro to push sales of its 8K sets, similar to how the PS3 helped win the disc format war with Blu-Ray.
The PS5 Pro could sport an AMD Zen 4 CPU and RDNA-3 GPU, but we’ve seen that both Microsoft and Sony decided to go with a slightly souped version of the Xbox One and PS4 CPUs in its upgraded models. So, we’d expect to see more investment in the GPU than the CPU with the PS5 Pro.
But what else could the PS5 Pro offer? We’d expect the PS5 Pro to include a larger SSD over the original PS5, too, as 825GB wasn’t exactly a generous amount to begin with, and some games have hefty file sizes. A 1TB version would certainly help add more value, and we’d expect the ability to install one of the best SSDs for PS5 to remain.
And what of a PS5 Pro Digital Edition? Will Sony also release a version without a disc drive? Maybe not. The PS5 Digital Edition serves as a cheaper alternative to the PS5 for those who are happy to go without, but releasing two versions of the PS5 Pro, which admittedly won’t appeal to everyone, would probably be a bit frivolous.
Do we even need a PS5 Pro?
Technically, no, but in two or three years’ time, we might see developers encounter more hurdles due to the PS5’s aging hardware that results in noticeable compromises in games, like lower frame rates or resolutions. A PS5 Pro could revitalize a lot of older games if they get enhanced as we saw on PS4 Pro, and the additional horsepower should ensure that newer titles aren’t held back, either.
Should I wait for a PS5 Pro or just buy a PS5?
You’ll always get a better deal if you wait, that’s just the nature of technology. However, the PS5 is an excellent console that has great games you can play right now. Yes, a PlayStation 5 Pro will be able to provide a better overall experience, but just think how much fun you’ll be missing out on by waiting?