So far, 2023 has seen Sony become much more active in pushing the PS5. With an eye-watering release schedule and the launch of PSVR2, the company is clearly ready to go all-in.
You could argue that Sony may want to capitalise on its newfound momentum by launching a bigger and better system sooner rather than later. PS5 sales are through the roof right now, and the release of a Pro model could send profits skyrocketing, potentially coaxing earlier PS5 adopters into an upgrade.
Four years is a considerable chunk of time, console-wise. In generations past, we’d be looking towards the end of a system’s life. However, this generation has been anything but normal, and so historical traits don’t necessarily apply.
The PS4 Pro Was Born of Necessity
Another important point to remember is that we can’t really look at the PS4 Pro as some kind of prelude to Sony’s PS5 plans. The PS4 Pro released three years after the base PS4, but it was a necessary half-step, given the rise of 4K televisions. The standard PS4 was incapable of running games at the higher resolution, and so Sony had little choice but to ‘supercharge’ its system as to not be left behind.
Such a strong incentive doesn’t exist for the PS5. Yes, performance could always be better — it’s undeniable that some games struggle to hold a stable 60 frames-per-second at higher resolutions — but nailing frame rates isn’t quite the technical leap that’s needed to justify a brand new console.
Well, what about ray tracing? The visual tech is undoubtedly impressive, but most PS5 games have to settle for dedicated ray tracing graphics modes that sacrifice performance. A PS5 Pro could tout much improved ray tracing support as a key selling point — but even then, Sony’s speaking to a very hardcore subset of the PlayStation community.
… But perhaps that’s the plan?
Two New PS5 Models, One Year Apart? Surely Not
A PS5 Pro in late 2024… It seems somewhat plausible, but then you consider the other rumour that has a much stronger basis. We are, of course, talking about the long-rumoured, reworked PS5 model that will supposedly sport a detachable disc drive. This overhaul is expected to launch later this year (around September), and will reportedly replace the existing PS5 disc and digital versions.