While the PS5 Pro has yet to be revealed by Sony, it’s possible that we’ll see the mid-generation upgrade sometime in the near future. That’s because we can look back historically at a similar time in the previous system’s lifespan to determine that we could see the latest variant launch as early as the end of 2023.
That’s because the PS5 originally launched back in November 2020 and it’s coming up on three years since then now. While Sony’s current generation console was plagued with stock issues for the first two years of its life in the US, the UK, and Australia, among other regions, that’s now been fully resolved, as the system has sold for its historic lowest-ever prices in these regions with best-ever deals. It’s these deep discounts which give the impression that the latest hardware revision could be coming sooner rather than later.
We can look back to the days of the PS4, which debuted nearly a decade ago all the way back in 2013, which then saw its major hardware revision with the PS4 Pro in 2016. The latter beefed up the visual capabilities to be able to output in 4K and boosted the clock speeds of the AMD eight-core Jaguar cores as well as the RAM for better overall performance. Based upon this, it’s likely that a PS5 Pro would run on the same RDNA 2 architecture of the base system but would crank the existing hardware further to squeeze higher framerates out through die shrink.
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. We’ve recently seen the PS5 get a price hike with Sony blaming this on soaring inflation globally, so the PS5 currently costs £479.99 / €549.99 / AU$799.95. It’s likely that Sony could offer the PS5 Pro for the same price point, assuming it follows the same strategy it did for PS4 Pro.
PS5 Pro design
Chances are, the PS5 Pro will be physically larger than the standard PS5 if we take the leap between the PS4 and PS4 Pro for example. Given the fact that the PS5 is already a big boy, thanks to its curved side plates and tall structure, a PS5 Pro could be physically taller and thicker to compensate for the beefer hardware inside and the potential added cooling solution.
It’s unlikely that Sony would completely abandon the side plates of the PS5, as it makes the console easy to open up to clean out the fans and install an SSD for PS5, which only takes minutes. The PS4 Pro shared the DNA of the original system but included another “layer” on top from the two layers to a third tower.
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 a few 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-up 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.
There’s also the potential of the PS5 Pro using Gen 5 SSDs which would be one of the more tangible things to integrate. The PS5 uses Gen 4 NVMe SSDs and can be slotted in easily enough. The PS5 Pro could use the faster memory type, resulting in faster loading times and a snappier overall U.I. experience.
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?