It's been a few years since PS5 launched back in 2020, which can definitely feel like a fever dream. COVID-19 began shortly after the launch of PS5, and as the console launched, people quickly discovered how hard it would be to actually get their hands on one. Stock has improved since launch, sure, but prices haven't gone down much, and many folks who want a PS5 haven't got one yet. Nonetheless, rumors are circulating about a possible PS5 Pro.
However, I just don't think a PS5 Pro is on the way. So, in this article, I'll tell you all about why I don't think PS5 Pro is coming and why you shouldn't either.
A PS5 Pro Wouldn't Have a Big New Feature
Everybody thinks PS5 Pro is coming because PS4 Pro did, in fact, come. And at a glance, well, that can make some sense. However, if you think a bit more about it, you'll quickly come to the realization that PS4 Pro wasn't setting the tone for the new normal and was, instead, itself the anomaly.
See, we don't usually see Pro versions of consoles for a couple of different reasons. First up is the fact that console manufacturers don't usually want to try and sell new consoles within a couple of years of each other, because most people game on a console and not a PC to save money, so if you've got to replace your console every few years, well, it kind of defeats the purpose.
Beyond that, though, is the fact that developing a new console takes years of time, effort, and money to bring to market, and usually, consoles themselves don't even turn a profit when they first launch. Plus, a new console needs to offer up big new features over its predecessor, too, to make it seem like a good buy to folks who likely already have the last generation.
The long and short of it is that you need a really good reason to introduce a Pro version of a console mid-way through the life cycle of a gaming generation. With PS4 Pro, though, there was one such reason: 4K gaming. The PS4 launched at a time when 1080p was, essentially, all there was, and as a result, it was designed to run games at 1080p, full stop. Nothing higher.
But just a few years after the PS4 launched, 4K started becoming more and more mainstream. PC gamers were quickly gaming at 4K/60FPS with high graphics settings while console gamers were stuck at 1080p/30FPS with medium (or so) settings, which just didn't feel right. And thus, the PS4 Pro (and Xbox One X) were born. These weren't machines truly capable of delivering actual, native 4K, but they definitely bridged the gap between PC and console.
The problem is that today the same cannot be said about 8K. It's not a mainstream resolution, and PC gamers aren't gaming at it, either. The hardware to truly drive 8K gaming doesn't even really exist, and even if you can argue that it does, well, it's ludicrously expensive at the moment. Without a Pro version of PS5 that could sell 8K like the PS4 Pro did 4K, what could it offer?
Sure, for gamers like me obsessed with high refresh rates, a new console that made 120FPS an easily achievable goal for just about every PS5 game would be fantastic, but I'm a fraction of a fraction when it comes to the larger gaming audience. Most console gamers are still enjoying the jump from 30FPS to 60FPS we're seeing with a ton of different current-gen games, and most console gamers haven't played much at higher framerates, anyways.
What's more is that selling a system that could push out graphic settings a little bit more for anywhere from $600 to $700 just doesn't feel like it'd be worth it either, not to most folks. So, unless Sony has a huge new game-changing feature in the works, it doesn't feel like a PS5 Pro could really justify itself as something worth spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on.
PS5 Is Successful, so Why Mess With a Good Thing?
By January 2016, two years and a little change after release, the PS4 had sold nearly 36 million units, making it the most popular game console in the world at the time. Two years and some change after the PS5 was released, the console has sold over 30 million units as of 2023. That's a lower number, but the number itself is deceptive.
See, by all accounts, the demand for PS5 is actually greater than that for PS4. The problem has consistently been Sony's ability to actually stock enough PlayStation 5s to meet the demand. Global chip shortages alongside COVID-19 massively impacted how many consoles Sony's been able to produce since the PS5 launched. Put simply, it's very likely that if there were enough PS5s for everyone who wanted one the PS5 would be dominating PS4's sales.
This also means that there's very little incentive to introduce a new console anytime soon. Millions of people want a PS5 right now, but if PS5 Pro were to be announced, well, many folks would just wait for the Pro. And even if Sony was able to make an extra $100 to $200 off the sale of a Pro, buying later likely means selling fewer games. Plus, as mentioned before, companies don't usually make money off of console sales at launch, so it may well be preferable to Sony for someone to buy a PS5 now than a PS5 Pro at launch.
Plus, for a console that just came out a couple of years ago that would struggle to introduce major new features, it'd be a hard sell for people who already have a PS5, so in all likelihood, it feels like the possible sales of a PS5 Pro just wouldn't amount to enough. Of course, though, this may not be the case. Sony might have an easy way to upgrade the kit in PS5 substantially enough to sell it as a new version without having to invest too much or lose too much.
In that case, more options for the consumer is always best, but generally speaking, that's not likely, and accordingly, it's not too likely we see a PS5 Pro. And really, that shouldn't break too many hearts, because you probably aren't missing out on much from a PS5 Pro.