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The PS5 Pro Will Be The End Of PS5, According To Leak

It appears that Sony has a mid-cycle refresh for the PlayStation 5 ready to roll in developers' hands. Citing unnamed industry sources, Key To Gaming reports that Sony is actively working on a Pro model for the PlayStation 5 and that it has been in development since early 2022 under the codename "Trinity."

Sony has an affinity for internal names inspired by Matrix characters, so the "Trinity" christening checks out. For reference, the PlayStation 4 Pro was reportedly in development as "Neo," while the PlayStation VR took inspiration from "Morpheus." This follows previous reports that a Pro variant was in the pipeline and was targeting a 2024 release, which in turn caused the PS5 Pro to trend wildly on Twitter.

If true, the souped up PlayStation 5 won't be the first "Pro" outing for Sony's console line-up. In 2016, three years after the PlayStation 4 came out, Sony introduced the PlayStation 4 Pro alongside a Slim version. In other words, a PlayStation 5 Pro upgrade wouldn't be out of character for Sony, but we're already three years into the PlayStation 5's life cycle.

However, Sony hasn't said a word about the Pro model, or its supposedly gargantuan build, so the rumor mill is naturally in a frenzy. Just remember to process all the details in the fresh leak with the proverbial pinch of salt. Just in case you're wondering, the PlayStation 5 Pro is lined up for a November 2024 release, according to the latest leak. Here's what else may have been revealed.

Knee deep in development

Sony is already rumored to be working on a new PlayStation 5 trim that comes with a detachable disk drive. Group that one up with the Pro variant, and we possibly already have three PlayStation 5 variants in Sony's portfolio.

Despite this expansion, Key To Gaming also notes that the PlayStation 5 Pro would mark the end of the road for the PlayStation 5 series. It would continue to hold its current-gen console status until 2028, which is when the PlayStation 6 is reportedly targeted for a market release. With that in mind, it sounds like Sony is already deep into the testing phase with the PlayStation 5 Pro.

"It's understood that demo events for the PS5 Pro are already ongoing," says the report. Major game development studios are reportedly getting the test kit in November 2023. However, we don't know what the development kit looks like, and more importantly, what changes have been made under the hood.

However, the developer testing schedule mentioned in the leak makes sense. Game development takes its own sweet time, and when it comes to AAA titles that Sony would want to keep on its own platform, developers need access to the hardware as a test bed way ahead of release. Plus, Sony would want to ensure that PlayStation 5 Pro's release isn't a barren event lacking games that could really showcase its beefy internals.

Some much-needed upgrades

Sony is reportedly eyeing three key changes for the PlayStation 5 Pro: improved ray-tracing, a new performance mode dedicated to 8K gaming, and improvements to 4K 60fps gaming. Let's start in the reverse order here and focus on 4K 60fps gaming. Even though it was assumed that the PlayStation 5 would achieve the console dreams of 4K 60fp gameplay, Sony never explicitly promised that. And it actually shows.

For consoles like the PlayStation 5, which rely on upscaling to deliver the best experience, there's always a resolution overhead if you want to boost the frame rate figures. Developers, therefore, resort to locking the game at 30fps to achieve a smooth 4K output, especially with the newer crops of games. The PlayStation 5 can technically hit the 4K 60fps mark, but due to hardware limitations, it makes dynamic adjustments for even in-house AAA games.

The PlayStation 5 Pro would want to realize the expectations that gaming enthusiasts originally had with the PlayStation 5. In addition to delivering a stable 4K 60fps output on the Pro version, Sony is also said to be aiming for an enhanced ray-tracing experience.

Ray-tracing kneecaps the resolution and upscaling capabilities, but at the same time, it's also considered one of the truly next-gen advancements in console gaming. If Sony manages to deliver a uniform ray-traced gaming experience at 4K 60 fps on the PlayStation 5 Pro, it would be an apt (and beautiful) send-off for its fifth generation console.

Sony taking the lead from Xbox?

Of course, Sony is going to jazz up the internals for the PlayStation 5 Pro's internals, but unfortunately, we don't have any concrete details about what exactly those CPU and GPU upgrades are going to be. The vanilla PlayStation 5 features a semi-custom cluster of eight AMD Zen 2 cores and GPU cores with 36 compute units based on AMD's RDNA 2 architecture.

Notably, AMD is already working on the RDNA 4 GPU architecture that will focus on AI accelerators to improve the gaming experience. In an interview with Japanese outlet 4Gamer, AMD's Executive Vice President Rick Bergman hinted that the RDNA 4 GPUs will arrive in the "near future." It won't be surprising to see Sony on AMD's client list, considering the fact that Sony has used AMD CPU and GPU silicon in four consoles consecutively across the PlayStation 5 and 4 generations.

But more than just delivering on the gaming experience upgrades, Sony would also want to one-up the Xbox. Microsoft is currently sitting at the summit of console performance with the Xbox Series X delivering approximately 12 TFLOPs, while the PlayStation maxes out at roughly 10TFLOPs.

Assuming that the PlayStation 5 Pro indeed arrives next year, Sony would retain the console performance lead for at least a few quarters. Microsoft has already made it clear that it isn't planning a new console release anytime soon, which means the current model Xbox Series X would remain its flagship console for a while.

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