PS5 Pro and Xbox Series X Pro – do we need them?

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BBelieve it or not, it’s been almost 2 years since Microsoft and Sony launched the Xbox Series X and PS5 into the hands of gamers around the world. Of course, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long – as supply chain shortages and widespread scalping have continued to make life difficult for anyone wanting to get their hands on a brand new current-gen console. That said, these issues don’t seem to have had any impact on the rumor mill, which continues to churn out information at a steady pace about the future of console makers this generation.

So, TCL recently held a conference in which it was mentioned that Microsoft and Sony will release their half-gen console updates – dubbed PS5 Pro and Xbox Series X/S Pro for now – around 2023/2024. Apparently, these consoles will be able to render games in full 4K between 60 FPS and 120 FPS – thanks to an update to AMD’s latest RDNA3 graphics technology. It’s still a rumour, and that too from an unlikely source – since TCL Technology mainly deals with display technology which obviously has no direct link to the parts that would be needed to make a console. Although to counter this point, the company could also be gearing up to manufacture screens that work best with supposed upcoming consoles. Or it could just be a categorical assumption. Either way, it got us thinking – do we really need a PS5 Pro and Xbox Series X Pro this generation?

Unsurprisingly, the question raises even more questions and forces us to briefly consider the market situation a few years ago compared to now. The PS4 Pro was released in 2016 and the Xbox One X was released soon after in 2017. Both hardware updates provided substantial improvements to the gaming experience, especially the Xbox One X since the launch of the Xbox One would really struggle to hold on. his in cross-platform games which almost unanimously ran smoother and at a higher resolution on PS4. Back then, finding an Xbox One or PS4 was easy because they were relatively easy to buy. Additionally, cross-generational releases were becoming increasingly rare and mostly limited to your shooting and sports games which obviously target a large audience to maximize sales potential.

Microsoft and Sony had already produced a good number of exclusives and generational powerhouses. To sum up, most developers had figured out how to get the most out of the hardware available, and as such having a significantly more powerful system at their disposal would help improve the gaming experience for those who wanted it and maybe , even open more opportunities for developers.

Switch to the current market scenario, and here we are dealing with a whole different set of variables. First, Sony and Microsoft just can’t seem to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for these consoles. Sony even released a new PS5 model to help combat supply constraints. Add to that the fact that these shortages are highly unlikely to be alleviated in the coming months, and it becomes highly unreasonable from a business perspective to devote resources to creating an entirely new production pipeline. for a mid-cycle hardware upgrade rather than trying to improve the hardware offering that thousands upon thousands of fans are actively seeking.

At least that’s the case with Sony since Microsoft has already kicked off this generation with its two-tier hardware strategy with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. With a whopping 12 TFLOPs of computing power, Microsoft places the Xbox Series X as the console for enthusiasts who want the best possible visual fidelity for their games. For them to release and announce an even higher-end Pro variant so soon would be rather odd and defeat the purpose of the Xbox Series X to some extent.

Then there are the games. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been the kindest to the games industry, and we’re still seeing the aftermath of the pandemic on studios around the world. Developer morale is at an all-time low and games are delayed left, right, and center. Microsoft may have gotten stronger than before with its hugely successful Xbox Game Pass, but there’s still a lot to do in the name of true next-gen gaming. Of course there is The way and Microsoft Flight Simulator – both of which are great games, but feature titles like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 and STALKER 2 are still far from the exit. PlayStation fare a little better in this case, with visually striking exclusives such as Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Forbidden Horizon West having already been released.

But even so, most would agree that we’ve yet to see just how capable this new hardware is. The latest generation of consoles is not completely phased out yet, as most third-party developers still opt to release games on the latest generation consoles as well. Between that and the fact that the upgraded consoles would target the same 4K output resolution as the base console, it doesn’t make much sense to release a new hardware upgrade – more so, at this very early stage.

Another factor that needs to be brought to light is how software support has gone for consoles upgraded to the latest generation. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are significantly more powerful than their base variants, but support for these machines is dictated by their base variant support. Basically, if a game doesn’t work on PS4, it won’t work on PS4 Pro – even though it’s technically possible that it will run on much more powerful hardware. While this is by no means surprising since mid-life upgrades have always worked this way, it somewhat diminishes the value proposition for an end consumer. If a PS5 Pro or Xbox Series X Pro were to perform the same way (which they most likely would), very few customers could find the extra cash for what is essentially slightly better visuals and performance.

To conclude, do we need a PS5 Pro or an Xbox Series X right now? Probably not. But will we need a PS5 Pro or an Xbox Series X Pro later in this generation? Well, it’s hard to say because we don’t know how long the shortages will last and how much untapped potential lies in entry-level consoles. Once these two situations become clear, it would become easier to understand if we really need upgraded consoles for this generation. As far as the rumor goes, it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon – and while the TCL Technology conference that started this whole conversation might be wrong or just speculation for all it’s worth – the release of consoles upgraded so early in this scenario do not. t seem viable for a multitude of different reasons.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


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