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Is the PS5 Pro Worth Your Money?by@wxaith
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Is the PS5 Pro Worth Your Money?

by Brandon AllenFebruary 4th, 2023
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The PS5 console is a little over two years old and while its technology is certainly powerful enough to run and play most games released on it, they can still make improvements to its performance. One of the biggest selling points of the current generation of gaming consoles was the promise of high-performance gameplay that would run at a consistent 60 frames per second. The PS5 struggles with this because its graphics card and CPU aren't always strong enough to render a game in native 4K.
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The eighth generation of gaming consoles saw the first-ever ‘pro’ version releases of the consoles on the market. Gaming consoles being updated part way through their life cycle is what we’re now calling a mid-generation console update. Sony’s first foray into this came on November 10th, 2016, when the PS4 Pro was released. It focused these updates and console redesigns on making the consoles more powerful.


The PS4 launched in 2013 when 1080p visuals were still the norm, but within a few years, 1440P and 4K started becoming more and more prevalent. Gaming developers were offering higher resolution graphics options, and higher frame rates such as 60 frames per second or sometimes 120 frames per second on PC and console gamers were feeling left out. As a result, Sony updated its console to make it more modern and allow it to keep up with the growing demands of game development and photorealistic graphics. Now that they have released the PS5 console, gamers are wondering if another mid-generation update will be happening with Sony possibly releasing a PS5 Pro.


Table of Contents

  1. Why The PS5 Needs A Pro Version
  2. How Much of An Upgrade Would We Be Getting?
  3. Should You Buy A PS5 Pro Upon Release?
  4. Final Thoughts


Why The PS5 Needs A Pro Version

The PS5 console is a little over two years old and while its technology is certainly powerful enough to run and play most games released on it, they can still make improvements to its performance. One of the biggest selling points of the current generation of gaming consoles was the promise of high-performance gameplay that would run at a consistent 60 frames per second.


Games running at 60 frames per second aren’t a new thing. PC games with unlocked frame rates have been running at 60 frames per second or higher for years, so long as the computer playing those games was powerful enough to handle that high of a frame rate. Playing a game in 1080P resolution at 30 frames per second vs 1080P at 60 frames per second can be a completely different experience because 60 frames per second is often a much smoother experience gameplay wise. Games like Call of Duty have run at 60 frames per second on console for years because that smoother gameplay gives gamers a better experience and a competitive edge in multiplayer.


For the last two years, gamers that own a PS5 console have enjoyed 60 frames per second or higher in the vast majority of games that they play. But titles such as A Plague Tale: Requiem and Gotham Knights have come out that were locked at 30 to 40 frames per second, which is upsetting gamers because they don’t play as smoothly as games that are running at 60 frames per second.


Many gamers feel that because they spent $400 to $500 on a console, they spent too much money to be playing games that aren’t running at the highest resolution and frame rate possible.


4K visuals were also a big selling point for the current generation of consoles, but 4K is so demanding visually that both consoles can struggle to output at 4k 30 frames per second, let alone 60 frames per second.


The PS5 struggles with this because its graphics card and CPU aren't always strong enough to render a game in native 4K resolution. To combat this, choose to employ a dynamic resolution scaling technique that changes the resolution on the screen depending on what's happening.


In more demanding, action-heavy sequences, the resolution may drop from 4k to 1080p to maintain a stable frame rate of 60 FPS. However, in calmer sections where there may just be a dialogue between characters, the resolution will probably be able to be at 4K or just under it and maintain 60 FPS.


Those struggles are why a mid-generation upgrade may be necessary, because more powerful hardware could allow for higher frame rates, higher resolutions, and better performance instead of gamers having to choose to switch between graphical performance modes.


How Much of An Upgrade Would We Be Getting?

The question on everyone's mind when it comes to console upgrades is: "What kind of upgrade?" and that's a fair question. The unfortunate answer is that at present, no one outside of Sony knows.


When Sony released the PS4 Pro, it was 2.28 times more powerful than the original PS4. The PS4 Pro was released with an upgraded processor and graphics card that allowed it to run games at 4K or near 4K resolutions and higher frame rates if developers supported that.


At present, there is, unfortunately, no way to say for sure what Sony may have in store for a PS5 Pro console. We can only speculate that Sony will do a similar processor and graphics card upgrade like they did with the PS4 Pro.


Especially since the PS5's CPU and GPU architecture are based on AMD's RDNA 2, which was top-of-the-line in 2020. However, in the nearly three years since then, AMD has moved onto RDNA 3, which is more powerful and more power efficient. So it seems likely that Sony would choose to upgrade to RDNA 3 to create a more powerful console.



Should You Buy A PS5 Pro Upon Release?

Upgrading a game console is a big decision. Consoles cost hundreds of dollars, so buying a console is an investment that isn't taken lightly by consumers. Especially in the wake of both a pandemic and inflation that have caused prices to skyrocket exponentially. Without Sony making an official announcement, there's no way to know what the price point for a PS5 Pro will be.


Consumers will have to wait for an official unveiling to decide for themselves whether the PS5 Pro will be worth it for them.


Speaking personally, unless the vast majority of games that release aren't able to be played at 1080P, 60 frames per second as they are now, I can't see myself upgrading to a new console. 4K gaming doesn't do much for me because I can't see the difference between 1080P and 4K.


But 4K is extremely important to some gamers, so upgrading or not upgrading is going to come down to each individual gamer and the value proposition that Sony offers with an upgraded PS5.




Final Thoughts

The PS5 Pro and mid-generation console upgrades, for now, are nothing more than speculation. There have been a few "leaks" on social media platforms and rumors started about dev kits for a PS5 Pro being delivered to major developers throughout the industry, but we know nothing definitive just yet.


Until Sony makes an announcement, all we can do is speculate, but it seems likely that there will be a mid-generation update because of the PS4 getting one, and Sony's history of releasing different and/or updated versions of its consoles.