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Kotaku Asks: What Do You Want From A Potential ‘PS5 Pro’?

Rumors about a supercharged PS5 (or “PS5 Pro,” if you will) are floating around the internet once more. Whether there’s merit to these rumors, of course, remains to be seen. There’s little use speculating about specs for a rumored, potentially nonexistent console. So, instead, let’s ask if we would even want such a thing in the first place.

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Read More: Here’s What Kotaku Readers Want From A ‘PS5 Pro’

Simply put: What would be the point of a PS5 Pro? What improvements could a PS5 refresh make that would encourage you to upgrade? The PlayStation 5 only came out three years ago, and while that’s about the same time between the PS4 and PS4 Pro’s release dates, things are a bit different now than they were in 2016.

When it initially shipped at the end of 2013, the PS4 could only spit out a 1080p image at best (most games struggled to hit this consistently, however). Overall, it was an improvement over the previous generation, which struggled to ever reach such a resolution, typically residing in the realm of 720p, with framerates on many popular games falling well below 30-frames per second.

But with 4K, “ultra-high-defintion” TVs arriving in 2012 and finding their ways into the homes of many consumers in the years to follow, the PS4 felt uniquely out of step.

Enter the PS4 Pro: able to output an image more compatible with 4K TVs than what the base PS4 could do. Yes, the use of checkerboard rendering often meant that you weren’t really looking at a true 4K render (and other games chose to target 1440p when appropriate), but the PS4 Pro had better synergy with the best TVs out there.

The PS4 Pro could give you a better gaming experience than a base PS4 by way of its improved internal specs, and it had the resolution output to match your (at the time) fancy new 4K TV. But when we look at the PS5, the list of technical features is already pretty stacked, and it only really lags behind enthusiast-level gaming PCs.

So what could a ‘PS5 Pro’ even improve upon? Your average PS5 is capable of displaying a solid-enough 4K image (yes, sometimes using rendering techniques that must compensate in ways high-powered gaming PCs don’t) and is capable of high frame rates and variable refresh rate with compatible TVs.

Improved framerates, higher resolution, increased capability with technologies like ray-tracing, all of that, one would assume, would be the point of a “PS5 Pro”. But given that the PS5 can already achieve these features to varying degrees and deliver a solid gaming experience that isn’t as woefully behind TV tech as the PS4 was at launch, would an iterative improvement justify you spending as almost half a grand? Remember, a “PS5 Pro” wouldn’t be a replacement for the PS5, but rather a more improved version of the base model.

Let’s also address the elephant in the room: Thanks to a massive shortage, for a good chunk of the PS5’s early days, it was pretty challenging to get your hands on one. This wasn’t the case for the PS4. So would it even make sense for a “PS5 Pro” to arrive so soon after many folks have only now been able to get their hands on the original console? I’m not so sure the timing, regardless of upgrades, would work out for most people.

I typically game more often on PC (mostly out of comfort with my Steam library than higher performance), so I’d prefer to wait for a next generation PlayStation before plunking down hundreds of dollars. Though if such a machine looked less…artsy and had more USB ports in the front, maybe I could be persuaded.

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