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PS4 Pro was a test case for PS5 lifecycle

sonomamashine

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Against the assault of laughter
The PlayStation 4 Pro was the first true mid-generation hardware refresh performed by Sony on its home consoles.

Codenamed Neo, the PS4 Pro was unveiled at a PlayStation Meeting in September 2016 and subsequently released in November 2016 for the same launch price of the PlayStation 4 ($399). Its main purpose was to deliver a 4K-like experience as UltraHD displays became more widespread among gamers; to do so, Sony equipped the PS4 Pro with a 4.2 teraflops GPU featuring hardware support for checkerboard rendering, a higher CPU clock, and 1GB of additional DDR3 memory.
The experiment largely succeeded, providing hardcore PlayStation gamers with the best option to play the platform's games. Many have been wondering if this would become a one-off situation, though.

In an interview with Game Informer as part of the 25th birthday of PlayStation, Masayasu Ito (Executive Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Operation at Sony Interactive Entertainment) might have just provided us with a hint. According to him, the PS4 Pro was basically a test case after Sony realized that the PlayStation 5 lifecycle would have to be different than that of previous generations.

"Indeed, in the past, the cycle for a new platform was 7 to 10 years, but in view of the very rapid development and evolution of technology, it’s really a six to seven year platform cycle. Then we cannot fully catch up with the rapid development of the technology, therefore our thinking is that as far as a platform is concerned for the PS5, it’s a cycle of maybe six to seven years. But doing that, a platform lifecycle, we should be able to change the hardware itself and try to incorporate advancements in technology. That was the thinking behind it, and the test case of that thinking was the PS4 Pro that launched in the midway of the PS4 launch cycle."

If that was a test, given its success (though Sony doesn't specifically disclose how many PS4 Pro units were sold compared to the base PS4 console), it would stand to reason that we may see a 'PS5 Pro' at some point in the future.
 

Panajev2001a

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The specific HW evolution argument seems sound, but it is frankly bullshit... technology is advancing more slowly not more rapidly as time moves on (the only exception used to be mobile up until two years ago). One thing it did change is the gap between PC’s and consoles in term of power consumption growth.

It is a good way to keep ASP higher though and keeps people happy.
 

Joon

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Sep 1, 2018
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PS5 Pro will absolutely be a thing because it most likely gives the mid-gen an economic boost.

Sony took the messaging of the Pro so seriously and approached it so delicately but in the end consumers didn't really give a shit nor did they get confused by it's existance.

It's fine and it's going to happen again.
 
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Bryank75

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I like the mid-gen upgrade, it makes sure things can progress smoothly. Hopefully FPS, AI and raytracing will be a focus of upgrades.
 
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lyra-ixi

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Aug 3, 2014
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If the PS5 Pro is anything like the PS4 Pro then I'll happily buy a PS5 day one and use it for the whole generation.

maybe if they make it significantly more powerful than the base console and do it on a deeper level so games don't need patched to make use of the hardware. one of my favourite games this gen (bloodborne) plays pretty much identically on a PS4 + Pro so nah no thanks. i would kill for a better quality Bloodborne in terms of resolution/framerate. having powerful hardware means nothing if games don't use it or you make it too difficult for developers to patch it.
 
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Clear

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The specific HW evolution argument seems sound, but it is frankly bullshit... technology is advancing more slowly not more rapidly as time moves on (the only exception used to be mobile up until two years ago). One thing it did change is the gap between PC’s and consoles in term of power consumption growth.

It is a good way to keep ASP higher though and keeps people happy.

I think its more about the slowness of depreciation of manufacturing cost. With fab-scales being so tiny initially the gains from die-shrinkage and accompanying reductions in terms of TDP and cooling are miniscule compared to how it used to be.

Essentially it makes more sense now to maintain SRP and add capability, than to maintain and lower price over the service lifespan.
 
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Whitecrow

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Tech made a huge evolution after PS4 released, but that evolution is not happening again.
PS4 pro was the first approach to a decent 4K machine, and PS5 amateur will do 4k very well.

What evolution could a PS5 pro do? Just more fps? I hightly doubt they make a new machine just for that.

They will just make PS6 when a generational leap is possible.
 

FranXico

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If the PS5 Pro is anything like the PS4 Pro then I'll happily buy a PS5 day one and use it for the whole generation.
This. If the upgrade is as tame as from PS4 to PS4 Pro, I don't think it's worth the "upgrade" (which means buying a console all over again).
And I think most people were wise enough to realize this.

It boggles my mind that so many Xbox fans went on to pay $500 again for their mid-gen upgrade, but I suppose their pride was on the line.
 

peter42O

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Considering the fact that Sony has never revealed the actual sales numbers for PlayStation 4 PRO, I would be surprised if they released a PS5 Pro. Instead, im hoping for a five year life cycle and instead of a PS5 Pro, let's go straight to PS6 and 8K which you know the mid-gen refresh would push anyway.

That would be my plan and what im hoping happens but at the same time, if PS5 can stay close to what PC would be in and around 2025, then I would just stick with the base PS5 longer until it's time for PS6.
 
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DeepEnigma

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I'm still rocking the launch PS4 with no issues. Almost pulled the trigger on a Pro for $300 this past weekend, but held off.

Sony has done a fantastic job not robbing their titles of IQ and performance on the OG for the sake of the Pro, and they definitely lived up to that promise.
 
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Spukc

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Jan 24, 2015
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since i just got the 4pro i will skip the 5

i will be getting the new xbox

and later on the ps5 pro
 

INCUBASE

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With more games going crossplay, and just buying a pc rig, news of a ps5pro makes me not wanna buy a ps5 on release
 
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FranXico

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Sony has done a fantastic job not robbing their titles of IQ and performance on the OG for the sake of the Pro, and they definitely lived up to that promise.
To be fair to MS, they did not have to worry about that with the XBone... ;)
 

Knightime_X

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Wow looks like ps5 won't be out for another 5 years then.
Guess I'll be skipping launch fake ps5.
 
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Panajev2001a

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I think its more about the slowness of depreciation of manufacturing cost. With fab-scales being so tiny initially the gains from die-shrinkage and accompanying reductions in terms of TDP and cooling are miniscule compared to how it used to be.

Essentially it makes more sense now to maintain SRP and add capability, than to maintain and lower price over the service lifespan.

Yes, you hit the nail on the head. Said it better than I was trying to :).
Still, the explanation in the OP, the usual argument for mid generation refreshes, was meant to highlight or imply a consumer advantage as if technology was moving rapidly, so rapidly that we have to shorten the generation cycles... while in reality it is all the opposite.
 

Grinchy

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I don't like it. It's too confusing.

Which games have the Pro patch? Which Pro patches give it a framerate bonus, or a resolution bonus, or doesn't do shit at all? Which games work in boost mode? Which games get broken by boost mode?

When you have to have a long ass excel spreadsheet to keep track of what your more powerful system is doing, it's just annoying. Make a good system on day 1, make a better one for the next generation. It's really that simple.
 

Tiamat2san

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I don’t mind buying mid-gen consoles.
If they do a ps5 pro and a XX, I’ll go for it.
(If it’s a substantial upgrade)
This generation was ok for me because of the mid-gen consoles.
The previous one was too goddamn long!
 

Catphish

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Because of the PS4 Pro, which I traded my base PS4 in towards, and because of the XBox1X, which I did not buy, I won't be buying any new console at launch ever again. I'll wait for the mid-iteration, and will continue to do so until they stop this nonsense.

Which they won't.
 

Breakage

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I hope Sony continue to keep it simple: base console and a pro variant.
Microsoft has four versions of one console this gen all with varying levels of performance and features. It just leads to confusion.
 
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