With PS5 restocks still nowhere near frequent enough to make it easy to buy a PlayStation 5 console, and with rumours of a mid-gen hardware refresh escalating, we imagine a lot of gamers are now asking themselves, "should I wait for a PS5 Pro or just buy a PlayStation 5?"
And, simply put, that's what this article is designed to explore. It's true that mid-gen hardware refreshes for the PS5 have been reported, as too that we're now over two years into the PlayStation 5's lifecycle which, based on past generations, points toward the Japanese maker releasing some sort of new console hardware over the next year.
For example, the PS4 Pro released in November 2016, three years after the original PS4 had launched in November 2013. The PS4 Slim was released in 2016, too. In addition, the PS3 Slim was released in September 2009, just under three years after the original PS3 had launched in November 2006. As anyone can see, there's a three-year pattern, and if that release pattern is followed for the PS5 generation then we can expect to see either or both a PS5 Pro and PS5 Slim in late 2023.
I'll cover what I think are the reasons to wait for PS5 Pro, as well as the reasons I think it's still smart to buy a PS5 now. Finally, I'll talk briefly about the PS5 Slim as an option, too.
PS5 Pro: reasons to wait for it
Here are the reasons in favor of waiting to buy a PS5 Pro in my opinion.
1. It's going to be more powerful for sure, perhaps even the most powerful console of all time. Indeed, the first-ever rumor about the PS5 Pro that we saw surface was that it could be a two-GPU console. There is of course no concrete information about just how powerful a PS5 Pro would be released so far, however, what we do have is predicted specs from tech firm TCL, which point toward an Xbox Series X-beating gaming powerhouse. So why buy a PS5 now when, potentially, just next year a markedly more powerful PS5 Pro is going to launch?
2. The PS5 library still isn't huge, despite some excellent exclusives. There's no doubt that PlayStation 5 is starting to kill it with some jaw-dropping exclusives such as Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok, but it's also a fact that the library of PS5 games actually still isn't that big yet and, two, we're still firmly in cross-platform territory. We've yet to have genuine, made-just-for-PS5 blockbusters drop. Even God of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West, for example, can be played on PS4.
3. Sony just put the price of PS5 up and it's still hard to buy, with very expensive bundles normally the only way gamers can bag a console without getting very lucky. It feels crazy that PS5 is still 'invitation only' or simply 'out of stock' at almost all retailers now two years after launch, but it is and that's making buying a PS5 (certainly if you don't want to buy it as part of an even more expensive bundle) hard and expensive to do. As such, why pay over the odds now for a console when you could save a bit more cash and put it toward a PS5 Pro pre-order?
PS5: reasons to buy now
Here are the reasons I think you can argue it makes sense to buy a PS5 now in my opinion.
1. Those exclusive games are jaw-dropping to play, and whet the appetite for genuine PS5-gen AAA games. God of War Ragnarok, out now exclusively for PS5, has a phenomenal 94 per cent score on Metacritic, making it among a handful of the best games of all time. And when you add to that all the other top titles available to play right now on PS5, such as Horizon Forbidden West, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal, Deathloop, Gran Turismo 7, Stray, FIFA 23, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, and many more, it's obvious that there's plenty of awesome to play to justify the console purchase.
2. PSVR 2 is coming and it looks phenomenal, offering a genuine next-gen VR gaming platform loaded with advanced technology. Come February 2023 PlayStation VR 2 is going to launch and, as it is powered by a PS5, it makes sense to buy a console now so you don't miss out. The PSVR 2 release will likely prompt another run on PS5 consoles, too, again adding weight to bagging a console now before shortages and scalpers return. Yes, the PSVR 2 will obviously also work with a PS5 Pro, but gamers would miss over half a year of VR awesomeness if they wait.
3. 2023 looks like a really strong year already for PS5 games, so getting a console now to enjoy them makes sense. With titles like Street Fighter 6, Forspoken, Dead Space, Dead Island 2, Wild Hearts, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Final Fantasy XVI, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Marvel's Spider-Man 2 incoming, among others, it will prove hard to watch these experiences sail by without a PS5 console. Then there are awesome incoming titles like Hogwarts Legacy that, while they can be played on last-gen hardware, will look and run better on PS5.
PS5 Slim: don't forget about this
The new console we're hearing more about right now from Sony is, actually, a PS5 Slim. The PS4 Slim released just under three years after the PS4, so a PS5 Slim following the same release schedule should arrive in September 2023, if anything before any PS5 Pro hits store shelves. And, well, this might actually be the console you should wait for, here are some reasons why.
1. It'll offer all the PS5's power in a smaller and more stylish and efficient design, as well as likely being quieter in operation, too.
2. It's rumored to come in a model without an optical disc drive, pointing toward a lower cost provided you're happy to go all-digital, at least initially.
3. PS5 Slim would be able to play all PS5 games and power the PSVR 2 as well, making it a total replacement for the original PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition in one go.
Want to know what the PS5 Slim could look like? Then check out the video below to get our best look yet.
So, there you go. I think there are plenty of reasons to buy a PS5 now, as well as to wait for both the PS5 Pro and PS5 Slim. Much of the factoring will depend on your budget, desire to buy a PSVR 2 at launch, and ability to forgo what will likely be another year of PS5 games before bagging a console.
Can't wait? Well, today's best prices on PS5 can be viewed below.