Buying my PlayStation 5, an upgrade on my PlayStation 4, was one of the best consumer decisions I've made in a while – even if finding PS5 restocks was a long and arduous process.
Everything about the PS5 has been upgraded, making for a more powerful, improved console that easily rivals the Xbox Series X and high-end PC gaming rigs.
But Sony can't rest on its laurels and that most likely means introducing a PlayStation 5 Pro console, similar to the PlayStation 4 Pro before it, with expanded graphics and processing performance over the next few years.
Right now, of course, Sony isn't saying anything official about a PS5 Pro. This makes perfect sense as it was only up till very recently that PS5 consoles could actually be bought easily due to stock issues.
But, as I have just found out, we might have recently got our best idea yet as to what to expect from a PS5 Pro – and from an unlikely source, too. And, being candid, I can't believe this slipped me by as I'm an avid PS5 gamer – I mean, T3.com even reported on it a few weeks back when it first leaked out!
At a press event hosted by TCL, the large Chinese electronics company, a presenter speculated about the performance of forthcoming upgrades to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, with release date and spec predictions included in a presentation. You can see the slide in question from that presentation below:
Now, to be very clear, this is almost certainly predicted information by TCL. The firm likely has no inside knowledge or advanced insight into Sony's plans, and has likely just estimated what is coming down the line to help with its own product road map for the next few years.
However, all that said, this is the first time we've had some really rather specific specs dropped for a PS5 Pro console, as well as a release date window. And, what's more, it comes after a few months of information leaking out about the graphics tech that the presentation lists.
I'll dig a little more into what we know so far.
According to the TCL presentation, Sony could be planning on seriously upgrading the PS5's abilities – which is saying something, given that the PS5 already seriously upgrades the PS4 and delivers 10.3 teraflops of gaming power.
Using a similar GPU to AMD's RX7700XT, which is based on the next-gen Navi 33 RDNA 3 6nm architecture, the PS5 Pro could according to TCL "render" games at 2160p, clocking in between 60fps and 120fps, with a 4K to 8K "output".
Now, the PS5 is based on AMD's RDNA 2 7nm architecture, so even before you get to the real numbers a PS5 Pro equipped with an RDNA 3 GPU on paper should be a significant power upgrade, translating to higher rendered graphics, output graphics (with upscaling applied), and frame rates.
TCL doesn't dig into speculating on how the Navi 33 GPU would be equipped, but a bump in compute units, clock speeds and and GDDR6 memory would be almost certain.
What's most interesting about TCL's "New PS5 Pro" specs in that it seems to believe the console will actually be able to hit an 8K output resolution, which famously is advertised on the PS5 box but, in practice, is basically never used. Only a smattering of very basic PS5 games can run at 8K resolution, with 99% of games unable to be output at that resolution. The PS5 does have the HDMI 2.1 port to technically support 8K but the truth is that gamers are basically not going to see that resolution from the console in almost all games.
Indeed, the PS5 for all its power, so far does have many games that run consistently locked at a 4K native output, let alone 8K, with AAA games like Horizon Forbidden West only offering 4K at 30fps, with 60fps only delivered if the resolution is dropped to under 4K.
As for the release date window that is estimated by TCL, of "2023/4", that feels accurate. The PS4 Pro launched exactly three years after the PS4, so if the firm keeps to the same schedule, that would mean we should see the PS5 Pro in November 2023, exactly three year's after the PS5's November 2020 release date.
In some ways, I'm not too surprised that Sony is looking to push the envelope even further: customers demand upgrades, especially when parting with lots of cash, and right now Microsoft and its Xbox Series X technically holds the most powerful gaming console crown. As a PS5 gamer myself I'm also unashamedly excited to hear about an even more powerful PlayStation 5.
Whether or not TCL's predictions are accurate we'll just have to wait and see, but I'm going to struggle to forget I've seen this now as it feels right. And, if it was right, wouldn't that just be super exciting.