Over the past few months, rumors about new PS5 models have been spreading. The “original” PS5 had a tough start in the market, after all, it came out in the middle of the pandemic, which was followed by multiple constraints in the supply chain. Thanks to this crisis in the industry, it was hard for players to buy a unit. Inventory sold out as soon as it became available. The situation improved in the past few months as the console completed two years of availability. Now it seems that Sony is preparing the terrain for new upgrades that may come in the form of PS5 Slim and PS5 Pro. However, there is more beyond this, because recent leaks have also revealed some details of the PS6 development. Through this article, we will list everything we know about the next-gen PlayStation console, be it the PS5 Pro or the PS6.
The rumors behind the PS5 Pro
Since last year, there have been some rumors pointing to the launch of the PS5 Pro. Most of them center around the fact that Sony is preparing to launch a new revised model with a modular disc driver. The launch of this model has been corroborated by insiders like Tom Henderson. However, there is no clear indication that this is the PS5 Pro. The need for a Pro model emerged because the PS5, with its current hardware, can’t handle things like 4K resolution, ray-tracing, and 60fps all at the same time. Furthermore, with the PS4, Sony launched a Pro model with upgraded hardware just two years after the original model.
The PS5 completed two years last year in November. Therefore, many rumors suggest that a PS5 Pro and a PS5 Slim will be launched soon. That happened with the PS4, but we don’t know if it will be the case for PS5. After all, some rumors indicate that Sony has dropped the idea of a PS5 with improved hardware to focus on the next generation, the PS6.
The PS5 Slim
When it comes to a possible PS5 Slim, the launch of a smaller model seems more plausible. Well, the PS5 is a behemoth that easily occupies any space you put it in. The Slim model is a tradition since the days of the PSX.
The PS5 really needs a Slim model
If there is one model that most need a Slim model, it’s the PS5. We know it’s coming at some point, and the most recent leaks indicate that the so-called modular PS5 will launch as the PS5 Slim. This model will have a removable disc driver. So it will be easy for Sony to sell it in both Digital and Disc Driver versions. This model is supposed to replace the existing PS5, but the modular disc driver will not offer any compatibility with the existing digital models. Last but not least, the PS5 Slim will not bring significant changes in performance. It will be like a regular PS5 with the same horsepower, but a slimmer design and modular disc driver.
The next-gen PlayStation console
According to insiders, it seems that the PS6 will not arrive before 2027. There is a significant gap between the PS5 and the PS6, and the so-called PS5 Slim could fit this gap. The launch of a modular console will improve things for Sony in terms of keeping stocks. In the meantime, the company can shift its focus to developing the PS6 with more horsepower. We’re still in 2023, and there is plenty of time to focus on new hardware. It’s hard to determine the hardware of an upgrade at this point. But we can easily assume it will be far beyond the PS5 horsepower.
The PS5 was launched as a console capable of 8K resolution, 120fps, and so on. After two years, we learned that while it is possible, developers need to make choices to deliver these options. For example, it’s not possible to offer 4K with ray tracing at 60fps all the time. It takes a talented developer or a really good knowledge of PS5 architecture to do that. We saw studios like Sony’s Santa Monica and Insomniac offering ray tracing, resolution, and frame rates. But when it comes to the majority of games, you will still need to choose between resolution and performance modes.
More hardware to handle realistic graphics
With the next-gen console, Sony will likely fix this by offering horsepower to handle everything. Ray Tracing is still a new effect, and even the most advanced GPUs have a hard time with it. It gained popularity thanks to NVIDIA’s DLSS technology, but the effect is more challenging for GPUs without this technology.
The development of the next PlayStation began
At this point, it’s impossible to deny the beginning of PlayStation 6 development. Recently, we saw Mark Cerny applying for a patent to improve the performance of ray tracing. To those who do not know, Cerny is the engineer behind the PS4 and PS5, and so he will be behind the next PlayStation console. The patent prepares the way for a future product. In this case, we assume it is preparing the ground for the PS6.
The patent describes a system that utilizes shadow processors that reduce the size of rays, improving the overall performance of ray tracing. Real-time ray tracing is an important feature in the PS5 and Xbox Series X, as well as the newest GPUs. It delivers realistic light and reflections. As we’ve mentioned before, this is a heavy effect, and doing it in real-time demands powerful hardware. Besides horsepower, optimization is also important. Cerny is doing some progress to make things better on the next PlayStation console.
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Possible hardware and features of the next PlayStation
All-new AMD and GPU
Besides the new technical improvements, we also expect other big leaps in performance. The PS6 will likely maintain Sony’s partnership with AMD for CPU and GPU. Rumors about the PS5 Pro suggest the use of the new RDNA3 architecture. For the PS6, we expect it to go even beyond that point. In a few years, we are sure that AMD will have more advanced offerings, and the next PlayStation console will likely bring the most cutting-edge hardware offered by its Taiwanese partner.
It’s no secret that Cloud gaming is already a thing for the video game industry. While Microsoft is pushing this, we can say that PlayStation has a more conservative view. Of course, things tend to change in the next years. Cloud gaming is an inevitable change for the market, be it good or bad, Sony will need to adapt. The company changed its view on services with the launch of the new PS Plus model with multiple games in the catalog. Therefore, it may also change its view of cloud gaming in the future.
At the moment, Sony has a kind of Cloud Gaming available when it comes to PS3 titles on PS Plus. It was formerly available as PS Now, but it has been absorbed by the new PS Plus Premium tier. Unfortunately, the streaming is very limited to just a few markets. We expect Sony to improve its servers to offer streaming options to more countries with the PS6. With the rise of Microsoft, acquiring a lot of IPs, and building a massive streaming platform, Sony will need to adapt to remain alive in this market.
Digital-Only? Nah, Modular Design!
Well, with the rise of digital media, there has been some chatter about the end of physical media. There are some advantages to digital media since you only need to download it and it can’t be damaged. However, some players will always prefer physical discs. Be it for the nostalgic effect or for the other advantages that still surround physical discs, this shouldn’t die.
It’s up to manufacturers to go the PC route and embrace a world of digital-only media. But for its loyal user base, Sony will likely keep things modular. The PS5 with a modular disc driver is coming soon and will allow Sony to test this concept. For the next PlayStation, we expect the company to stick with this approach. It will sell a digital model at a cheaper price and one with a disc drive for a little more.
When will the next-gen PlayStation arrive?
The leak of certain internal documents may provide a clue about the release of the PS6. Due to the ongoing investigation led by the UK Competition Market to evaluate Microsoft’s takeover of Activision, Sony had to make some of its documents public. The Japanese firm is seeking to break the deal, arguing that it can harm competition. So it had to offer some documents and proof to back up these claims.
As per the documents, Sony claims that MS will keep bringing Activision games to the PlayStation platform until 2027. The notable part is that the document reads, “By the time SIE introduces the next generation of its PlayStation console (which is likely to occur around [blacked out]). It would have lost access to Call of Duty and other Activision titles. As a consequence, it will be extremely vulnerable to consumer switching and the resulting deterioration in its competitiveness”.
A seven-year lifespan for the PS4 and… for the PS5
The launch year of the next-gen PlayStation console is blacked out for obvious reasons. However, considering that, it’s easy to deduce that the launch will happen after 2027. That doesn’t mean the end of the PS5 line, of course. After all, the cross-gen titles will keep coming. The PS4 was launched at about the end of 2013 and got PlayStation games until November 2022. We don’t expect future SIE games to reach the console, while third-party games are still coming. That means that Sony has provided almost ten years of games for the console. The same thing should happen with the PS5.
The PS4 came in late 2013, and its replacement, the PS5, was announced for 2020. That is a seven-year “lifespan”, so we can expect the same for the PS5. The current console will complete seven years in November 2027, and by that time Sony will probably be ready to announce the next generation.
The future rests in the next PlayStation Showcase
We don’t expect Sony to make much buzz about a Next-Gen PlayStation console at this point. But we expect it to reveal more about its “PS5 Gen2” in the coming months. This is what Tom Henderson calls the next PS5 with a modular disc driver, a “Gen 2” console that will replace the existing PS5 lineup.
The rumors are growing, and recently we got news about a PlayStation Showcase taking place in June this year. It will happen prior to the Summer Game Fest, which is scheduled for June 8. According to Jeff Grubb, this event will allow Sony to reveal more about the “next phase of PS5”. This explanation is vague and could mean a lot of things. We expect news about upcoming Playstation games, but at the same time, we expect the rumors about a new PS5 to finally make sense. Will it be a PS5 Pro, a PS5 Slim, or the PS6 (less probable), we will know soon!
Still on a PS3 here; will only buy one if I can still play the old games.
Option B, I keep using my XBox One X & my gaming PC`s I bought in place of the PS4/PS5 which bypassed my PS3 games.