PS5 vs PS5 Pro — biggest rumored upgrades

PS5 vs PS5 Pro
(Image credit: Future/Art Station/Mark Illing)

The PS5 Pro is almost certainly happening at this point. In fact, according to industry insiders like Jeff Grub on his Game Mess podcast, the long-rumored, supercharged PS5 could be out as early as September 2024. Insider Gaming’s Tom Henderson has also stated sources have told him the Pro will be released before the end of the year

Some reports suggest the PS5 Pro has been in development since early 2022. What’s more, Sony is apparently referring to it as “ Project Trinity” internally, which is hardly a surprise seeing as the company codenamed the PS4 Pro “Neo” and the original PlayStation VR “Morpheus”. Someone at the Japanese Giant is clearly obsessed with The Matrix. 

The PS5 Pro’s supposed specs leaked in a ResetEra forum post, but as Sony has yet to announce the upgraded console yet, this info obviously can’t be validated at time of writing. If the specs are accurate, though, we’re looking at a console that will pack in a faster CPU, more memory and DLSS-like frame generation technology. Read on for the biggest rumored upgrades PS5 Pro will offer over the PS5.  

Upgrade #1 — DLSS-like frame generation tech   

Cyberpunk 2077 on LG G3 OLED

DLSS works wonders in Cyberpunk 2077 on PC. Here's hoping Sony and AMD's rumored frame-generating tech for PS5 Pro can match Nvidia's awesome solution.  (Image credit: Future)

Sony and AMD are apparently working together to create a version of Nvidia’s DLSS for the PS5 Pro — that stands for “Deep Learning Super Sampling”, in case you’re down not with your gaming acronyms. This tech has been around in the PC space for years, and it essentially boosts frame rates by rendering games at a lower resolution and then upsampling them to leave you with in-game action that looks close to native res but runs a whole lot more smoothly. 

AMD manufactures the current PS5 and PS5 Slim’s CPU and GPU, and Team Red has plenty of experience with frame generation tech with FidelityFX Super Resolution 3 (or FSR 3 for short). It performs incredibly well in the PC version of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, but generally isn’t held in quite the same esteem as DLSS 3. 

Still, the fact that the PS5 Pro could have any DLSS/FSR-style solution (in part, boosted by machine learning), is a seriously big deal. We could be looking at performance gains to frame rates of up to 50%. Considering some games can already run at 4K/60 on PS5, there’s a chance that Sony and AMD’s upsampling tech could see the PS5 Pro be capable of running certain titles in 4K at 120 fps. That would be an astonishing level of performance for a console to achieve, and it should certainly be possible in less demanding games, like 2D platformers for example. 

Upgrade #2 — An 8K “performance mode”  

The Samsung Premiere 8K Projector at CES 2024.

8Ks TVs haven't exactly carved out a significant piece of the television market so far, so the concept of playing PS5 Pro games at this resoltion still seems dubious.  (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Reliable leaker Tom Henderson claims the PS5 Pro’s upgraded GPU and increased RAM will make 8K gaming possible on Sony’s mid-gen refreshed device. Apparently, there will be a special “performance mode” for 8K resolution, though I’m somewhat dubious over this feature.

First up, who the hell out there actually owns an 8K TV?! The market saturation of these displays must be tiny, and I say this as someone who spent all the money on a 77-inch LG G3 OLED, which is the best OLED TV in the world in my book. 

Sony has actually been a bit naughty with this whole 8K notion ever since the original PS5 launched in late 2020. The original box has a small message on it that reads “8K, 4K, 120Hz content require a compatible display and gaming software”. There’s no way the OG PS5 has even close to enough horsepower to run titles and 8K, and 8K Blu-rays aren’t a thing yet.

Heck, even the best consumer GPU on the planet (the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090) isn’t capable of playing games in 8K at acceptable frame rates. However, if Sony and AMD’s FSR-aping tech can combine with the 18,000 MT/s memory and 30 WGP (workgroup processor) Henderson’s sources claim are housed in PS5, perhaps some form of 8K gaming could be possible on the rumored console. Although you’d have to think there would be a lot of image reconstruction going on to make PS5 Pro games playable at such a ludicrously demanding resolution.  

Upgrade #3 — Accelerated ray tracing  

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT ray tracing

When ray tracing cooks, it really cooks. (Image credit: AMD)

While many of the best PS5 games already have ray tracing, this advanced lighting feature usually hits frame rates hard. There aren’t many examples of PS5 titles running at 60 fps with ray tracing enabled, outside the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

That could all change with the PS5 Pro, though, as Henderson claims the rumored console will be capable of running “accelerated ray tracing”. To try and explain this in simple terms, this would be a form of RT that more effectively manages system memory to increase performance levels when the lighting technique is enabled. 

A credible ResetEra post leaked a bunch of PS5 Pro specs that state the machine could have 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, which is the same as the base console. The crucial difference, and what should help PS5 Pro handle games with ray tracing features at faster frame rates is the rumor that the upgraded console has 576GB/s of memory bandwidth, compared to the 448GB/s of the standard PS5.  

Upgrade #4 — A beefed-up GPU 

RTX 4090 PC

Will the rumoured PS5 Pro's upgraded GPU be able to match Nvidia's RTX 4090? Obviously not, yet that doesn't mean it can't offer significant gains over the original PS5's graphics card.  (Image credit: Future)

That same ResetEra post suggests PS5 Pro is going to get quite the GPU upgrade. Both the PS5 and PS5 Slim sport AMD Radeon 2 GPUs that are clocked at 10.28 Teraflops. That’s less than the 12 Teraflops the Xbox Series X can lean on, though over the course of this generation, we’ve rarely seen Microsoft’s most powerful console outperform the PS5 in third-party titles. 

If ResetEra is to be believed, the PS5 Pro could rock 14.33 TFLOPs, making it easily the most robust GPU in console history. Throw in the DLSS-like frame gen tech, and that rumored 8K performance mode and we could be looking at a console that absolutely bodies Xbox Series X.

PS5 Pro outlook 

All signs point to the most powerful PlayStation ever releasing within the next calendar year. Still have doubts that we’ll see PS5 Pro in 2024? Just look at what Sony did with the PS4 Pro back in 2016; it announced the upgraded console in September, then released the machine two short months later.

Back then, there was a pressing need for a console that could play 4K games, whether natively or through techniques like checkerboard rendering. While the majority of top-tier PS5 games look great, there are always going to be consumers out there who want the best of the best. 

With leaked documents from the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard acquisition suggesting PS6 won’t surface until after 2027, late 2024 seems to be the perfect time to release a refreshed PS5 to appease the most hardcore of PlayStation fans. 

More from Tom's Guide

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal. 

  • Ogrelike
    Thank goodness for 8k gaming, I was getting tired of looking at blocky 4k visuals at a stuttering 60fps...
  • Cougaran
    Honestly, whats the point of a ps5 pro? the friends i play-2 have a ps4 and are still able to play mw3, another friend just got a ps5 for christmas. I bought the ps5 about 6 months after it came out with all the scalping BS, which i got from a big box store by luck of the draw. Most people who bought new tvs are 4K. with them downgrading software to work with ps4 what would be the point of buying a ps5 pro???
  • JoniStation
    What percentage of the library would be able to take advantage of an already beastly console? Useless articles like this one steer us away from the real issue: there haven't been enough games, and the industry needs to stop acting like it isn't happening before continuing this business as usual attitude. I won't get a PS5 Pro if it comes out because there is literally no purpose to it.
  • Tuna troll
    Fascinating. Let me know when 8k even matters and why, and let me know why we would even need a next gen of consoles, let alone a mid gen refresh. I'd rather read about how this site can be more user friendly, because posting this comment was annoying enough before I even go in to block all future articles written by you
  • DMac8727
    The 4070 mobile is rated at 15.6 TFlops... The 4090 needs DLSS 3 to run any titles at 8k..... it runs at 100 TFlops when overclocked, 83 out of the box. If a Ps5 pro manages 8k that brings the PC/console efficiency gap to a whole new level. I would say 4k 120 will likely be the goal.