Developer reportedly claims we don’t need a PS5 Pro — here’s why they’re wrong

a concept image of the PS5 Pro by Mark Illing
(Image credit: Art Station/Mark Illing)

The PS5 Pro has yet to be formally announced, but this hasn’t stopped an ongoing online debate over the necessity of an upgraded PS5 console. Some commentators, including several TG staffers, argue that a PS5 Pro is pointless, but I’m in the pro camp.

The conversation has kicked into gear this week after editor Christopher Dring appeared on the GI Microcast and claimed that developers had expressed a general apathy towards the PS5 Pro at the recent GDC tradeshow (via Metro). Dring didn’t name the developers spoken to but the comments give us a fascinating look at how those in the industry view the potential merits of a PS5 Pro.

“I’ll be honest, I didn’t meet a single person that understood the point of [PS5 Pro,” explained Dring on the podcast (dated March 26). Dring also claimed that “developers didn’t seem to feel they needed it” because “they weren’t really making the most of the PS5 in the first place.”

Dring surmised the situation by noting that “this generation doesn’t even seem to have got started, let alone needs a mid-generation upgrade.” Which is a fair point. The PS5’s first two years on the market were blighted by stock issues, and even now, four years after release cross-generation titles (games released on PS5 and PS4) are still launching, even if PS5-only releases are now finally becoming the default.

There’s definitely an argument to be made that the base PS5 has enough headroom left for developers to keep pushing technical boundaries over the next three or so years"

There’s definitely an argument to be made that the base PS5 has enough headroom left for developers to keep pushing technical boundaries over the next three or so years, which should take us through until the PS6, which is expected to land in around 2027. 

While the above line of reasoning is somewhat compelling, and I’ll admit that Dring’s logic is pretty sound (at least to a point), I still believe there’s space for a PS5 Pro. That’s because modern games are increasingly struggling to perform even on current-generation hardware.   

Recurring performance headaches 

I’m fortunate enough to get the opportunity to review many of the latest releases for Tom’s Guide, and the single most common criticism I find myself repeating when covering modern games is performance issues. 

Inconsistent framerates are such a recurring problem with modern AAA games that even when a game offers a dedicated “performance” mode that aims to boost the framerate, usually at the cost of graphical fidelity, I still don’t expect to have a smooth experience. 

Dragon's Dogma 2 screenshot

(Image credit: Capcom)

Take the current game of the moment, Dragon’s Dogma 2, I’ve spent a few dozen hours with the epic fantasy RPG in recent weeks, and while I’ve been hooked by its dynamic gameplay and unrestricted approach to open-world design, it can’t even hold a stable 30 fps during hectic battles — which are pretty frequent in the hostile world of Dragon’s Dogma. 

In fact, the list of games I’ve reviewed in this console generation that haven’t suffered from at least some form of performance issues is significantly smaller than my list of the games that have. From third-party releases like Star Wars: Jedi Survivor to flagship exclusives like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, dropped frames are a common sight in modern gaming. 

Alan Wake 2 screenshot

(Image credit: Remedy Entertainment)

I believe we’ve reached something of a plateau when it comes to visuals. The likes of Horizon: Forbidden West, Alan Wake 2 and Demon’s Souls are eye-poppingly gorgeous. We don’t really need games that look prettier, but if a PS5 Pro can offer stunning visuals alongside a rock-solid framerate, then it would make a pretty compelling case for itself.  

Will PS5 Pro be pro enough?  

For me, the real question isn’t whether we need a PS5 Pro, but rather whether the PS5 Pro will offer a big enough technical leap to justify its expected high price tag. 

Naturally, that’s a question we cannot definitively answer until the console is actually confirmed (if that does ever happen), but based on the most prominent spec leaks, the early indications are inconclusive. 

According to the latest report, the PS5 Pro will pack the same CPU as the current PS5. However, it will include a “High CPU Frequency Mode” that boosts the clock speed from 3.5GHz to 3.8GHz. That’s a mere 10% increase, which isn’t especially encouraging. 

GTA 6 screenshot

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

While discussing the possibility of GTA 6 running at 60 fps on PS5 Pro, Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter suggested the hugely-anticipated open-world crime game may be limited to just 30 fps even on the much-rumored more powerful PlayStation console. 

“I suggest that [GTA 6 at 60 fps] is not going to happen. An extra 10 percent on clock isn’t really going to do much at all. It will help your, sort of, worst possible frame rates when you’re CPU-limited, but it’s not a game changer. I think that’s pretty clear,” said Leadbetter.  

While the leaked PS5 Pro specs suggest that it will offer 67 teraflops of compute power equating to 33.5 teraflops of “Floating Point” performance in real-world gameplay terms, compared to the PS5’s 10.28 teraflops, it’s also worth noting that comparing teraflops isn’t so simple. Due to changes in AMD’s RNDA architecture (PS5 Pro’s GPU is reportedly built on RDNA 3 architecture vs the PS5’s RDNA 2 GPU), the PS5 may not be a huge jump forward. 

Other rumored specs include audio improvements (as much as a 35% uptick to the console’s Audio Compression Manager), 45% faster rendering speed and a huge boost to ray tracing performance. The PS5 Pro could also have frame-boosting tech called PlayStation Spectral Super Resolution. “PSSR” reportedly operates like DLSS and AMD’s FSR tech, with the bonus that it should support High Dynamic Range (HDR) to produce high-resolution games that sport far more vivid colors than standard SDR.

a concept image of the PS5 Pro by Mark Illing

(Image credit:

But even so the leap forward between the PS5 and PS5 Pro likely won't be generational — of course, this isn’t the PS6, so to expect that sort of upgrade would be a tad unreasonable — it should be enough to boost frame rates and image resolution, but perhaps only by a slim margin. 

Much like the PS4 Pro, which is believed to account for around 20% of the total PS4 units sold, I expect the PS5 Pro will be a niche product, aimed primarily at players who want every extra ounce of performance power possible. 

I definitely fall into that group, so even if the PS5 Pro might not allow me to play the latest games at a locked 60 fps, even just a small boost in this area would be enough to get me coughing up my cash. Now, if Sony could just announce the thing, we could finally stop speculating and start discussing its technical merits for real. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team. 

  • fatpunkslim
    Why are the devs wrong? They are absolutely right, they are still in a good position to speak! The examples with dragon's gogma 2 and others, the problems do not come from the hardware but from the optimization of the developers. Consoles are not like PCs, games are developed expressly for a machine, often the devs block certain features, block the fps for a particular machine. Changing machines and upgrading to a PS5 pro wouldn't change anything.

    Moreover, according to digital foundry, the differences in power are so minimal that in any case, it would make no difference even if the game were developed expressly for a PS5 pro, which no developer is going to bother to do.

    It's incredible the number of consoles at PS5: pos5 standard, ps5 slim, ps5 pro, and during this time very few games, no first party games until March 2025. Why release so many consoles without games? look at psvr2, another hardware without games which is abandoned.

    Even third party games are not up to compensate, look at Rise of the Ronin, a game highlighted, sponsored almost everywhere, with advertising on all media, 76 metacritic only, which is very low, especially since sites tend to overrate since it only comes out on playstation.

    this is the worst generation for playstation
  • Kieta
    I’m one of the 80% that never bothered to upgrade to the PS4 Pro and looking back I didn’t miss a thing. I don’t plan on upgrading to a PS5 Pro either if it’s a thing. The question I have is what will the impact be on development costs and the visual quality of the games going forward? I absolutely believe that the Series S was and remains a mistake, holding back reaching for the stars because developers have to target the lowest common denominator. Now they have to optimize around four machines? Even if a Pro is released considerable parity must be maintained so will all the hardware improvements even matter?