PS5 Pro — 3 features that will make the upgrade totally worth it

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

Reports from gaming industry insiders suggest Sony is preparing to release the long-rumored PS5 Pro as early as September 2024. If true, that would be almost four years after the original PS5 launched. Given how the PS4 Pro released three years after its predecessor, the PS5 Pro’s potential launch timing seems realistic.

Back in March of 2022, I wrote that releasing a PS5 Pro would be a bad idea. I said the PS5 was powerful enough and that 8K gaming wouldn’t be ubiquitous in this console generation. I stand by the latter statement, but now that we’re seeing more games struggle to maintain a solid 60 frames per second on PS5, I’m changing my stance on the former point. The new PS5 Slim also proves Sony can design a PS5 that isn’t offensive to the eyes. I’m not against the idea of a PS5 Pro as before.

Despite my former thoughts on a possible PS5 Pro, I always knew I’d get one. I’m a tech junkie who loves PlayStation consoles. So now that the PS5 Pro seems all but inevitable, I’m thinking about how Sony could improve on the PS5. Here are three features that would make upgrading to a PS5 Pro worth it.

Better performance: at least 60 fps at 1440p

Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 running on PS5. (Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

During the first two years of the PS5’s life, most games offered performance and fidelity modes — with the former favoring high frame rates and the latter higher resolution. This was mostly possible because the majority of PS5 games were actually PS4 titles. Now that we’re seeing a growing number of games made specifically for current-gen systems, titles like Gotham Knights and Star Wars: Jedi Survivor struggle to hit or maintain 60 frames per second. We’re also seeing fewer games utilizing features like ray tracing.

I’m not expecting the PS5 Pro to have comparable performance to the best gaming PCs or the best gaming laptops. However, to make upgrading worth it, I want more games to at least offer mixed performance and fidelity modes as seen in Insomniac Games’ titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Consistently getting games that run at 60 frames per second at 1440p with features like ray-tracing would be fantastic.

The PS4 Pro (which I bought at launch) offered noticeable and welcome performance boosts over the PS4. If the PS5 Pro can deliver similar upgrades in this field, I won’t be complaining — even if the titles don’t compare to the performance possible for the best PC games.

Titles that better utilize hardware

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Spybot location

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart does an excellent job of utilizing the PS5's fast SSD. (Image credit: Sony)

This one ties into performance, but I want to see games that take full advantage of the PS5 Pro’s hardware. Cross-gen titles (games released both on PS5 and PS4) aren’t as abundant as before, so there’s no longer a reason to ensure games run on that aged system. Sure, the base PS5 would now be the lowest common denominator in terms of specs, but that’s a higher ceiling than the original PS4. That means developers can go all out with games for PS5 Pro.

As detailed in our PS5 vs PS5 Pro — biggest rumored upgrades piece, rumors claim the PS5 Pro will sport a beefed-up GPU that will facilitate DLSS-like frame generation tech, 8K performance mode and accelerated ray tracing. I’m still skeptical about 8K gaming (and 8K in general), but I’m all for frame generation tech and accelerated ray tracing. Those two features make PC games run smoother and look more impressive — and it’s something we need to see on PS5 Pro.

Beyond graphics, I also want more games that better utilize the PS5’s zippy SSD. PS5 games in general enjoy extremely fast load times compared to PS4. However, it seems Insomniac Games is the only developer to take full advantage of the fast storage drive, as seen whenever you traverse dimensions in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart or instantly go from one borough to another in Spider-Man 2. A powerful PS5 Pro should give more developers the incentive to consider using the fast SSD to enhance overall gameplay.

A simpler design

PS5 Slim

The PS5 Slim (pictured above) improves on the PS5's garish design ... though not by much. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

To say the PS5 has looks only a parent could love is an understatement. While Sony’s console is my favorite, I’ve never been a fan of its ugly design. Faceplates helped improve its appearance, but not by much. Even the new PS5 Slim isn’t going to win a beauty pageant. The PS5 is just plain hideous to look at.

Say what you will about the refrigerator-like Xbox Series X, but that console has a simple design that fits into any gaming den. I’m not saying I want the PS5 Pro to copy that console’s design, but having something streamlined like both the PS4 and PS4 Pro would be fantastic. We don’t need a system with odd curves or what looks like a popped collar on its top. There’s nothing wrong with simple and I hope the PS5 Pro won’t go overboard with its design.

Outlook

Sony hasn’t officially announced a PS5 Pro but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the company announce the system later this year. This is especially true considering how the PS6 is expected sometime in 2027. If that’s the case, releasing a PS5 Pro in 2024 as a mid-gen refresh is a smart tactic.

We still have the better part of a year to see whether or not Sony will indeed unleash a PS5 Pro. Hopefully, that updated machine will be worth it for the hardcore PlayStation fans and newcomers interested in the rumored console.

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Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.

  • gearhound99
    You mentioned at least 2 times that PS5 Pro won't perform up to the same level of the best gaming PCs. Sounds like you are not that informed. Games on PS5 run better that most PC games. Console games run better than the same games on PC. The performance on PC is horrendous for console games and the graphics aren't really any better. Elden Ring was trash in PC and amazing on PS5. The average person isn't going to pay 2k for a stupid video card that needs to be upgraded every 2 years. The PS5 has 120h gaming at 4k. It's fully capable of that. Console gaming is much better than PC gaming.
    Reply
  • Wolfshadw
    @gearhound99
    You're forgetting that console games are written for that specific console. There is just one setup of hardware that the programmers need to be concerned with and they can program to maximize the quality of the console game they working on.

    PC Games do not have that luxury. Those programmers need to code the games for the very best PCs out there (or expected to be out there when the game is completed), but also for those PC gamers who do not have $2K to drop on a new graphics card every two years. Their games have to be exceptional on high-end PCs, but still playable on low-end machines. You're not going to make any money if you cater only to the high-end PC market and your not going to make any friends of the graphic card makers if you cater only to the low-end PC market.

    Console games that are ported over to PC are always going to be terrible as they're basically just patched software to allow the game to be run on various hardware setups (both high-end and low-end). They're never complete re-codes.

    As a lower-end PC gamer and non-console gamer (last console I played was the SuperNES), I can't compare the two, but you will get the same argument from both sides on which is better.

    -Wolf sends
    Reply