Ignore the PS5 Pro rumors — you don’t even need one

Midnight Black PS5 console cover
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Rumors have been swirling around a PS5 Pro recently, after they withered on the vine for a little. The latest rumor comes from Tom Henderson of Inside Gaming, a claimed tipster with a reasonable track record, who reckons there won’t be a PS5 Pro after all. 

Rather, Henderson things there’ll be a redesigned PS5 model this year. And as such, a more powerful PlayStation looks more likely to come in the guise of a whole new machine — a PS6 if you will. 

If you’d asked me last year if we needed a PS5 Pro, I’d have been tempted to say yes. That’s because getting God of War Ragnarkok to run at 4K and 60 frames per second required you to compromise on the graphics settings. 

The same is true of other titles, notably Horizon Forbidden West, which requires players to make do with 30 fps if they want the best graphical presentation —something that I swallowed up, as HFW looks great on my LG C1 OLED.

I felt that the promise of true 4K gaming at 60 fps and beyond wasn't delivered by the PS5, or indeed the Xbox Series X, and that we could do with more powerful hardware. But I’ll admit I was likely being narrow-minded back then.

PS5 has untapped potential

PS5 DualSense controller with Horizon Forbidden West game

(Image credit: Future)

Those aforementioned games work on both the PS4 and PS5, and thus have been engineered to be playable on each, with the PS5 offering the faster and visually more impressive experience. 

It could be argued — and is very likely to be the case — that this approach means the games were held back from reaching their highest graphical potential on the PS5; God of War Ragnarok looks great on the PS5, but you can tell it's using a PS4-erea graphics engine at its core.

That means there have been few dedicated PS5 games that have been specifically designed for the PS5 from the ground up.

The few that have — Returnal, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and arguably Deathloop — look great and run well. But these were some of the earlier PS5 games, rather than ones designed when the console has had time to fully mature.

Bring in the coronavirus disrupting game development and the great PS5 shortage of 2020 and 2021, and I’d place a good bet that developers haven’t had that much time and scope to really explore the potential of the PS5’s hardware, especially if they still had to take into account the PS4 performance as well. And a stock shortages means less of a growing install base and thus less information on how games run on the new console at scale. 

So while the tech fan in me would love a PS5 Pro to take for a spin, I don’t think we’ve seen the potential of the PS5 yet. Heck, I still feel the DualSense controller and Pulse 3D Wireless Headset haven’t been fully pushed to use all their capabilities outside of Astro’s Playroom for the former peripheral.

However, we are approaching a time when it looks like it’ll soon be the end of the road for the venerable PS4. And my hope is that developers will then be able to fully focus on making games specifically for the PS5, with everything from crisp graphics and smooth action, to clever use of 3D audio and advanced haptics.

While Forspoken hasn’t wowed as a PS5 console exclusive, there’s still the likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 coming this year, and that could be a graphical masterpiece with a dedicated focus on PS5. I’d also be pretty confident that Sony has irons in fire for more PS5 exclusives that really push its big, ergonomically-fussy machine's hardware.

So I don’t think a PS5 Pro is needed, at least not yet. That said, Henderson’s hint at a redesigned PS5 would be appreciated. I actually don’t mind the futuristic big router look of the PS5, as it slots nicely into my entertainment unit, but I know others aren’t fans. A remedy for this could be a redesigned model, which keeps the specs the same but reworks packaging and cooling to create a more compact and less opinion-dividing console.

We may have to wait for games that run at a true 4K and 60 fps on the PS5 with little or no compromises. But in the meantime, I hope Sony continues to bring more PlayStation games to the PC, where those with powerful rigs can really push the performance envelope, brute-forcing games into running faster and looking sharper.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.