The PlayStation 5 is well into its second year – despite ongoing shortages that mean many still can’t buy one – and if Sony’s historic release cadence holds true this generation, that means we could see a revised version around the end of next year. Sony hasn’t confirmed a PlayStation 5 Pro or any other upgraded console, but given that there was a three-year gap between the original PS3 and its revised Slim model, as well as the PS4 and PS4 Pro, we could very well see a new and improved PS5 next year.
But what exactly does “new and improved” mean for the PS5? How can Sony increase the performance and change the physical design to make the PS5 Pro a must-have system, even for those who already own a PS5?
Make it smaller and ditch the curves
Remember when the Xbox Series X was first unveiled and people joked about its massive size, which ultimately led to the production of a real refrigerator (terrible)? In comparison, the PS5 design is so much heavier because in addition to being much larger than the Xbox Series X, it’s curved on both sides. This requires a stand to even place the console horizontally, which doesn’t work very well and makes it difficult to place on a shelf or in an entertainment center. Look, we get it: “Futurist” is more interesting. But with a mid-gen overhaul, it’s back to a boring, boxy, and practical design for the console.
More storage space
The PS5 packs an awfully small NVMe SSD, an odd 825GB unit that actually only has about 667GB of usable space after accounting for the operating system and other required files. A full terabyte drive is needed on an absolute minimum upgraded system, but Sony should really consider putting 2TB or even more into the PS5 Pro. Game sizes, while slightly smaller than they could have been due to next-gen compression technology, are still huge. Having to choose which games to delete or keep after installing a few of them doesn’t sound very “Pro”, does it?
Easier storage expansion
On Xbox Series X|S, adding more NVMe storage is as easy as buying an expansion card and plugging it into the back of the console. There is no guesswork or disassembly involved at all. On PS5, adding more NVMe storage requires you to purchase a third-party drive with a heatsink, partially disassemble the console, and install the new drive in a slot with a screwdriver. Of course, nothing gets out of your system this way, but a plug-and-play solution definitely seems preferable. It would also be better to have this as an official option from Sony rather than relying on a single third-party manufacturer.
A better DualSense controller
The DualSense controller is very impressive, but its battery life is not. You can only get a few hours out of it before you need to recharge it, and while that’s certainly something that could be ironed out before a PS5 Pro is released, it would be perfect to pack the new system in with a new-and- Improved DualSense. Not only would we like to see better battery life, but also a removable battery so you can upgrade to a new pack instead of having to get a second controller to keep playing while the first charges. Sony’s current non-removable battery means that when the battery kicks in the bucket for good, so does your controller, and it’s an unnecessary waste. Since this is a “pro” console, why not include a premium controller as well? Additional paddles similar to the PS4’s back button attachment would make it even better, while ensuring you could update it without having to physically connect it to the console.
Native 4K without compromise
We’ve been promised “true 4K gaming” for years, across multiple generations and from multiple brands. However, this often comes with a choice between higher resolution or higher frame rate, and as anyone who plays action-focused games knows, the latter is almost always the better option. . That leaves you without a native 4K resolution for your games to run their best, and the PS5 Pro needs to have the power to rectify that. Nothing on the console should require a frame rate of 30 fps to have native 4K resolution. The standard should be 60 fps at the bare minimum, allowing us to experience games with all the graphical bells and whistles without sacrificing playability. This would likely require a better and more expensive GPU which would add to the cost of the system, but for an enthusiast-focused Pro model this seems like an acceptable compromise.
make it quieter
It’s not as big an issue on PS5 as it is on PS4, but the console is still too noisy. However, it’s not fan noise that’s the cause – there’s considerable whine from the coil or capacitor. Play a graphically intensive game at a lower volume and you’ll likely hear a hum or hum coming from the PS5, and one that seems to change in pitch depending on what you’re doing. It’s not a dealbreaker, particularly if you have the speakers at a reasonable volume, but a solution to that would make it much less distracting. It shouldn’t even necessarily eliminate the noise, just reduce it considerably. It could be as simple as replacing a capacitor inside— which Sony should consider when redesigning the console.