The PlayStation 4 Pro console was the first time Sony had implemented a mid-generation upgrade to its hardware. But it sounds as though it may be a strategy we’ll see again as the test was an admitted success. However, with the rate at which technology is advancing, can the intermediary offering remain competitive enough with respect to cost?
And, more importantly, can the base console survive the entire lifecycle without stuttering under the graphical demands – for those of us who would rather buy once per generation?
Rumours of a ‘PS5 Pro’ come from within Sony themselves, after their Executive Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Operation Masayasu Ito told Game Informer that the Pro line-up of PlayStation 4 consoles was actually a test run for the next incarnation. Using it as a way of gauging both public interest and technological capability, the team were able to devise a way of countering the evolutionary steps forward that games are taking today. And, potentially, stretch its lifespan a few extra months.
But with the company refraining from publishing specific sales figures, it’s hard to say just how popular the Pro was.
Indeed, in the past, the cycle for a new platform was 7 to 10 years, but in view of the very rapid development and evolution of technology, it’s really a six to seven year platform cycle.
Then we cannot fully catch up with the rapid development of the technology, therefore our thinking is that as far as a platform is concerned for the PS5, it’s a cycle of maybe six to seven years. But doing that, a platform lifecycle, we should be able to change the hardware itself and try to incorporate advancements in technology.
That was the thinking behind it, and the test case of that thinking was the PS4 Pro that launched in the midway of the PS4 launch cycle.
The only problem I can envisage, though, is that the base console doesn’t manage to hold its own next generation. I might be wrong, especially considering my vanilla PlayStation 4 is still going strong. But we are getting to the point where new releases are proving very demanding on hardware and we’re starting to see the symptoms on screen.
With the advancements we are expecting over the next 7-10 years, the issue will prove even more challenging. And the optional Pro upgrade might become a more mandatory purchase.
Did you fork out for the PlayStation 4 Pro? Do you support this two-tier strategy? Send us a base comment, then come back and release an upgrade version a year or two post-launch.