Sony’s next-generation PlayStation plans could include two different consoles.
According to tech journalist Zenji Nishikawa, there were rumours circulating at the recent Computer Entertainment Developers Conference in Yokohama, Japan about a base ‘PlayStation 5’ console and a more powerful ‘PS5 Pro’ system.
Nishikawa says Sony is planning to release both the PS5 and the PS5 Pro at the same time. To be clear, Sony hasn’t yet confirmed a launch window or even the official name of the system, but it’s widely expected to be called the PlayStation 5 and release in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Beyond that, Nishikawa wasn’t able to provide any details as to what will be different between the two PS5 models.
For context, Sony launched the PlayStation 4 Pro in November 2016, three years after the release of the standard PS4 model. The PS4 Pro is an upgraded version of the base PS4 that features 4K support and increased frame rates, among other improvements.
Presumably, the PS5 Pro would be a similar iterative take on the base PS5. Based on the limited details that Sony has provided so far, the PS5 will support up to 8K visuals thanks to a CPU based on the third-generation AMD Ryzen processor and a GPU based on AMD’s Radeon Navi.
Further, the AMD chip will contain new 3D audio technology to create a “dramatically different” audio experience, according to Sony. Meanwhile, the PS5 will contain a solid-state drive, play PS4 games and support PlayStation VR.
With the PS5 already boasting all of these improved specifications and features over the PS4, it’s unclear exactly what a PS5 Pro would offer on top of that.
It’s worth noting that rival console maker Microsoft was also rumoured to be working on two next-gen Xbox consoles of varying degrees of power. However, head of Xbox Phil Spencer confirmed in June that only one next-gen Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett, is in development.
Meanwhile, Nintendo has also been rumoured to be working on a more powerful Switch model. However, there’s been no word on whether that will actually happen. So far, Nintendo has only released a minor revision to the base Switch model that features longer-lasting battery. The company will also launch its dock-less, smaller Switch Lite on September 20th.
With all of that said, Nishikawa’s report should be taken with a grain of salt, especially with Sony remaining so quiet about its next-gen plans. However, it’s worth noting that Nishikawa has a solid track record, having accurately reported on the existence of both the PS4 Pro and Switch Lite.
For now, Sony is continuing to focus on the PlayStation 4. The company will reveal more details about various PS4 exclusive games on September 24th during a State of Play news stream. That same day, Sony is also hosting a media event for the highly-anticipated The Last of Us Part II, although it’s unclear when information from that will be revealed to the public.