PS5 Pro – What we want in an unannounced console

The PlayStation 5 is entering its second year – despite the constant shortages that still make it hard for many to buy one – and if Sony’s historic release cadence is right this generation, that means we could see a revised version at the end of this generation. Next year. Sony hasn’t confirmed the upgraded PlayStation 5 Pro or any other console, but since there’s a three-year gap between the original PS3 and the revised Slim model, as well as the PS4 and PS4 Pro, we can see pretty well. And improve PS5 next year.

But what does “new and improved” mean for the PS5? How can Sony boost 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 get rid of curves

Just look at this difference

Remember when the Xbox Series X was first revealed and people were joking about how big it was, which eventually resulted in an actual (horrible) refrigerator? In comparison, the PS5’s design is more challenging because in addition to being much taller than the Xbox Series X, it’s curved on both sides. This necessitates a stand to place the console horizontally, which does not work well, and makes it difficult to fit on a shelf or in the entertainment center. Look, we got it: “Future” is much more interesting. But with a mid-generation review, go back to the boring, boxy, and functional design of the console.

More storage space

The PS5 comes with a tiny NVMe SSD, a single 825GB unit that actually contains only about 667GB of usable space after factoring in the system OS and other mandatory files. A full terabyte drive is needed on an upgraded system with an absolute minimum, but Sony should really consider putting 2 TB or more into the PS5 Pro. Game sizes, although slightly smaller than they could have been due to the new generation compression technology, are still enormous. Having to pick and choose which games you want to delete or keep after installing only a few of them doesn’t sound “professional”, does it?

Easier to expand storage space

Make it easier than this
Make it easier than this

On Xbox Series X | S, adding more NVMe storage is as easy as purchasing an expansion card and attaching it to the back of the console. There is absolutely no guesswork or disassembly. On the PS5, adding more NVMe storage requires buying a third-party drive with a heatsink, partially disassembling the console, and screwing the new drive into a slot using a screwdriver. Sure, there’s nothing left to exit your system this way, but it looks like a plug and play solution would definitely be preferred. It would also be better to have this as an official option from Sony rather than relying on a single third-party manufacturer.

Better DualSense Controller

The DualSense controller is pretty cool, but the battery life isn’t. You can only get a few hours from it before it needs to be recharged, and while this is certainly something that can be addressed before the PS5 Pro is released, it would be ideal to bundle the new system with a new-and-improved DualSense. Not only would we like to see better battery life, but also a removable battery so you can switch to a new pack instead of having to get a second controller to keep playing while the first is charging. Sony’s current non-removable battery means that when the battery is pushing the bucket forever, so does your controller, which is unnecessary waste. Since it’s a “professional” console, why not include a premium console as well? Additional paddles similar to the PS4’s back button attachment would make it even better, and also ensure you can update it without having to physically connect it to the console.

4K original without any compromise

4K native at a smooth frame rate, not an option between the two.
4K native at a smooth frame rate, not an option between the two.

We’ve been promising “true 4K gaming” for years, across multiple generations and from multiple brands. However, this often comes with the choice between a higher resolution or a higher frame rate, and as anyone who plays action-centric games knows, the latter is always the best option. This leaves you without native 4K resolution to make your games play better, and the PS5 Pro needs to have the power to get that right. Nothing on the console should require a frame rate of 30 fps for native 4K resolution. The benchmark should be a minimum of 60fps, allowing us to experience games with all the graphic bells and whistles without sacrificing playability. This would presumably require a better, more expensive GPU that would increase the cost of the system, but for the enthusiast-focused Pro model, that seems like an acceptable trade-off.

Make it quieter

This isn’t as much of an issue on the PS5 as it was on the PS4, but the console is still pretty loud. However, it’s not the fan noise that causes it – there is the sound of a large coil or capacitor. Play a graphically intense game at a lower volume level, and you’ll likely hear a bang or hum coming from the PS5, and it seems to change the pitch depending on what you’re doing. It’s not a problem, especially if you have decently sized speakers, but solving this should make it less distracting. You will not necessarily have to eliminate the noise, but just reduce it significantly. It can be as simple as replacing a single capacitor inside – which Sony will have to check when redesigning the console.

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