Rumors on a potential PS5 Pro began circulating social media recently. While exciting to say the least, it is important to note these rumors are not based on any Sony announcement. Still, some are calling it the ‘death blow‘ to marginally superior Xbox Series X.
Sony’s Potential Counterattack in the PlayStation 5 Pro
So, where do the rumors come from? Back in 2019, Sony filed for a patent describing a console unit housing not one but two GPUs. You can check out the specifics of the patent with this free resource. The patent covers what many believe to be the SLI and Crossfire equivalent but for a console.
“In a multi-GPU simulation environment, frame buffer management may be implemented by multiple GPUs rendering respective frames of video, or by rendering respective portions of each frame of video. One of the GPUs controls HDMI frame output by virtue of receiving frame information from the other GPU(s) and reading out complete frames through a physically connected HDMI output port. Or, the outputs of the GPUs can be multiplexed together.”
In layman’s terms, one GPU renders part of the graphics, while the second picks up where the first left off. The use of tandem GPUs is a common practice among hardcore PC players as it provides increased resolutions and framerates.
A dual GPU console will certainly be groundbreaking. That said, I imagine its launch would be rougher than the recently released consoles. The patent does not explicitly state anything regarding the PS5 Pro. Seeing as how the PS5 just launched and many have yet to get their hands on one, it’s doubtful we will see this speculative (but likely coming) behemoth any time soon.
Does Microsoft have a plan?
Based on the timing, the speculation provides a sound basis for where Sony envisions the PlayStation heading. If there is a PS5 Pro and it launches with two GPUs as a mid cycle unit, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds. Xbox head, Phil Spencer, discussed bridging the gap between PC and console gaming as early as 2016. Evidence of this push can be seen in the modular design within the Xbox Series X|S.
With a system of ‘plug-and-play’ pieces, one could argue this is Microsoft’s first step towards console evolution, allowing users to upgrade parts instead of full units. Albeit, it’s not quite as impressive as dual GPUs. The gap in power between current Xbox Series X|S/PS5 and a dual GPU unit would be quite larger. It’s safer to assume such a console would be next-gen as in PS6 and whatever Microsoft naming convention microsoft uses next.
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