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Sony Gears Up for a Powerful PS5 Pro Launch, Eyeing a Year-End Release

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Rumors are circulating that Sony is poised to unveil a more potent PlayStation 5 console, potentially hitting the market by year’s end. Following recent leaks of supposed PS5 Pro specifications, The Verge has reportedly obtained a comprehensive list of features for the impending gaming system. Insiders with knowledge of Sony’s strategy have indicated that software developers are being urged to optimize their games for the new console, with a particular emphasis on enhancing ray tracing capabilities.

Dubbed “Trinity,” the PlayStation 5 Pro is anticipated to boast an upgraded GPU and a marginally quicker CPU mode. Sony’s modifications are expected to significantly enhance the console’s capacity for rendering games with ray tracing activated or achieving higher resolutions and frame rates in select titles. The company is reportedly encouraging developers to leverage graphics features like ray tracing more extensively with the PS5 Pro, allowing games to bear a “Trinity Enhanced” (PS5 Pro Enhanced) badge if they “offer substantial improvements.”

Sony anticipates that GPU rendering on the PS5 Pro will be “approximately 45 percent faster than the standard PlayStation 5,” as per documentation detailing the forthcoming console. The PS5 Pro’s GPU will be larger and utilize faster system memory to enhance ray tracing in games. Additionally, Sony is incorporating a “more powerful ray tracing architecture” into the PS5 Pro, with speeds up to three times faster than the conventional PS5.

“Trinity represents a high-end iteration of the PlayStation 5,” according to one document, with Sony signaling its intent to continue marketing the standard PS5 following the launch of this new model. The company is urging game developers to create a single package that will be compatible with both the PS5 and PS5 Pro consoles, enabling existing games to be updated for superior performance.

I’ve been informed that developers can order test kits at present and that Sony is anticipating every game submitted for certification in August to be compatible with the PS5 Pro. Insider Gaming initially reported the complete PS5 Pro specifications and suggested that the console is slated for release during the 2024 holiday season.

While Sony is boosting the GPU capabilities of the PS5 Pro, the CPU will remain the same as the standard PS5 but with an additional mode that increases its clock speed. “Trinity features a mode that targets a 3.85GHz CPU frequency,” according to a developer document from Sony. This is roughly 10 percent higher than the regular PS5. The company is offering developers the option to choose between a “standard mode” at 3.5GHz or the “high CPU frequency mode” at 3.85GHz.

The standard mode functions similarly to a regular PS5, with a specific amount of power allocated to the CPU—it operates at 3.5GHz if the power budget permits, or at lower frequencies if the PS5 is engaged in “power-intensive operations.” Sony states that these lower frequencies are infrequent and that any unused power on the CPU side is redirected to the GPU.

In the new high CPU frequency mode for the PS5 Pro, more power is allocated to the CPU, resulting in a slight reduction for the GPU. The GPU’s clock speed is reduced by approximately 1.5 percent in this mode, leading to a “roughly 1 percent decrease in performance,” according to Sony.

The PS5 Pro will also introduce some modifications to system memory for developers. While the standard PS5 memory operates at 448GB/s, Sony is increasing this by 28 percent to 576GB/s on the PS5 Pro. As the memory system is more efficient on the PS5 Pro, “the bandwidth gain may exceed 28 percent,” Sony notes.

Developers will also receive increased access to overall system memory. Games will be able to utilize an additional 1.2GB of system memory on the PS5 Pro, totaling 13.7GB compared to the 12.5GB allocated to games on the base PS5.

The enhancements in memory speed and allocations could be “beneficial” for Sony’s new PlayStation Spectral Super Resolution (PSSR) support. Essentially, this is Sony’s response to Nvidia’s DLSS or AMD’s FSR for boosting frame rates and image quality on PlayStation. Sony has developed a “custom architecture for machine learning” on the PS5 Pro, capable of supporting 300TOPS of 8-bit computation.

This new architecture is designed to facilitate Sony’s custom PSSR upscaling solution, which aims to replace a game’s existing temporal anti-aliasing or upsampling implementation. Sony notes that “inputs are quite similar to DLSS or FSR” and that full HDR support is included. This support requires around 250MB of memory, which is why the increased memory allocations on the PS5 Pro should be advantageous. Sony reports that there is approximately 2ms of latency involved in upscaling a 1080p image to 4K and that the company is working on supporting resolutions up to 8K and improving latency in the future.

If developers manage to prepare their games in time, a PS5 Pro launch during this holiday season seems likely. Sony appears to be following a similar strategy to the PS4, with a “Slim” PS5 model followed by a Pro edition. I anticipate witnessing an “enhanced” library of existing games for the PS5 Pro launch, with new first-party titles arriving over time that offer improved ray-tracing support for this latest console.

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