It is not the first time that we talk about a possible PS5 Pro. The development cycles of the consoles have changed completely with the present generation, mainly due to to the lengthening of its useful life (until reaching an artificial level) and the use of semi-custom hardware, to the detriment of fully custom hardware we’ve seen in previous generations.
We will understand it better with an example. Think, for a moment, about the hardware used by Xbox 360. This console used a 3.2GHz three-core PowerPC processor, and its GPU was a fully customized and highly advanced Radeon solution from ATI that had, in the middle of 2005, with a unified shader architecture. Internally it added 240 shaders, 16 texturing units and 8 raster units, while PS3 mounted a trimmed variant of the GeForce 7800 GTX, which used the traditional vertex and pixel shader architecture.
The approach to semi-personalized PC-type hardware, together with this lengthening of the service life of the consoles, has had a notable impact on the sector, and has made intergenerational renovations become “essential”. PS4 Pro and Xbox One X They are two clear examples, and there is nothing that makes us think that we will not see, in three or four years, a PS5 Pro and a more powerful Xbox Series X, in fact the leak of a new Sony patent points in that direction, but it also leaves us with other interesting details.
PS5 Pro: expandable multiGPU configuration
In the text of the patent we can see that the PS5 Pro is spoken of as a console with a scalable design at the CPU and GPU level, and it is clearly indicated that it could use multiple SoCs, which would leave us a multiGPU configuration. So far everything is clear, Sony is considering the possibility of creating a console with two or more graphic cores, but in order to take advantage of a configuration of this type it is necessary to sharpen both the architecture and the development kits, and that’s where the complicated thing comes from.
I’m not going to go into full technical questions, but parallelize the rendering load across two graphics cores it is more complicated and less efficient than doing it in a single one with higher power, that’s why the SLI and CrossFire configurations have not really come to work, in fact not even the SLI technology of the defunct 3dfx, which was perfectly supported by Glide, a dominant API in the late nineties , managed to really take off.
On paper a PS5 Pro with two GPUs sounds good, but in practice it is a very complicated thing, not only for all that it entails in terms of internal architecture and balance of components and resources, but also for all that it implies in Matter of development tools, consumption and generated heat. We will see how this idea evolves, but we can be clear that, sooner or later we will see a PS5 Pro either with one or with two GPUs.
A PlayStation on a USB drive to play in the cloud
We continue to review patents and we find another very interesting idea that Sony could use to counter, even partially, the expected Xbox Series S, a PlayStation integrated into a USB drive you could hit the market with a price of 100 dollars.
This device would be a very simple, low-power and low-power solution that could have the necessary hardware to run certain games locally, perhaps those of PS4 and previous generations, but that would have as its main objective empower Sony’s cloud gaming ecosystem.
There are still many things in the air, so we have no choice but to wait, but it is an interesting idea. A low-cost PlayStation USB With the ability to move certain games locally and perfectly integrated as a client device in Sony’s cloud gaming service, it could become an important source of income for the Japanese company.
I do not want to finish without telling you another relevant detail that one of the sources that I have consulted leaves us, and that is that, for some reason, Microsoft no longer refers to Xbox Series X as the most powerful console of history, but considers it as the most powerful Xbox ever created. This has set off all the alarms and has given rise to two theories that, at the moment, are not confirmed:
-That Sony could launch ps5 pro along with PS5.
-That the Japanese company could introduce last-minute improvements to the PS5 GPU, or even add that second GPU to which the patent refers. Do you think it’s crazy? It’s certainly not a good idea, but it wouldn’t be the first time, SEGA already did with Saturn by introducing a second Hitachi SH2 chip to meet the PS1 spec.