It’s not been a year since the arrival of the “new generation” and we’re already talking about PS5 Pro and a new Xbox Series X|S model. Among other things, these are not rumors for the long term, but we are talking about new versions for next year. As always, what is reported can be completely false, totally true or something in between. However, we can discuss it by asking ourselves twice: is it interesting for the public? And above all, is it feasible for Sony and Microsoft to put two/three new console models into production?
Let’s start with this last point. Rumors point to 2023 like the release date of a PS5 Pro, with an Xbox Series S Version 2 arriving as early as 2022, or in practice within 12-15 months from today. But do you know what else the news from the last 24 hours tells us? That the shortage of components needed to manufacture new consoles could easily last until the end of 2022 and beyond: this is asserted by Toshiba’s Takeshi Kamebuchi.
After ten months, players still need to chase stocks and sells out almost instantly; this will likely continue for several months. How is it possible that Sony and Microsoft start producing not only “basic” consoles, but also Pro models? Obviously, it’s impossible to say without having more accurate data on component availability, but the idea of moving from two to three console models looks like a logistical and productive hell.
Let’s not forget that Sony is already working on new hardware, of which we don’t know the release date: PlayStation VR 2. Producing the headset and the PS5 Pro, but above all commercializing them at the same time (assuming the headset arrives in a few years at most) doesn’t seem like the best idea, especially since they wouldn’t be cheap devices (for PS5 Pro we’re talking about 700 dollars, inclusive).
Obviously there is a possibility that Sony will target, with these new hardware, only the more hardcore public, willing to invest large sums. Perhaps it could be content to sell (and therefore produce) a few devices, thus maintaining regular distribution of the basic models even during periods of shortage of materials.
The speech is a little different with Microsoft, which according to the rumor would have as its main objective to update the Xbox Series S. A new, more powerful version, but with a price even lower than the PS5 Digital (we’re talking about US$350), it could drive more and more gamers to switch to the next generation on Microsoft’s side, which in turn would lead to an increase in Game Pass subscribers, which is the ultimate goal of Xbox.
Returning to the first question, we ask ourselves if a PS5 Pro and a new Xbox Series can really be useful and interesting for consumers. The whole speech could end with “more choices are never bad”. Is it really that we will have new consoles that fast? What do you think?