From time to time, rumours appear of an eventual improved version of the current SONY console, but is a PS5 Pro viable? In the sense of an improved version of the current PlayStation 5 with the same game catalogue, is it possible that we see an improved version of the current console and what feasibility exists seeing the map of its main partner which is AMD? We offer you a realistic perspective on the question.
Both SONY and Microsoft introduced improved versions of their PS4 and Xbox One systems in the mid-eighth generation of video game consoles, intending to take use of the newly developing 4K UHD resolution televisions.
That is why they tasked AMD with developing a fully compatible APU that was also more powerful than the original model of each of the two devices. In the instance of SONY, the device that carried this enhanced processor was the PS4 Pro, which, although keeping the same CPU and kind of RAM, raised the clock speed of both, as well as the clock speed of the GPU.
Improvements were made to the graphics processor integrated in the SoC of the console, such as doubling the number of active Compute Units from 18 to 36, Rapid Packed Math and Delta Color Compression, which was already present in AMD graphics for PC at the time.
What are the chances of a PS5 Pro appearing in the medium term?
The first consideration is the size of the APU, and because of the increasing cost with each successive node, a strange phenomenon has arisen on PlayStation consoles with the release of the PS4. As a result, each new AMD APU model built for SONY has had a smaller area than the preceding one, which may go unnoticed at first appearance, but makes sense if SONY wants to keep consistent costs with its console.
It is obvious that the PS5 Pro SoC may be built at the 5 nm node while also having a somewhat smaller size than the model that governs the console. However, we must not forget that the SONY and AMD engineers would have a bigger number of transistors for the building of the new system, but the cost of the chips would rise as a result of the enhanced lithographic process.
From here, we face a number of hurdles in determining what SONY could select from the AMD portfolio. But what is the most likely scenario?
What AMD technologies would be viable?
At this point, we must emphasize that if AMD breaks compatibility with Wave64 mode in RDNA 3, this technology will not be able to be used in PS5 Pro for a very simple reason: losing this mode implies breaking compatibility with the architecture GCN and therefore with games for PS4 and PS4 Pro.
However, certain technologies may be integrated in your hardware in PS5 Pro. The CDNA or CDNA 2 Matrix Core Units within each Compute Unit are the equivalent of NVIDIA’s Tensor Cores and will be critical to achieving higher resolution or frame rate in the next generation. The RB + 2 RDNA PC units and Xbox Series offer you the opportunity for a Variable Rate Shading, a feature which lacks in the PS5 inculcating RDNA2.
RDNA 3 will improve the intersection unit that accelerates Ray Tracing, making it a self-contained and viable piece in its implementation in PS5 Pro. Will we see the Infinity Caché integrated into the APU of the next SONY model? Who knows, but it is key to maintaining high clock speeds in a sustained way.
Because the console will be constructed at 5nm, the node for which this AMD processor was developed, we may see the adoption of Zen 4 cores. A PS5 Pro will, in effect, make the PS5 Slim a distinct refreshed model, rather than offering two different models as in the previous generation.