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Do we actually need PS5 Pro or Xbox enhanced consoles this generation?And is it economically viable for Sony or Microsoft to actually make them?
PlayStation 4 launched in November 2013 and just three years later, Sony followed it up with the release of both PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation VR - so what are the chances of history repeating itself for the latest console generation? We know that a new virtual reality headset is in offing, but what about a PS5 Pro, or indeed an Xbox Series equivalent? Rumours of enhanced consoles have been floating around for a while now, while a recent press event from TV manufacturer TCL suggests that 'gen 9.5' consoles will launch in 2023/2024 - so what's the likelihood of that actually happening?
So, this hits dead on with speculation I was making last year WRT slim or cost reduced versions of the current gen. consoles likely not happening this generation.
In fact, in the current climate, inflation makes the consoles more expensive to make. Meanwhile, chip manufacturer TSMC is hiking prices on silicon wafers and demanding premiums from some of their biggest clients. It's a far cry from the cost reductions we've seen in the past.
Basically, I'll be surprised if we see a cost reduced mid-gen. console based on ongoing trends unless one or both console makers decides to take a huge loss per console sold. In fact, the situation is now significantly worse than when I originally made my speculation about the cost of manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of current generation consoles going up for the next few years instead of going down as it had in previous console generations. We can all thank Russia, at least partially, for that.
It does make me wonder if this might be part of the impetus pushing Sony to want to release most if not all of their titles on PC. That way they can either increase the likelihood that if someone does buy a PS5 that they'll buy more titles on the PS5 than just the exclusives or reduce the number of consoles they have to make. Basically, don't sell PS5 consoles to buyers who don't generate much if any profit for them on console and instead generate revenue from them on PC where Sony doesn't have the bear the cost of a console just to sell their exclusive titles to PC gamers. This is especially key if they are potentially approaching (or forecasting) loss generation or are already generating a loss on each console sold now (versus at launch where they weren't), but making it back if X number of titles sell on PS5.