Masayasu Ito, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Executive VP of Hardware Engineering and Operation, has shared his thoughts about mid-generation upgrades for consoles, which have happened with PS4 Pro and are seemingly going to happen again with PlayStation 5 in the future.
Ito has told Game Informer, as part of the celebration for PlayStation’s 25th anniversary, that PS4 Pro was a “test case” of a “thinking” at Sony that sees mid-generation consoles a fundamental part of the plan to “fully catch up with the rapid development of the technology.”
“In the past, the cycle for a new platform was 7 to 10 years, but in view of the very rapid development and evolution of technology, it’s really a six to seven-year platform cycle,” said Ito, who also believes that regular PS5’s life cycle is going to be shorter than past platforms’.
“Then we cannot fully catch up with the rapid development of the technology, therefore our thinking is that as far as a platform is concerned for the PS5, it’s a cycle of maybe six to seven years,” he added about a possible PS5 Pro.
“But doing that, a platform lifecycle, we should be able to change the hardware itself and try to incorporate advancements in technology. That was the thinking behind it, and the test case of that thinking was the PS4 Pro that launched in the midway of the PS4 launch cycle.”
PS4 Pro released in November 2016. While we don’t have detailed sales data for the mid-gen platform, we do know that it had a positive launch, with Sony remarking in 2018 that every one of five PS4s sold had been a PS4 Pro in that timeframe.
“It is way ahead of our expectations,” SIE’s President Jim Ryan said last year. “As with PSVR, and I suppose in forecasting these things we haven’t done a very good job, the product is in desperately short supply. So that’s one-in-five under severe constraint.”
While it would be interesting to learn more about the sales data, Sony’s reaction is seemingly hinting at PS4 Pro’s good performances as it wants to further expand its family of platforms with a PS5 Pro in around three years from the release of PlayStation 5 in 2020.