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Latest 'PS5 Pro,' PS5 release leak is a bit suspect, no reason for Xbox Series X to worry (yet)

Xbox Series X 3D render
Xbox Series X 3D render (Image credit: Windows Central )

In some of our early Xbox Series X reporting, we uncovered the codenames for the next-gen console family, dubbed Project Scarlett. Among these consoles included "Anaconda," which we now know to be the Xbox Series X, and "Lockhart," which we've heard repeatedly from trusted, repeatedly-accurate sources to be a more affordable version of the Xbox Series X, albeit at the cost of power.

Related: Inside the target specs of next-gen Xbox "Lockhart" and "Anaconda"

This two-pronged console launch approach has yet to materialize officially, however, with Microsoft only announcing the Series X thus far. Similarly, Sony has only announced a single console for its next-gen efforts, the PlayStation 5, which is broadly expected (although unconfirmed) to be less powerful than the Xbox Series X on paper. In practice is a whole other matter that either company can only prove down the line, when the games start shipping, but another "rumor" making the rounds suggests Sony may be gunning for a two-pronged console assault as well.

Tom's Guide among others have been circulating a "rumor" from NeoGAF, via a supposedly vetted game industry insider, who claims that there will be a PlayStation 5 "Pro" launching simultaneously with the "9TF" PlayStation 5, to compete directly with the 12TF Xbox Series X. Does this info really make any sense, though?

Even a 9TF console is presumably going to be top-end expensive, with Bloomberg reporting that Sony is struggling to keep PS5 manufacturing costs below $450. An even more powerful system would push that price even higher, possibly beyond that even of the Xbox Series X, if indeed it does exceed 12TF. I'm not sure it makes a whole lot of sense for Sony to ship what is effectively two top-of-the-line consoles, making this rumor sound more like someone's wishful thinking rather than hard reality, in hopes that Sony can deliver a system more powerful than Microsoft when the two console manufacturers go head to head later this year. But who knows?

The desperation for next-gen information has even the vaguest of rumors storming the internet. I'd argue that even if the PS5 does turn out to be less powerful than the Xbox Series X on paper, Sony's consistently incredible software lineup, ubiquitous brand, and the likelihood of even more sequels to heavy-hitters like God of War, Spider-man, and The Last of Us means PlayStation can sit comfortably being a few teraflops below the Xbox Series X.

Microsoft hasn't broken cover on Lockhart either, yet, which is supposedly going to be significantly cheaper than the Xbox Series X and PS5, designed with financial accessibility in mind, albeit with some next-gen features like SSD speeds and possibly ray-tracing at 1080p. Building a cheaper "next-gen" console with 1080p gamers in mind makes far more sense to me than building two "higher-end" consoles, but again, who knows?

Hopefully, both firms will start opening up about the full breadth of internals, features, and prices of its next-gen consoles sooner, rather than later, these "rumors" are getting annoying.

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Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

9 Comments
  • I think it's important the Series X is either ahead or at least on par with the PS5 in raw power/performance. Although the narrative right now is 'games, games, games', I recall quite clearly at the start of the current console generation (XBO/PS4) that the narrative then was 900p vs. 1080p, with the PS4 generally having the 1080p games. It also did not help that the XBO was $100 more expensive. There were hardly any new games/exclusives for the first few years, but the power and price argument definitely hurt the XBO as the initial buyers simply went for the more powerful (and even cheaper) console in the absence of any games differentiation. So yes raw power is essential, so that those simply looking for the best console to play generally available games go for the series X.
  • You are remembering things incorrectly I'm afraid. It wasn't 1080 vs 900 in a vacuum. It was $100 more, less games (historically), AND 900p vs 1080p. If the prices were the same, it would be that Sony has the games and the power. If it was the same price, and the same power it would be all about the games. Power in and of itself means very little. As evident to the switch dominated both the PS4 pro and "the most powerful console ever created". At the level next gen consoles will be at power will mean less than ever before. Games or lack of games will always be the determining factor. That's why Sony and Nintendo outsold Microsoft 2 straight generations. Games needs to be the focus. Now games as a service, not mtx games. Just a varied and plentiful gaming library.
  • I agree that it wouldn't make much sense for Sony to release two different high end consoles. It's less important for them to win (or equal) the spec wars anyway. MS is the one playing catch up, so unlike Sony, they need any advantage they can get.
  • I heard Microsoft is releasing a Microsoft Xbox Series XL a few months after the launch of the Series X with double the Memory and CPU speed and it'll be backwards compatible with all the existing Xbox titles as before. /s Jokes aside, releasing a Pro version just to one up Microsoft in a situation where it doesn't even matter about next gen games on hardware anymore is a little silly. Microsoft has already set the stage now with games that can run a higher than expected settings if the hardware supports it. We've seen it already across this gen hardware from Xbox One 1080p to Xbox One X 4k gaming, and from Xbox One X to PC gaming via play anywhere titles that provides up and above console 4k gaming... all in the same game title.
    It would make little difference to Microsoft at this point to provide a bump in hardware specs on the console just to one up any existing hardware, and for Sony any attempt is going to be wasted unless they can provide more exclusive 'Pro' content for Sony fans to lap up.
  • Sony needs to worry about the following:
    Full backwards compatibility
    Xcloud type streaming service
    PS Now matching Gamepass
    are games for the PS 5 going to come out for the PS4 as well or will fans be left behind?
    the cost of the PS5, will they make a profit or lose some money? They have yet to show off or even talk about the PS5. It's been crickets at this point. They need to come out the gate sooner or later. I think before they can come out with some Pro version, they need to figure out the current one. No Microsoft does not need to worry about Sony, a matter for fact, Microsoft never needed to worry about Sony, Microsoft is a trillion dollar company, they have tons of money to burn, Xbox is not just a console, its a echo system that expands to other products. So no, they never have been and they never will. Let's finally get off this fake console war.
  • Well if the Rumours about RDNA 2.0 being exclusive to Xbox are true, then it puts Sony in a horrible position. RDNA 2.0 is about 50% more efficient than RDNA 1.0. So even if PS5 Pro was 15tflops RDNA 1.0, it still will not out power Xbox Series X 12tflops on RDNA 2.0. A 9tflop PS5 on RDNA 1.0 is going to be seriously underpowered in comparison to 12tflops RDNA 2.0. Much larger than the 3 tflops suggests. So it may be that Sony are panicking alot about the 50% more efficiency that RDNA 2.0 offers. And MS have Co designed RDNA 2.0 according to Rumours of which Direct X Raytracing outperforms RTX by Nvidia. All Rumours of course of which we will find out the truth on Thursday. https://www.reddit.com/r/XboxSeriesX/comments/fc9o0r/microsoft_attends_a...
  • I can't see this. Unless Sony are pitching the PS5 at £400 and 9tf. A pro at 14tf would be great, but the price would surely be over £500
  • Advantage.
    Amd.
    Leak : retrocompatibility is gratis on Ps5 (wrong)
  • This has got to be BS, it's just too convenient timing wise that we get an anonymous leak from Neogaf of all places just when it seems confirmed that the Series X is more powerful than the PS5. It's a possibility but I would be super surprised if it's true.