I know they would have to support the base model. But mind that, when the PS3 arrived, most consoles in the wild were Slim or Super Slim units. Most OG PS3 were already gone. So we can assume that, maybe, most PS4s will be Pros. The question is not the devs, it's the experience people get. Shadow of Mordor on PS3 was a sub-HD game running at 20 fps. So people wouldn't play it because it was plain terrible. Let's imagine that a PS3 Pro did existed. Maybe that game would be 720p and a stable 30 fps, so people would still want to play it. The Slim PS4 will be the top seller for a lot of time, but towards the end of the gen, the Pro will overtake it. Same with Scorpio. In 2012-13, PS360 sales suffered. Game sales in 2013 were terrible, with a lot of good franchies flopping badly. The Pro and Scorpio are here just to avoid that these 2 extra years result in a dying market.
You are looking at it thinking about the present. Take a PS4 game on a OG model and it isn't that much worse than the same game on PC running on ultra. You can see, the difference, but it's not ridiculous. I'm talking about 2019. Just remember how bad PS3 was hanging on in 2012 and that's the point of having a beefier unit.
You're trying to justify that long cycles aren't new using 2 games that had severe issues with their development. PS2 games could be made by teams of 20 devs in 2 years. Indie games nowadays use more than that. I'm not saying PS4 Pro and Scorpio will make the gen longer, but it was clear with PS360 that 7 years made the studios suffer because people were buying less games. Sony and MS seems to believe that a better hardware may offset this software crysis. So the point isn't really to make the gen longer, but to make the new duration viable.
Of course, when sales go down, they will launch a new gen. But this is related to what the market wants, not what devs wants. The guys who decide who gets the games are wearing suits and don't even know how to use a printer. Devs will code to the platform their bosses tells the to do so. They supported the Wii when it was selling well even if it was last-gen hardware.
If the Pro and Scorpio really don't have any impact even when looking at the last 2 years, then I will agree with you that it was a failed experiment. It's indeed a possibility, specially if the regular models manage to sell for sub-150 prices or maybe even 100 bucks.
Off-topic: You said your PS4 was having issues. Could it be an error CE-34878-0 with some games? Mine has those frequently with UC4 and Horizon, so I was starting to think about getting a Pro and trade my current unit.
Your argument still makes no sense. You're right that most PS3s sold were slims or super slims, but they were the same specs as the original PS3s (not more powerful in any way). But, that's because they were cheaper. Keep in mind, these consoles actually had less features than the release PS3, and the vast majority of PS3 owners did not care. So why did you make the logical jump that most PS4 sales now should be PS4 Pro sales and Not PS4 Slim sales? You need to look at the numbers . So far, PS4 Pro has an estimated sales of 1-1.5 million units world wide since release. In that same time, the PS4 Slim has sold well over 6 million units. That's about 80% of PS4 sales since the PS4 pro was released, and it's reasonable to think that number might decrease over time as a large chunk of the current userbase that already had a PS4 might have already upgraded to the Pro. It wouldn't surprise me at all if going forward the PS4 Pro represents less than 10% of PS4s sold. The dust is already settling on the PS4 Pro, and the results aren't industry changing in any meaningful way. In fact, i wouldn't be surprised at all if MS saw the response to the PS4 Pro and actually scaled back the hardware to make the price point more affordable. It appears the demand just isn't there.
Again, you seem to be harping on the idea that the vast majority of gamers care enough about performance to be willing to pay extra for it. I wholeheartedly disagree with that concept. The numbers just do not indicate that this is true, or has ever been true. People buy consoles for the games you can plan on them, not necessarily how well they play. Need I remind you that the PS2 was by far the weakest console compared to the Xbox and Gamecube and had the weakest, poorest performing ports, and that system is the highest selling console of all time, and dominated in third party sales. By your logic Xbox should have crushed the PS2, yet we see the opposite of that.
Yes, the PS3/Xbox360 era was 7 years long, and people were buying less games from 2008 onwards. Are you forgetting that 2008/2009 was the depths of an economic recession, with people losing their jobs and their homes left and right? Entertainment always takes a hit during a recession. You'll also notice a decrease in box office movie sales, sports tickets sales. etc. during that time, as people had less disposable income. It's not that people were neceessarily bored with the hardware, it was that they couldn't really afford to buy as many games as they used to. Because of that Sony and MS decided to extend the lives of those consoles because they new they would be releasing new hardware into a global economy that couldn't really afford that. A PS3 Pro wouldn't have made any impact in that. If anything it would have made Sony more tepid to make the PS4 Pro as the PS3 pro would have been a clear and obvious disaster. Speaking from experience, the PS3 was hard enough to develop for, adding a new specification to hardware that was already difficult to optimize would wouldn't have yielded games that would have been able to take advantage of it without a significant investment from the development teams in both manpower and development time. The hardware and development tools really were not there yet.
As for what devs want, you'd be shocked how much of an influence they actually have over Sony and MS in terms of what hardware is released and how soon it's released. Many of the respected studios around the world (Both first and third party)have a pretty big influence in shaping the final specifications of consoles.
P.S. My PS4 would randomly freeze every week or so. I suspected it was a hard drive failing so I replaced it with no change to the performance. I never did get an error code out of it.