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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Might Sony go with a two-SKU strategy next-gen (like Microsoft did with Series S)?

 

Will Sony launch with two SKUs next-gen?

Yes, a regular & weaker PS6 at launch 6 18.75%
 
A PS5 Pro will be the budget option 4 12.50%
 
The PS5 will be the budget option 3 9.38%
 
PS5'll end immediately at PS6 launch 0 0%
 
No, a PS6 and later a PS6 Pro next-gen 16 50.00%
 
Yes, but the weaker one after launch 1 3.13%
 
Other (please explain in the comments) 2 6.25%
 
Total:32

Last we knew, Sony still manufactures the PS4, two years after the release of the PS5.  This is the way things have been for a long time, with cost-reduced slim versions of the last-gen console sticking around until prices for the next-gen console finally drop enough that demand for the last-gen console dies out.

However, the success of the Series S provides an alternative option, and I see no good reason for Sony not to follow suit next-gen.  I think everyone benefits from the two-SKU strategy, as backwards compatibility paired with a budget next-gen console will allow for the previous-gen to be more quickly retired.  Developers win if it cuts a year or two off of the necessity of maintaining cross-gen support.  Consumers on a budget benefit by getting a console built upon the new and more efficient architecture (look at how Series S approximately as powerful as the One X, yet smaller and cheaper, due to the huge architectural improvements).  Sony benefits from the fact that having a regular and a Pro version at launch will help them get a lot more units produced from day 1, and will move consumers to the new architecture more quickly.

In fact, Sony started this two-SKU trend with the PS4 Pro, so they're obviously not averse to it.  And PC games have been scalable to different levels for decades now.  The main innovation with the Series S was leading with two-SKUs at the beginning of a generation.

Microsoft ended Xbox One production as soon as Xbox Series manufacturing began.  In a perfect world, I think Sony would prefer all their system sales going towards a next-gen architecture too, not still producing last-gen consoles two years into this generation (and counting).  so I've got to believe they'll be at least doing their due diligence on this option next time around.

I predict that there won't be a PS5 Pro. Instead, now that we're in a period where architectural improvements are the main way forward for more performance and efficiency, I think that Sony will introduce two new PS6 SKUs right off the bat next-gen, both on a new and more efficient architecture.  One will be approximately as powerful as a PS5 Pro might have been.  The other will be a "Pro" console launched right at the beginning of the generation that will be the true successor to the PS5.  Both will use the same architecture and it will just be a matter of scaling the fidelity up and down.

TLDR; I predict there won't be a PS5 Pro, and that we'll instead get a PS6 and a PS6 Pro right off the bat next-gen.



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Didn't they do that already with the PS5? I thought there was a digital only version as well as the regular disc version.



Ka-pi96 said:

Didn't they do that already with the PS5? I thought there was a digital only version as well as the regular disc version.

I'm not speaking of one system with two configurations.  That's nothing new, the Xbox 360 came with two SKUs at launch, but they had the same level of system power (just storage differences).  Hell, the "Sega Master System" also had a "Sega Base System" option!  :)

I'm suggesting a two-SKU strategy where you have a more powerful SKU, and a smaller and more efficient SKU, each targeting a different level of fidelity.  Eg., Series X at up to 4K, and Series S being advertised as up to 1440p.

Last edited by scrapking - on 22 December 2022

Due to the success of the Series S I think it's likely they will but I hope they don't so their first party games have better minimum hardware. And I disagree about there not being a PS5 Pro since the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X were both successful and if one of them does it the other has to unless they're ok with being at a big disadvantage power wise throughout the 2nd half of the generation and I don't think Sony would be fine with that.



Norion said:

Due to the success of the Series S I think it's likely they will but I hope they don't so their first party games have better minimum hardware. And I disagree about there not being a PS5 Pro since the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X were both successful and if one of them does it the other has to unless they're ok with being at a big disadvantage power wise throughout the 2nd half of the generation and I don't think Sony would be fine with that.

How do you define successful?  Neither the PS4 Pro nor the One X sold all that well.  And they were a lightning-in-a-bottle situation, since the PS4 and the Xbox One were unusually weak compared to 2013 PCs.  Add in the rapid adoption of 4K TVs, and you had two reasons to do mid-gen "Pro" consoles.

There's no indication 8K will be coming on strong anytime soon, and the Series X and PS5 aren't nearly as far behind contemporary PCs.  And the final nail in the coffin is that die-shrinks may not drive cost reductions.  They'll still occur, and they'll save space and reduce heat, but they're not predicted to also drive down costs this generation.  That's the whole reason Microsoft launched with the Series S, in fact, rather than keeping some version of the One S around until the Series X dropped in price.

Microsoft predicted the Series X won't drop in price very much.  And so far Microsoft's prediction is looking pretty good, what with Sony having actually *raised* prices of the PS5 (in every country but the U.S.) nearly two years after launch.  Last-gen that might have been a reduction in the U.S. price, rather than a price increase everywhere else.



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Norion said:

Due to the success of the Series S I think it's likely they will but I hope they don't so their first party games have better minimum hardware. And I disagree about there not being a PS5 Pro since the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X were both successful and if one of them does it the other has to unless they're ok with being at a big disadvantage power wise throughout the 2nd half of the generation and I don't think Sony would be fine with that.

I hope mid-gen refreshes don't happen for another reason.  The Series S showed how moving to a new architecture could get more performance than the One X overall, but also smaller and cheaper.  "Pro" consoles extend a generation, but I'd argue that doesn't benefit consumers.  Moving to a better architecture, with backward compatibility, is what benefits consumers IMO.

But it sure would be interesting if Sony extends the generation with a PS5 Pro, while Microsoft ends the generation and begins a new one on a better architecture (with back-compat).  Now *THOSE* comparisons would keep Digital Foundry busy!  :)



Nope, they shouldn't and likely won't. PS5 as is makes fine sales, no reason to get another system that would drag them full gen. Actually I would like they to cut crossgen faster than this gen (although I think it will be even longer). And if you consider the Series S a success than PS5 outsold it quite handsomely so even more success being single SKU and Series X sold lower than Series S so it would show selling Series X as poor decision? Regarding Pro versions they sold 20% or more of the total number of units after their release so that isn't that bad if the cost to develop the units and manufacture didn't made they lose money with that (the question is actually if they would sell similar total units without the pros or not and we can't be sure, probably would sell a little less but on number of actual users it would be quite close so no real benefit on releasing them).

Last edited by DonFerrari - on 22 December 2022

duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

DonFerrari said:

Nope, they shouldn't and likely won't. PS5 as is makes fine sales, no reason to get another system that would drag them full gen. Actually I would like they to cut crossgen faster than this gen (although I think it will be even longer).

I agree.  I was excited about the PS5 Pro and One X back in 2016/2017 but, now that the Series S has shown that overpowered last-gen consoles can underperform cheaper new-gen consoles, I'm no longer in favour of mid-gen "Pro" consoles.  If you have backwards compatibility on new hardware, and game streaming of new-gen games to old hardware, retiring the last generation as soon as possible is in everyone's best interest (consumers, the hardware manufacturers, and developers).



Why would there even be a PS6 to begin with isn't streaming the way by 2030



Please excuse my (probally) poor grammar

scrapking said:
DonFerrari said:

Nope, they shouldn't and likely won't. PS5 as is makes fine sales, no reason to get another system that would drag them full gen. Actually I would like they to cut crossgen faster than this gen (although I think it will be even longer).

I agree.  I was excited about the PS5 Pro and One X back in 2016/2017 but, now that the Series S has shown that overpowered last-gen consoles can underperform cheaper new-gen consoles, I'm no longer in favour of mid-gen "Pro" consoles.  If you have backwards compatibility on new hardware, and game streaming of new-gen games to old hardware, retiring the last generation as soon as possible is in everyone's best interest (consumers, the hardware manufacturers, and developers).

The only problem is actually the availability of HW. The reason PS still kept producing and supporting PS4 base for over 2 years after release of PS5 is sales of SW not HW. Due to limited availability of HW to be purchased they limiting the new titles to new HW would severely impact possible SW sales (at a time that cost to make SW is much higher than on previous gen). And if we look for some key 1st party titles it seems like 70% of their sales were already on new HW (because there is people holding on buying the title, even when there is free upgrade available, so they can play on the best hw).

For next gen I only see they cutting support short if for some reason they are able to produce a lot more HW since start of gen so they have less need to keep selling on older gen. I won't ever buy the idea of any company being purely pro customer, they are first pro profit, so the duration of support for previous gen (and even BC) will exist depending on what make more profit for them.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."