A huge gaming rumour doing the rounds today (via Insider Gaming), is that Sony is planning on launching a mid-gen PS5 upgrade, with a "tentative release date" of late 2024.
If such a device exists and launches around that time, that would put a Sony 'PS5 Pro' console right in line with when Xbox launched its mid-gen Xbox One X in 2017 - four years into the Xbox One's life cycle.
Again, we must stress that this PlayStation news is just a rumour right now, and we've seen no official movement from either Microsoft or Sony on a new console. But, if this turns out to be true (and that's a big if), should Xbox follow suit?
It's a tough question to answer to be honest, especially with how strange this generation has been so far. Xbox Series X proved pretty hard to find for the first couple years of its life, with stock shortages plaguing both Sony and Microsoft in 2021 and 2022.
Thankfully, that's now subsiding and these consoles are easy enough to find in 2023. However, it feels like this launch period almost 'delayed' the start of the generation, with cross-gen games still being ever-present across the industry. In fact, Xbox hasn't really launched a proper AAA next-gen-only game yet (Microsoft Flight Simulator aside), with Arkane's Redfall being the first to arrive in May.
With that being the case, Xbox Series X just hasn't been put through its paces yet. Most of what we've seen the system deliver so far has been based on last-gen tech, so why would we need an upgrade in 2024?
Honestly, we don't think an Xbox upgrade is needed, but that won't necessarily stop Microsoft from building one. There's a good chance Xbox simply wants to compete with PlayStation on cutting edge console tech, and if the PS5 Pro is real, we could definitely see another 'Xbox Series' console released to compete. Anyway, if Sony is building this thing, you can bet your bottom dollar that Microsoft already knows about it.
Microsoft's 'Xbox Series' branding also lends pretty well to the idea of developing 'alternate' options rather than super powerful boxes. Yes, that takes away the 'competing with Sony' angle, but Xbox Series S has proved very popular this generation and there's always a chance that Microsoft wants to build on that success.
With all of this in mind, where do you think Xbox should go next? Do you see them competing at the high end with PlayStation, or could they produce another budget system? Will they launch anything at all prior to the next generation?
Leave your thoughts on this down in the comments below!