Perhaps the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were exceptional cases. In the current console generation, we shouldn’t expect Sony and Microsoft to launch more powerful consoles in the middle of it.
Tom Henderson tweeted that he doesn’t think there is much hope that Sony will follow up the PlayStation 4 Pro with a PlayStation 5 Pro (which, if the company follows the example of the previous generation, would be released this autumn). He’s heard some things about the PlayStation 6 instead, and he thinks Sony is looking to reduce the number of PlayStation 5 models, as there are currently two on the market (what we call the PlayStation 5 Standard Edition and the Blu-ray drive-lacking PlayStation 5 Digital Edition).
It would reduce production costs and the complications of having two models (SKUs). Although seven years ago, it seemed like a good idea for Sony to come up with a half-generation update, at the moment, the lack of silicon and parts would not make it a commercially sensible move. Henderson has previously said that a new PlayStation 5 model would be coming this year. It will therefore replace the two versions currently available (as the PlayStation 4 Slim replaced the base version) and would not have a Blu-ray drive built in as standard. It will reportedly be available to buy separately or with the console (we’ve previously written that there might be compatibility issues with the current PlayStation 5 Digital Edition), and the console’s appearance will not change that significantly.
All this is not official, of course, but Henderson has been primarily reliable on Sony so far, but it’s safe to say that even if he’s right, this could be the first console generation where the console price has gone UP rather than down in years. If a disc drive can be connected separately, it will still look as stupid as the 32X in the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis.