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Sony could reportedly launch a Pro version of the PlayStation 5 later this year, allowing PS5 sales to find a second wind in the second half of the current console generation. The PS5 has sold more than 50 million units since its launch in November 2020, but console sales are slowing. Sony will miss its PS5 sales target for fiscal 2023, with the Japanese electronics giant predicting it will sell 4 million units fewer than its target of 25 million this year.

Industry analysts told CNBC that Sony will likely refresh its PS5 lineup in 2024. The Pro version of the console will come with updated hardware features and will likely be sold at a higher price point than the base PS5. “There is a broad consensus in the gaming industry that Sony is indeed preparing to launch PS5 Pro in the second half of 2024,” said Serkan Toto, CEO of Tokyo-based gaming consulting firm Kantan Games. “It’s the same,” he said.

The analyst added that the PS5 Pro will aim to prepare the updated console for the release of Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 6, which is scheduled for release in 2025. As one of the most hotly anticipated games of all time, GTA 6 has the potential to be a surefire hit, giving the gaming industry a much-needed boost. The game is expected to release on current-gen consoles, and with a PC release yet to be confirmed, GTA 6 is expected to boost PS5 and Xbox Series S/X sales.

Sony launched a thinner and lighter version of the PS5 last November with slightly larger internal storage and a removable disk drive. PS5 Slim retains the processing power, graphics capabilities, and price of the original console. PS5 Pro will feature significant upgrades to the console’s hardware, promising better frame rates at higher resolutions.

It’s also worth noting that Sony released the PS4 Pro version about three years after the original PS4 was released in November 2013. The high-end PS4 Pro featured an upgraded GPU and supported 4K resolution.

Last week, Sony lowered its annual sales forecast for the PS5 during its earnings call, revising it from 25 million units to 21 million units in fiscal 2023. They also stated that they expect PS5 sales to decline gradually. No major franchise titles are planned for next fiscal year through 2024. Sony sold 8.2 million PlayStation 5 units in the third quarter of 2023, but operating profit for the company’s gaming business fell about 25%.

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