Sony is reportedly working on a PlayStation 5 Pro by the end of the year. In addition to additional raw performance, it would offer a proprietary solution from Sony, similar to Nvidia’s DLSS.
Video game developers have been facing a major challenge for several years. As we move to 4K, how can we simultaneously increase the graphical fidelity of games with very demanding effects such as ray tracing and display definition without sacrificing performance? On the PC, Nvidia’s DLSS offered a solution.
As a reminder, this technology makes it possible to increase the resolution of an image in an instant using AI. More specifically, we run a game in very low resolution with all effects at maximum and then use AI to upgrade the image to Full HD or 4K. Sony would like to offer such a solution on the console with the PS5 Pro.
The console DLSS era
Journalist Jeff Grubb explains in his Game Mess podcast that Sony would offer a proprietary technology similar to Nvidia DLSS with the PlayStation 5 Pro. The necessary hardware would integrate the new console and big performance increases would be the key. This idea is not new, other leaks suggest such technology for the PS5 Pro. The console would be planned by Sony for the end of 2024.
It’s not surprising. Sony has been working on technologies to improve display resolution since at least the PlayStation 4 Pro. Despite its marketing promise, Sony’s previous “Pro” console was unable to display games natively in 4K UHD. Developers have therefore found solutions such as checkerboard rendering to artificially improve image sharpness.
With the PlayStation 5 Pro, Sony aims to offer native functionality that is easier for video game developers to integrate. Like Nvidia’s DLSS, it would require dedicated hardware to avoid GPU usage and maximize performance improvement.
What about the Xbox?
Sony is not the only one that could offer a solution of this type in 2024. Nintendo should introduce and market its new generation of consoles, currently called Nintendo Switch 2. A priori, the Japanese manufacturer should continue to work with Nvidia on the technical solution of its console. The Nintendo Switch 2 should therefore integrate DLSS. Within 12 months, Nintendo and Sony could therefore offer AI upscaling technologies on their consoles.
Then what about Xbox and Microsoft? We know that the company is preparing a new version of the Xbox Series First of all, AMD’s FSR 2.0, a universal solution that has its advantages but does not reach the performance level of DLSS due to the lack of dedicated hardware. Microsoft is also working on its own proprietary solution using DirectML, but at this time that work does not appear to come from Microsoft Research. However, at launch in 2020, Microsoft promised that its console was ready for AI.
The strategies of the three console manufacturers will also be very interesting to follow in 2024, as they appear to be taking different paths.
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