Sony and Microsoft Might Release Iterative Consoles Rather Than Completely New Hardware, Says Dev

Put simply, precedence has been set, and Sony and Microsoft might just continue offering iterative consoles that evolve their existing hardware platform with their upcoming consoles

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-Foxtrot182d ago

The problem with that though is where is the line drawn when developers can freely start to work on games that take full advantage of the better tech in the newer versions of those consoles? They'll never be able to properly do that with like one or two versions holding them back.

At least when you say "Oh the PS5 has been announced" it's a warning to people to go "Next gen is here, devs are going to be moving on, save your pennies up for the new console"

Septic182d ago

There will definitely be a cut off whwre next gen begins like what has followed traditionally. The iterative consoles will just serve to ease that transition in a bit more than the base consoles.

Eonjay182d ago

Otherwise they just turn them into Cell phones where they expect you to upgrade every 2 years...

-Foxtrot182d ago

Thing is hardly anyone really wants these middle consoles...they are a waste of money and I think more people would rather stick to their consoles they've bought for a few more years until the next consoles come out. It's cheaper on our part because we don't have to come up with money sooner, I mean sure we could trade our other consoles in but it's not the same trading in your PS4 or Xbox One for basically the PS4/Xbox One Version 2.0. At least when you get a new console you know the main gaming audience and the industry have finally moved are part of the new generation.

Not to mention it's more fun to see a bigger leap on next gen rather then "Oh it's just a small push from the Pro and Xbox One X that's all". Gives the newer consoles more of a wow factor.

Septic182d ago

I agree. It's nice to see a really massive jump in fidelity between generations. That won't be a thing anymore which is a shame

kevnb182d ago (Edited 182d ago )

Speak for yourself -Foxtrot. Personally I would not be gaming much on console if it wasn’t for the mid gen upgrades since the performance on base hardware is below my standards quite often (there is no way I would play monster hunter on base hardware). The mid gen upgrades are doing pretty well even if the cheaper models outsell them easily, most people don’t even understand why they should get them. It didn’t help that Microsoft ran a campaign to downplay the pro while promoting the x like it was going to shift the console war... they did this with undisclosed advertising, Astro turfing, paying for fairly negative press/reviews of the pro and paying for great press and reviews for the x. The campaign is over now, can you tell the difference on n4g without all the paid Astro turfing?

As far as cell phones comparisons go I think they will go the Apple route of 5 years support (or maybe even a bit more) and not the android route of barely any support ever.

OmnislashVer36182d ago (Edited 182d ago )

I understand having the PS4 Pro to ease the transition to 4K, but don't see a reason for a PS5 Pro:

1- most games will be 4K, others will be damn near it.
Leaving two things they can majorly upgrade:

2- RAM. But do we need devs optimizing textures for 16 and 24 GB varieties? It doesn't make much sense as that's much like remastering. I mean a full 8GB difference is quite a lot. PS4 Pro didn't even increase RAM either for pretty much the same reason. They've optimized their games for 8GB. Xbox One X did it mostly for PC ports, but for Sony this kind of becomes redundant.

3- FPS. Giving a 60FPS mode to 30FPS games is unfair.

All in all if games we're playing are 4K or 1800p60 what the hell is the point of an update? 8K will NOT be feasible until atleast PS6 and most people don't even own a 4K TV yet.

I'd rather see generations back on a 5-6 year schedule to be honest, no more iterative consoles.

I mean, just look at games like God of War, The Last of Us 2, FFVIIR and Detroit. Not even PC games match them. So ~10TFLOPs/16GB is going to be more than enough to last through the gen.

FinalFantasyFanatic181d ago

The problem with the mod gen refreshes is that I've already bought the vanilla console when the good games started coming out,so an upgrade to a pro edition isn't worth it for me. Not when I've only owned the vanilla versions almost 2 years prior.

tehpees3181d ago


PS4 Pro sold well enough to prove your theory wrong. There is a market for upgrades under the same name but it gets confusing to consumers as evidenced with Wii U (which many will forever believe was just a tablet controller).

RevXM181d ago

Have to buy? Not if mid gen refreshes keep happening like now. There isnt much difference beetween a ps4 and a Ps4 pro and dare I say though to a different degree x1 and x1x.

They have and play the same games and apart from resolution and sometimes framerate (optional or otherwise) the games are the same give or take a little spit for polish depending on the tune.

As an owner of a launch ps4 I see little reason to upgrade, and add to it that I dont have a 4k hdr tv and knowing ps5 is eminent to happen I cant justify the upgrade given my other expenses and hobbies. The refreshes are nice options but far from mandatory and isnt perfectly reasonable for most who already got a system at launch and have other expenses and priorities as well aside from gaming.

UltraNova181d ago

After experiencing this mid cycle upgrade thing I have to say that I will not be partaking going forward. I will stick with the Ps4 Pro until the ps5 pro comes out. Thats the only way I feel I will get my money's worth when it comes to a significant jump in overall visual/general quality.

denawayne181d ago (Edited 181d ago )

This is why BC is so important to MS right now. No matter what system you have, you'll be able to play your old/current games. So, when the time is right for an individual to buy the newest console, they will not be leaving any games unplayed. I just read how Spencer was talking about how he started RDR on the 360, continued it on the One, and finished it on the X. This is the future. Get used to it.

getbacktogaming181d ago

I can only speak for myself but I kinda like the idea of iterative consoles... if only consoles could be more 'PC' like where depending on your version of the hardware different graphical tweaks would be switched on and off... direct X on PC is sooooo good because of that... backwards compatibility means you never have a new gen you just keep getting more powerful hardware to play old and new games!

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firelogic182d ago (Edited 182d ago )

I agree. Clear lines need to be drawn for devs to cut off support for the previous hardware. Backwards compatibility is fine but forward compatibility can't be a thing because it just hamstrings developers. MS is in a crappy position with the X1X because they can't make games that fully take advantage of the console. All they do is upres the base game and add a few effects.

Plus here's the big reason why it won't be a thing. The sales for the Pro and X1X are extremely low compared to those buying the base versions. I think that the Pro/X1X were experiments and they basically failed. The adoption rate isn't good enough for them to make the PS5 a step above the Pro or the next Xbox a step above the X1X. Console owners are looking for generational leaps. Consoles will never be PCs.

And the PS5 will 100% be backwards compatible with the PS4. Previous gens Sony radically changed the hardware so it was harder to do and not really worth it. Now it's a different story. Sony uses off the shelf (practically) components now. BC is a no brainer.

blackblades181d ago (Edited 181d ago )

I wouldn't say they failed, sony wasn't expecting much and = there expectations. All in all it was for people that wanted more and it didn't hurt anyone i say go for another slim/pro release doing midgen. Besides pro was mid gen so pretty sure the next system is ps5 and not another ps4.

Obscure_Observer181d ago


"MS is in a crappy position with the X1X because they can't make games that fully take advantage of the console. All they do is upres the base game and add a few effects."


denawayne181d ago (Edited 181d ago )


I agree with you. There will be games this E3 that take advantage of the X. MS will also announce a price drop to the X with a possible bundle (Halo 6, Crackdown)

FITSniper181d ago (Edited 181d ago )

Well to be fair, that's all the CPU can handle.

agent4532181d ago

I agree iterative console hardware like PS4 Pro and Xbox One X failed due to being sold as new hardware ($400.00+tax for pro and $500.00+tax for xbox one x). That was basically an upgrade to the base versions of the PS4/Xbox One. The solution lies in a Netflix like gaming service complete with a tv app of PSN/Xbox live. Lower costs and no more console kit 👍 or cutting corners to multiplataform games due to consoles ancient harware. More games, lower costs for everyone, etc.

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The_Jackel182d ago

ps4 pro+ or ps4 propro ps4 gopro?
i guess sony is in a position to extend the life of the ps4 to mke it from 6 to 9 years then release ps5. but of course the base model would be the one they have to support and make sure the games run on first before doing a pro patch or even pro+ patch. on top of that what would xbox have to offer then if its 9-10tf if they do. it will just be the strongest console short lived.
but I'm fine with how sony is atm x doesnt have any foot hold minus 3rd party resolution and slightly better texture which to me is bigger all when the games dont seem to look as good as anything sony has given uc4 gow horizon ect ect and if you dont have them side by side with 2 of the same tvs you'll play it and still looks good even on base models

Forn181d ago

I wonder if they'll just release two versions of the PS5 on day one. A standard and premium version that will both play the new next-gen games, but one will have a slight edge in resolution or whatever.

chiefJohn117181d ago

Unlikely, nor would it be smart business wise.

The_Jackel181d ago

it depends on how they do it I guess.
as an exzample ps5 normal is 12tflops and the ps5 pro is 20tflops. normal is in the price range for peole to by for Chrissy presents for children or themselfs without breaking the bank and obviously pro is in for the hardcore gamers that want best preformance. the flops i used are examples but could be a way its done.

conanlifts181d ago

My opinion has always been that they support the last hardware released. In this case ps5 would drop ps4 support, but ps4 pro would run cut down ps5 games and still be supported. The same with Xbox. Xbox 2 would drop xbox one but support xbox x. In this case the upgraded console ( pro or x) are still getting 6 years of new game support. In addition the new consoles always offer backwards compatibility.

smashman98181d ago

I really like having the option to upgrade. I think Sony and Microsoft have both proven that even with those mid cycle upgrades the base models are still more than viable for people who would rather not upgrade. Personally my gaming is probably the hobby I invest the most time and money into and as a result I definitely welcome the idea of a bi-yearly upgrade as long as it doesn't shut players out to soon. If Sony maintains atleast a 6-7 year cycle before stopping software support while making sure all my games are compatible with future consoles I'll be happy.

Cyborgg181d ago (Edited 181d ago )

They should do it like PC where you can just change the GPU every 3 to 5 years

Kiwi66181d ago

And how would that work for those who can't do it themselves as it would be kinda inconvenient to have to send it somewhere to have it done

blackblades181d ago

I thought about that doing ps3 era, but it's stupid. It's a console not a pc it wouldn't work.

conanlifts181d ago

But both consoles had increased cpu power, increased memory amount and speed, increased cache and the x had a faster hdd. So a gpu swap on its owns is less advantageous.

joab777181d ago

This isn’t necessarily true though. Even when new gems release, the current gen will be supported as last gen was. It took 2-3 yrs before devs started developing for this gen soley. This could continue through iterative releases.

UnholyLight181d ago

Think I have to agree with you Foxtrot...also I don't want game consoles to end up like a cellphone where you are always compelled to upgrade to the latest and greatest every 2 years. I love the give us a new console and hype up the next 4-5 years from now model. That's satisfying enough for me!

Retroman181d ago (Edited 181d ago )

"Sony and MS might just continue evolving their existing hardware" platform. what exactly do that mean?? no actual physical console but constant "firmware up-dates" loaded on pspro like console. anyone with gaming knowledge explain plz. evolving to me is like adding more content via download. or the GREATEST lazy way to buit a NEW console.

Obscure_Observer181d ago


"The problem with that though is where is the line drawn when developers can freely start to work on games that take full advantage of the better tech in the newer versions of those consoles? They'll never be able to properly do that with like one or two versions holding them back."

There´s nothing holding developers back! Playground for exemple already said that their next game (Their new Action Open World RPG) will be developed on Xbox One X as the lead system and all Microsoft Studios will follow suit. But that´s a Microsoft policy though, which makes sense since they break up with consoles generations.

battlegrog181d ago

Its worked on pc for many years now. Clearly you dont pc game. Hardware changes but the games srill work on the same format.

gamer7804181d ago

its where the industry has been, and the mobile market has gone to though. PC's play everything, just at a point when you have to have a certain hardware version or higher to play. This could make things confusing for some users but it kinda makes sense.

Christopher181d ago

There's going to have to be a new generation. They can't keep doing iterative as at some point they must use a new CPU which means everything has to be ported or emulated to play any past games. That will set the next generation.

Vizigoth04181d ago

I think as long as forward/backward compatibility is implemented throughout a few generations then I don't see iterative consoles as a bad thing. Customers at this point have a choice. Like myself I've stuck with the base PS4. I really do want a Pro if it plays games a little better but I only have a 4K 50" tv and it doesn't even support HDR. Regretful purchase in my opinion. But depending on what is enveiled with the PS5 I might just wait for that. If PS5 is still a ways off and the cost of the Pro comes down, and I have a real 4K TV by then, I might then just get the Pro.

subtenko181d ago

as long as PlayStation keeps doin what theyre doin

AZRoboto181d ago

"Next gen is here, devs are going to be moving on"

And like with every new generation, for years we'll still see the biggest games go cross-gen. This gen we had Destiny, Watch Dogs, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Call of Duty, Battlefield 4. Zelda was cross-gen with the Wii U.

There being an iterative console spec between generations at least sets the developers on a mentality to build their games in a way that can be easily enhanced by more power.

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mania568182d ago (Edited 182d ago )

This is more of an opinion than anything else, one i wouldnt see sony or microsoft trying to sell you on, first its sales since new console means sales, better loocking games doesnt have the same effect at that scale, second is if said game works on iteneration 3, means 1 and 2 are holding the newest one back, means it will be harder or disregarded to reach full potential and just bump in overall quality of picture, backward compatibility is talked, but its not that hard to implement if sony wants to. Third is exclusivity, one of the biggest reasons people buy new consoles is what exclusive you can play on your new toy that you could never do on your old one.

There's nothing wrong with doing a half step on the middle of the generation since more options arent a bad thing, but if one keeps doing more than necessary it will lose the message and confuse buyers (remember, normal people who dont come to sites or parents wont be able to tell whats the difference), i could go on but there's nothing to win and possibly a lot to lose to just keep releasing the same thing with a different word at the end of the package.

TheCommentator182d ago

Why is an iterative console so hard to understand? The PC has been iterative forever if you want to see how the model works, which it does:

- There's eventually going to be a minimum spec like on PC (people understand that just fine). To use your model; Eventually "console 1 will be obsolete and "console 2" will run "console 3" games with reduced fidelity.
- BC won't have to be a feature that is considered going forwards, because it will just work within an iterative model. Again, like PC.
- Forced exclusivity to the newest platform reduces the choice gamers have when it comes to deciding when to upgrade or which platform they can play their games on.
- With iterative consoles, gamers keep their existing library and watch it improve on newer HW without emulation or specialized last-gen HW.
- Making one version of a game reduces developer cost and increases "Next Gen" game sales at the same time.

Oh yeah, it's also not an opinion at all because MS is already two consoles into the iterative model:

"For us, we think the future is without console generations. We think that the ability to build a library, a community, to be able to iterate with the hardware--we're making a pretty big bet on that with Project Scorpio. We're basically saying, 'This isn't a new generation; everything you have continues forward and it works.' We think of this as a family of devices."

yomfweeee182d ago

You're right it does exist. Consoles aren't PCs and this is one of the differences.

Console games are highly optimized which is why the PS4 can put out games more beautiful than what you will find on a several thousand dollar PC.

When a game has to start supporting old consoles, the games get held back. We see that already when developing tryouts to support multiple generations at the beginning. It would be worse if they tried to keep 3 or 4 iterations of a console active.

JackBNimble181d ago

I'm not going to spend $1000 for any console in any gen, you may as well be gaming on pc then and have all the power in your own choices. At least then I can decide what kind of build and power I want. Why would anyone think this is a good idea?

derek181d ago

Your still holding the most capable hardware back so the games can run on the weakest platform. Console gaming is not PC gaming never has been and never should be. It would be smarter to give a more meaningful hardware upgrade (sell the initial sku at 500$ instead of 400$) from the outset so there is more room for these consoles to stretch their legs over a generation.

TheCommentator181d ago

@ Derek

That's not entirely true because anything a new game does, a less powerful machine will still be able to run by scaling things back. 1080p vs. 4K. Different LOD scales. Less particle effects. Whatever though, think what you want.

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TheCommentator182d ago (Edited 182d ago )

@ yomfweee

"...the PS4 can put out games more beautiful than what you will find on a several thousand dollar PC."

No, it can't... but you are right that there are potential drawbacks to iterative consoles. Things are seldom, if ever, perfect. IMO, it was not a fair assessment for Mania to say that there aren't any benefits which is why I posted some.

yomfweeee181d ago

God of War, UC4, HZD and even the Order 1886 are some of the greatest looking games ever.

I'm not talking about resolutions and frame rates. I'm talking about the art and graphics.

D3athc3ll181d ago (Edited 181d ago )


Yes it can and they currently do. No pc game looks as good as HZD, UC4, or even GOW. Pc can push graphics way beyond consoles but they lack the devs and time or effort by devs. So currently, you get games on pc that play at more than 60fps, with higher resolution, but it still looks like the ps4 game. Just a bit clearer. So no one is arguing that pc is the strongest (look at what Crysis did back in 2006), but no pc game looks as good as the games i mentioned. I do own a high end pc so I am playing pc games like Crysis 3, Battlefield 1, etc maxed out, so I'm not just sweet talking consoles.

@yomfweeee totally agree. Those games got the best graphics. Funny I forgot about Order 1886, that is actually the best looking game, since it looks like cgi. Just hated the aspect ration on that game... Maybe if you had a tv or some monitor with that aspect ration it woulda been great. But man that game gave me chills in the graphics department. Same with UC4 and HZD. Tomorrow it will be GOW that give me the chills ;)

darthv72182d ago

It seems only logical that 3 years after the PS4 Pro comes the PS5 since the Pro was released 3 years after the initial system. Sony sticking to a 6 year cycle. 6 years between base units and then 6 years between upgraded units. MS could likely go for 8 year cycles seeing as there was a 4 year gap between the base and the X and then in 4 years would be the next xbox (8 years after the xbo base unit) followed by an upgrade 4 years after that (8 years after the X released).

Blastoise182d ago

If they do this I'm done with console gaming. I have no interest in the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, to be honest I think they're pointless

Eldyraen182d ago

Not pointless but very niche.

If they did this instead of a next gen though I’d be hugely disappointed and likely to just keep my Pro/X. The only real reason I’m fine with it now is because 1080p to 4k is a viable reason for me. We need totally new starting points next time and then we can see where it goes from there. 4K is plenty so a new mid gen upgrade is much less warranted, unless they go with a lower res to begin with (1440p+ which frees up a lot of resources for other enhancements but shouldn’t really be the ideal scenario for anyone... unless every game is also 60fps as it’s a decent middle ground for all involved and midgen would at least carry over 60fps—again just theoretical compromise for any real purpose for new mid gen upgrades as 8k consumer level is crazy talk really).

Just go ahead and make stronger 4K consoles though and call it good until next gen is needed again, which quite frankly should be a much longer period of time from now on due to diminishing returns until tech demands it (those ray tracing demos for example—something crazy in other words).

lipton101181d ago

I'd upgrade to the next iteration if it had a 3 year lifespan or so, why not? I upgraded to the Pro and sold my launch 4. Gone are the days of major graphical leaps between console generations. This is the future. Embrace it or be left behind.

lipton101181d ago

One loud person won't change a thing. I'd much prefer iterations instead of new console "generations". We'll never see the graphical leap like we did between PS1 and PS2 and PS3. I have the PS4 Pro and totally dig it.

Going forward, I hope this is exactly what they do + minimum specs and/or reduced fidelity for new games coming out. I DON'T want to forgo my entire library just to "upgrade" to a new console. I'd rather still have all of my games, just as I do with Steam, and I've had Steam for 10 years.

So you're done with console gaming if this happens? If you're a real gamer, I highly doubt it. And if you truly are "done" with console gaming with a change (for the better) such as this, great. Cry me a river. This great world will continue to spin with or without you.

derek181d ago

You a firmly in the minority, most people will by a console once. 4k was a legit reason to offer a mid gen upgrade given when the base models came out but that situation is rare.

Blastoise181d ago

Get off your high horse lipton lol

Cobra951181d ago

You may be firmly in the minority of opinion here, but opinion is not fact. As console tech continues to merge with PC tech, many of its niceties will filter into the model. There is no reason to obsolete an entire generation of games when a new console design hits the market.

You're right about graphical leaps being a thing of the past, but you didn't say why: diminishing returns. We can already do high-def rendered 3D at a good frame rate, with satisfying aesthetics and detail. We simply don't have as far to push forward as we once did. Going from 16 to 32 bits was truly transformational. Now, all we can do is iterate: a bit more detail, a bit more resolution, a bit more frame rate. OK, real-time ray tracing may be true leap, but that's years away in consumer hardware of any kind, let alone consoles.

blackblades181d ago

If you have no interest in them then don't buy them, stick to the original problem solved.

xenz181d ago

Don’t worry. Sony already stated that they believe in generations.

MS on the other hand doesn’t.

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SuperSaiyanGod41181d ago

I agree i think aslong as one of the big three can sell close or beyond 100 million they will continue to keep pushing more of that console with maybe just upgrades here and there. Only way it will change is if the other 2 push a new console into the market and slows down the leaders sales then they have no choice but to introduce a system of their own to stay irrelevant with the other 2 keeping the competition competitive.

Cobra951181d ago

Iterative doesn't mean the same console with a bit more oomph. No one would argue that a modern game PC is the same as a 10-year-old model with more power. The new one is radically more capable, and can do things a PC from last decade would choke on. But it can also run the software from the old PC. How is that ever a bad thing?