1)They have to 'brute force' the specs to reach NATIVE 8k 30fps minimum target. That way gamers can bitch about how PS5Pro and XsXPro are having difficulties reaching that target, while I could give 2 shits because I am lowering the settings (or downsampling) to stable 4K 60fps on my new QD-OLED from Samsung and I am in gaming bliss. Their is always 8k checkerboarding
My only issue here is that if the midgen refreshes are capable of native 8K 30, that weakens some of the argument for what 10th-gen systems will be able to provide, at least in terms of performance. And that's also assuming they would be able to provide 8K 30 without needing beefier I/O specs, more RAM, larger storage etc. The costs would add up quick especially if they're doing all of that on say 5nm.
2)Xbone X, Xbone, PS4, PS4Pro MUST DIE. Or in other words, discontinue support for PS4, PS4Pr, Xbone, XboneX. Dont worry, all your games will be in gamepass, and xcloud (for XsXPro atleast)
I mean that's a foregone conclusion; 8th-gen hardware will be retired sooner rather than later.
3)Incorporate ML cores, or Neural Cores in RDNA3. This is essential. Because if you want DLSS like feature in XsXPro and PS5Pro, the ML cores spares resources/processes of the system so you can spare it towards important priorities like raytracing (which itself should already have a dedicated core to further spare performance)
This would be a necessity for any mid-gen refresh. However, I'm not 100% convinced they need to increase the raw computational/TF (and therefore, doubling of CUs) for the consoles to do this. If base PS5 and Series systems had ML cores/Neural Cores in them, you'd be getting RT in most games with 60 FPS at 1440p - 4K resolutions.
Which is why I'm still not sold on mid-gen "Pro" style refreshes; smaller Slim-like refreshes adding in some hardware accelerated units like ML/Neural Cores for better RT and image upscaling could do wonders while keeping BOM prices lower and getting much more volume of units out there. Plus they could also use such a refresh to basically phase out the base units altogether, instead of needing to split their production stocks (which could be a logistical nightmare).
4) Have better storage medium. Blu-Ray must die. All the big tech giants must come together and decide on a storage medium which is cost effective, gives shit ton of space (think 1 terabyte games), and gives instantaneous game loading (like cartridge).
I think we've actually talked about this before. TBH they don't need to invent a new storage medium; either for midgen refreshes or 10th-gen systems I can see both Sony & Microsoft switching to cheap 64 GB/128 GB microSD cards with 60 MB/s - 90 MB/s read speeds, to ship physical games out on. So, somewhat similar to what Nintendo does with Switch games, but more storage obviously.
Then they could have those interface with the decompression engines in their consoles to effectively double or triple the bandwidth for compressed data on the cart; suddenly a 64 GB card can store 128 GB worth of content (with lossless compression), a 128 GB card 256 GB worth of data, etc., possibly more. And you're talking bandwidths way more than anything Blu-Ray can offer now or into the future.
MicroSD cards are getting cheaper and cheaper; maybe not cheap enough to do this for mid-gen refreshes, but by the time of 10th-gen I can definitely see all the consoles going this route. Just add a SDXC USH-II microSD port, make it interface with the file I/O subsystem same way M.2 SSDs do, through the FMC (Flash Memory Controller), big problem solved right there.
Sony must he dying to get a slim model out thats cheaper...what are the chances in the next 18 months? I have no idea.
Microsoft will shrink it when they can. I'm interested to see it.
They have that plant I think which was recently set up, which they'll probably start using soon. So the chances of it happening within the next 18 months are actually pretty high.
But, will they also use that opportunity to get PS5 Digital at an affordable BOM so it can be manufactured in real numbers, is the question. I think there is a way they can do it, by keeping the disc drive out, reducing internal SSD storage to 64 GB or maybe 72 GB max (enough for a single massive game in rotation if you compress the data 2:1), decent microSD slot with internal 512 GB or so microSD storage of say 20 MB/s - 50 MB/s. That could serve as cold storage and offer bandwidth twice as fast as UHD Blu-Ray with data 2:1 lossless compressed, and work out to be cheaper than having 825 GB of internal SSD storage the way both PS5 SKUs do it currently.
I think Microsoft are more interested in doing something that's an even cheaper option into Series product family than the S. Like an Apple TV-style box they can sell for $149. Powerful enough to run select GamePass games natively, but stream everything else. They could add in some eMMC Flash storage to interface with the decompression blocks; since it would be focused mainly on streaming they can keep storage amount small, keep memory amount small (4 GB max), the CPU and GPU notably cut-down in size and clocks, require less cooling etc.
Maybe they could upgrade the wifi from Wifi 5 to Wifi 6, though. I guess they chose 5 for cost-saving reasons but with how cheap they could make a Series system acting as an Apple TV-like, they'd have enough saved over to afford Wifi 6 and still keep costs low enough to hit $149 MSRP.