Sony is shipping ‘console prototypes’ overseas - is this the PS5 Pro?

The side panel of a PS5
(Image credit: Sony)

A collection of recent international shipment records has sparked speculation over the development of the PS5 Pro.

As spotted by TweakTown, import records show Sony Interactive Entertainment (the branch of Sony that handles PlayStation) has shipped thousands of boxes of development kits to the US over the past few months.

Most shipments have originated in Japan and Korea. Other listings show Sony exported a shipment labeled “video game console [sic] (prototype)” from the UK to the US last November.

The mention of console prototypes has many fans excited that these shipments contain early models of Sony’s next hardware platform. That would, presumably, be the PS5 Pro or PS5 Slim, which Sony is expected to release sometime in the current console generation.

TweakTown also notes that the shipment of prototype consoles is marked with an HS code of 981700, which is sometimes used in global export systems to designate shipments containing parts for video game-related products.

Analysis: is this the first sign of the PS5 Pro?

A PS5 and DualSense controller lying on a white background

(Image credit: Sony)

It’s tempting to assume the dev kits and prototype consoles are early models of upcoming PlayStation hardware. With the PS5 having launched well over a year ago, it’s likely Sony is turning its attention to the next phase of its flagship console. The contents of the shipments could also relate to the upcoming PSVR 2, Sony’s next generation of VR headset.

But speculation is doing a lot of the legwork here, and we’d recommend lowering your expectations until more information emerges through official channels. It’s unclear why Sony would ship PS5 or PSVR 2 dev kits from Japan, Korea, or the UK to the US. Any prototype models would more than likely be manufactured in China before being shipped across the world.

More significantly, there’s little to suggest these shipments contain complete prototype models. It’s possible the hundreds of shipping cartons that are mentioned within the records are filled with individual pieces of PlayStation testing kits, rather than completed designs. There’s also little to suggest the dev kits are of upcoming PlayStation hardware, rather than older kits still floating around since the PS5’s launch in 2020.

There’s a strong chance Sony will release a PS5 Slim or PS5 Pro down the line, with its decision to release two mid-generation console upgrades for the PS4 has proved successful. But it’s probably too optimistic to think these shipment records give us an indication of their state of development.

Looking to pick up Sony's next-gen console? Find where to buy a PS5 with our deals guide. 

Callum Bains
Gaming News Writer

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.