It’s a brand new year and while rumours of Sony’s next PlayStation console might have started to gather pace in 2017, it’s fairly certain that news and expectation will snowball with every new day that passes in 2018.
This all started when PlayStation boss Shawn Layden confirmed that a PS5 was in the works and “coming”, before quickly stating that it would still “probably be some time” before it actually arrives.
So when should we expect to see or hear more about this next evolutionary step in the PlayStation console family?
Well, it could be sooner than you might think.
That’s despite the PS4 still shifting incredibly well – selling over 20 million PlayStation 4 consoles last year – and in addition with some excellent looking games still on the horizon for the next 12-18 months.
Writing on Twitter, industry expert Christopher Dring, Publisher for the highly respected website Gameindustry.biz, told followers:
“I believe the current PS4/Xbox One generation is now past its peak,” claimed Dring.
“The countdown begins to PS4/Xbox Two. I wonder if they’ll stay on the path of more power, or be influenced by Switch’s popularity”
Putting what we assume is a typo to one side, the above suggestions from Dring makes for interesting reading.
However, even if these consoles are now past their peak, it could still be at least another year or two before we see a new console released.
Most recently, Lewis Ward, IDC research director for gaming and VR/AR, told Gamingbolt that Sony’s console could be be a good few years off, as long as the current PlayStation continues to dominate hardware charts.
“Right now I think PS5 and the next-gen Xbox will arrive in 2021, but that’s really just a tentative placeholder in my forecast,” Lewis said.
In fact, Ward believes that before the PS5 launches, we could see the PS4 become the first current-gen console to hit 100 million sales, which could happen as soon as 2019.
“I think the PS4 will probably get there in 2019,” Ward predicted in his comments to Gamingbolt.
There are some though who believe the console could arrive much sooner.
Previously trusted Industry expert and Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter telling GamingBolt that he believed the console would arrive in 2019.
While Pachter had suggested that a release in 2019 would be better suited to leveraging the potential of 4K TV’s, the Wedbush Securities analyst later revised his opinion, suggesting instead that he believes the PS5 could be much further off than he initially first thought, in 2020.
Part of this change of heart could likely be a result of the success of the PS4, which as Lewis Ward had hinted at, could have a big impact on the PS5 release date.
“Sony’s making so much money with the PS4 that I think they’ll continue to milk it as long as they can milk it,” Pachter again told Gamingbolt.
Previously Pachter had also suggested that he believed the PlayStation 5 would be backwards compatible with PS4 Pro (which means that it will play PS4 games).
Well known Technology website Tech Radar have also suggested a 2020 release date for the PlayStation 5, writing:
“Given that the PlayStation 4 was launched in 2013 and Sony’s previous consoles arrived in six-year intervals, it would be easy to project that it will launch the PlayStation 5 in 2019.
“The sort of technology available then should easily allow full native 4K games without saddling the PS5 with a massive price-tag and, by 2019, 4K TVs will be the norm, rather than the exception, in the average household.
“Perhaps 2020 might be the year in which Sony unleashes the PS5 on the world, as the first native 4K console with wireless VR … as long as Microsoft doesn’t get there first.”
Assuming Sony were to delay the release until 2020 it would be fantastic news for all three current console owners, in theory,
For the PS4 Pro crowd, they could go into 2018 and 2019 knowing full well that those games they’re seen in past years at E3 2016, E3 2017, Paris Games Week and PSX – like The Last of Us Part 2, Death Stranding and more – would be coming for the PS4 Pro and not the PS5.
Whilst anyone with a passion for Xbox or Nintendo – who both find themselves quite far behind the PS4 in terms of sales and pecking order with fans – would be pleased to know that their own console could have a prolonged period of time in the spotlight.
Something that’s just not been possible with the PS4 dominating since launch in 2013.
We’ll no doubt learn more, or at least, something, at E3 2018, so you can expect plenty more information on where Sony PlayStation’s next console is headed in the next six months.
One thing you can be sure of though, with a huge selection of big games in the pipeline for the PS4 and Sony rumoured to have up to 130 PlayStation VR games in development, both Microsoft and Nintendo won’t be having it all their own way in 2018, with or without a PlayStation 5 announcement.