Gaming hardware is cyclical, always destined to get replaced by a more powerful successor after several years have passed.
Sony’s current platform, the PlayStation 4, launched in 2013, seven years after its predecessor, which itself came seven years after the arrival of the PlayStation 2. While there has yet to be a formal confirmation of a PlayStation 5 on the horizon (a passing remark by CEO Kenichiro Yoshida mentioning next-generation hardware notwithstanding), it stands to reason we may see it hit next year.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier believes the next PlayStation will come sometime during 2020, something worth noting given his insider connections. Even Sony’s own financial forecasts indicate they’re bracing for a drop in profitability, implying it’s planning for a hardware launch and all of the costs that come with one.
If a holiday 2020 release is in the cards for a PlayStation 5, Sony’s internal and trusted third-party studios are already planning for it. It could potentially even be unveiled fairly soon, as Sony hosted a major conference for the PlayStation 4’s reveal. Tech experts at Digital Foundry predict both Sony and Microsoft’s next machines will enjoy a “revelatory boost” in CPU power, utilizing AMD’s Zen technology.
That’s not to say the PlayStation 4’s time in the limelight is completely over, however; its incremental mid-generation PlayStation 4 Pro update gave the platform a nice spec boost, and headlining games for the console, such as Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Sony’s own God of War, continue to impress.
But sales for the incumbent console (as well as Microsoft’s Xbox One) are slowing down, and only four major first-party titles are currently slated for Sony’s platform. Of these, Bend Studio’s Days Gone is the only one with a cemented release date (April 26). Cross-platform games aren’t an uncommon phenomena as the industry shifts between hardware generations, and there’s nothing preventing Hideo Kojima’s esoteric Death Stranding, Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima or even Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us sequel from getting that treatment.
The question isn’t whether Sony is spearheading a new console, they are. The questions are what will its specs be, what games will it have, and how much it will be. Sooner or later, Sony will come forth with the exciting news.