In recent weeks, there are some rumors flying around that Sony will release PlayStation 5 as soon as 2018. The rumor was first stated by Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong, which originally appeared in this Wall Street Journal article on Sony’s financial report. The article mentions Sony’s highest operating profit record of $4.5 billion and PS4 shipments have reached roughly 60 million worldwide.
In one section of the article, Damian predicts Sony will release its next-gen console (PlayStation 5?) in late 2018. This prediction “may be” accurate as he is also the same person who predict the launches of PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim correctly (or maybe he’s just lucky?). Sony, meanwhile, has made no announcement of a new next-gen console officially yet. The releases of Nintendo Switch and Xbox “Scorpio” are likely the primary factor behind that prediction. The Switch is bringing a fresh way to play with its detachable console and revolutionary Joy-Con, whilst the Scorpio will be the most powerful console built with its six teraflops hardware power promises immersive 4K gaming.
But whatever the rumors say, we don’t believe Sony will release PS5 (or whatever the name is) as early as late 2018. We analyze some of the factors why Sony wouldn’t release PS5 as early as next year.
1. Sony has just released the PS4 Pro
Last year in November 2016, Sony released the PS4 Pro, a more powerful version of the console with hardware that can play games in 4K resolution. Well, not native 4K but close to it by utilizing checkerboard rendering which “makes edges super-crisp like geometry rendering does, and on top of that it adds internal detail in some ways” (from www.stuff.tv). By utilizing this mechanism, the PS4 Pro can display games that aren’t natively 4K look like a proper 4K resolution. We can call this Pro version being PS 4.5.
Because of this release, launching a new console in such a short period would bring it compete directly with PS4 Pro (and likely ruin it). In a span of one and a half years, there’s still not been that much technology advancement; most gamers are still content with 4K gaming, therefore a PS5 isn’t worth to launching so early.
2. PS4 is (still) the best-selling console
With roughly 60 million units sales worldwide PS4 remains the current best-selling console. And it sold twice as much as Xbox One. Here is the cumulative sales graph for each console from game industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, with the PS4 also on course to level PS2’s sales:
PS4 still tracking alongside PS2 when launch aligned.
Should be ahead of PS2 12 months from now too if targets are achieved. pic.twitter.com/IaojJanYRc
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) April 28, 2017
However, it may prove difficult for the PS4 to surpass the PS2’s record sales of more than 155 million units. Daniel is rather skeptical about PS4’s chance to beat the PS2 record because of factors he didn’t mention, presumably because of the PS4 Pro and Switch releases this year.
Also according to our latest survey, most gamers are still enjoying the PS4. With the Nintendo Switch still working to establish its fan base while the Xbox One is still struggling with relatively few exclusives, we think Sony should focus on other factors such as better firmware, online service improvements, more great exclusives, and new IP rather than announce the PS5 this early.
Read Also: Best-Selling PS4 Accessories 2017
3. The facts behind the launch year of each Playstation console
Let’s take a look at the launch year history of each PlayStation:
|2000||PlayStation 2||6 years|
|2006||PlayStation 3||6 years|
|February 2013||PlayStation 4||6.5 years|
|November 2016||PlayStation 4.5||3.5 years|
|Late 2019(?)||Playstation 5||3 years (?)|
We can see some an obvious trend there. Usually, Sony launches a new console after six to seven years and it appears as though that trend will continue.
With PS Pro (assumedly 4.5) released in half of that span (3.5 years) according to the pattern, PS5 may likely to launch to the public early as three years (late 2019) or at the latest four years (late 2020). This period of time will offer PS4 Pro a chance to get more market share and increased sales before the next-gen console replaces it.
4. Sony still have a lot of exclusives yet to offer
Sony has bags of exclusives from their developers, such as Naughty Dog with Uncharted and The Last of Us series, Guerrilla Games with the new IP Horizon Zero Dawn, FromSoftware with Bloodborne series, Polyphony Digital with Gran Turismo, and on which have the future titles planned for 2017 and beyond.
And they’re not just ordinary PS4 exclusive, but top-quality ones with excellent ratings from critics such as Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us. With their arsenal of quality exclusives, there is no reason for Sony to react prematurely to Xbox “Scorpio” or even the Nintendo Switch. For the more detailed comparative report, also read our article Xbox Scorpio vs. PS4 Pro.
5. Much more new technology in the future
This reason may sound nonsense to most people, but in this era where technology is Shinkansen-like speed, anything could happen. We suggest that for the next-gen console, Sony should consider 5K or even 8K gaming. Wait… Have you heard about 8K gaming? Is that possible? The answer is yes.
And it works seamlessly. You can watch the process below:
In terms of hardware, we know that everything that is possible in PC gaming the same goes for consoles. To reduce the hardware specification, PS5 could use the PS4 Pro’s checkerboard rendering in 8K resolution. It also should be more volatile than before, that it can play in upscaled 8K, native 4K or 2K resolution, depending on what a gamers’ display. But in the meantime, there are many obstacles for implementing 8K gaming for a console. Some of them are the hardware cost and the price of 8K TV‘s.
For now, it seems impossible, but in 2020 and beyond, who knows?
Read Also: The best 4K gaming TV
So, what do you think of the PS5, would you be interested IF it indeed was released next year? Or should Sony wait a little longer? Feel free to comment below!