UPDATE: With a 2018 PlayStation 5 release possible, analysts have been speculating about how powerful this machine could turn out to be. Certainly Sony will need to imbue the PS5 with significant power if it is to outrank, or even match, the forthcoming Xbox Project Scorpio.
Nonetheless, with a PlayStation 5 release likely to benefit from the latest CPU architecture from AMD, the PS5 has the potential to be an extremely impressive machine. The GPU included in the PS5 would also benefit from five years of improvement to Radeon technology, while the pure computing power of this device would likely outrank the existing PlayStation 4 by around 400 per cent.
Sony is also likely to bump up the performance rating of the PlayStation 5 by including more memory. But what will this impressive package of specs comprise in performance terms? Certainly the PS5 should be capable of delivering native 4K gaming, and it is even possible that this console will be able to run AAA 4K games at 60 frames per second.
The notion of 60 FPS 4K gaming is certainly an exciting one for potential console owners, but such a prospect would also pose logistical challenges. Bandwidth would certainly be an issue for the PlayStation 5, and Sony would have to make some tricky decisions regarding the media that such a console would utilize.
It is noticeable that Sony has moved away from emphasizing the importance of physical media recently, with the Japanese corporation refraining from including a 4K Blu-ray drive in the PlayStation 4 Pro. This would suggest that Sony would be reluctant to include this technology in the PlayStation 5, but practical considerations make it a necessity.
Meanwhile, Sony could also consider including a hybrid HDD / SSD setup in the PlayStation 5, which would serve the purpose of speeding up storage. Should 4K gaming become a standard in the PlayStation 5 generation, which is something that developers and gamers alike would welcome, then consoles will require a quite significant portion of storage in order to deal with what will be massive games.
E3 presence possible
While many have assumed that the PlayStation 5 would be several years into the future, we may even obtain our first glimpse of this console at the forthcoming E3 trades how. Nintendo has recently acknowledged that its releases will no longer have the lengthy shelf lives that have been common traditionally in console gaming. Thus, it seems likely that Sony will follow suit with its releases, particularly as it has more readily embraced state of the art tech than Nintendo, meaning that we may hear about the PlayStation 5 sooner rather than later.
It is even possible that major new titles such as Death Stranding and The Last of Us Part 2 could be delayed in order to launch alongside the new console. Perhaps it is a little too early for an announcement to be made during E3 this year, but we should certainly expect Sony to unveil the PlayStation 5 by the time the trade show rolls around in 2018.
UPDATE: 05-12-2017: In what has been an exciting year for the video games landscape, the rumors of a PlayStation 5 release from Sony continue to accumulate. It is suggested that the Japanese corporation will release this gaming console before the end of the decade, with reports recently emerging which suggest that 2018 could be a possible release date.
With the PlayStation 5 set to enter an increasingly crowded and complex marketplace, it will be intriguing to see what Sony has in mind for its next-generation console. The feeling is that the PS5 generation must deliver some unique functionality along with outstanding specs, and possibly be a more flexible performer than recent Sony consoles.
This flexibility could be delivered in a variety of ways, with the possibility that some form of mobile gaming could be included. But if Sony is to commit itself to a PlayStation 5 releases sooner rather than later then it could also release various versions of the machine intended to cater for different audiences.
Thus, it is not inconceivable that we could see a PlayStation 5 without a disk drive, as physical media is certainly becoming less important in general. This was acknowledged by Sony in its decision not to include a 4K Blu-ray drive with the PlayStation 4, something that has been mildly mocked publicly by Microsoft.
Other possible variations could include the amount of storage offered by the various PlayStation 5 models, with the video games market moving towards the sort of choice that has been a common in the mobile marketplace for some years, or as Apple has particularly committed to with the Apple Watch.
No set life cycle
Sony’s rivals could also alter their ethos in the coming years, with reports recently suggesting that Nintendo will take a completely different approach to its products in future. The Japanese company is looking to continue the production of its popular ‘DS’ series handhelds, with Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima commenting on this during an investor Q&A session.
But Kimishima also suggested that Nintendo’s product cycles are no longer intended to last for a set number of years, with the company needing to be nimble and amenable to change, depending on the particular needs of consumers. This will become an increasing trend of the video games market, and something that Sony will need to take into consideration with any PlayStation 5 release. Possibly this console could be upgradable in some fashion, but what seems to be certain is that the unwieldy gaming systems of the past are less likely to appear in the future.
The PlayStation 5 will enter a marketplace already dominated by Sony, and in which the existing systems have already achieved an impressive installed user base. Just this week, the huge player in the software industry EA indicated its belief that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will shift a combined 105 million units by the end of the calendar year.
This succinctly illustrates the fact that Sony must time and handle any PlayStation 5 release with care, ensuring that it doesn’t alienate its existing users. Increasingly, it seems that the console market will offer a slightly different experiences across several devices, while ensuring that none of these consoles is jettisoned from updates.
UPDATE: 05-02-2017: Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong has certainly got tongues wagging in the video games sphere by predicting that the PlayStation 5 will be released in 2018. This came as a major surprise, as Sony had only recently unveiled its mid-generation PS4 Pro machine.
Nonetheless, Thong was insistent that Sony would “release its next generation PlayStation by the second half of 2018,” meaning that the device could even be available in stores little over 12 months from now. Yet despite the decent track record of Thong in predicting the release of Sony machines, many believe that the analyst is wide of the mark with this particular assertion.
The timing for the PlayStation 5 would seem to