As it stands right now, Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro is the most powerful games console on the market. And it won’t be until sometime late this year that the highly anticipated Xbox Scorpio removes it. However, that hasn’t prevented rumors from emerging about a PlayStation 5 a device which if the rumors are correct will be more powerful than the Scorpio.

PlayStation 5 Release Date
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PlayStation 5 Coming When?

This information originates with Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Research. Now, before you dismiss it out of hand, you should know that he/Thong has a track record of predictions. But, unlike most, who predict a device, he ahs been correct about both the PS4 Slim and the PS4 Pro. Meaning, he is someone who is worth listening too! So, when will it hit the shelves?

Previous talk of a next-generation PlayStation has firmly placed the device at the end of the current decade. With December 2020, being the month and year of its release. However, it seems as though Sony wants to consolidate its platform/user base and prevent as many as it can from switching to the Scorpio. And that is why news of the PlayStation 5 has now begun to surface. Sony wants to place the console as a future option for console gamers, one that will offer the best experience.

So, in answer to the above question: The PlayStation 5 could hit the shelves in the second half of 2018. Here’s what Thong had to say on the matter:

“We see sustained profit growth in Game & Network Services. We forecast OP growth from ¥140bn in FY3/17 to ¥180bn in FY3/18, driven by expanding software sales and profits. A rising digital ratio and a higher mix of first-party titles will help margins – Horizon Zero Dawn, which launched on 28 Feb, looks to have had a good start with a Metacritic score of 88. While we have tempered expectations to account for the rivalry with Microsoft/Xbox and PC gaming, we note that the success of PS VR (which has reached 915K units sold) highlights the health of the ecosystem. We expect Sony to launch a >10 TFLOPS ‘PS5’ in 2H18 to secure the installed base.”

Coincide with Standardization of 4K

While today’s gaming consoles provide 4K support for the majority by upscaling 1080p and 2K output. The likes of the PlayStation 5 and the Scorpio will mark the first generation of devices made entirely for native 4K content. In fact, the reason a Q2 2018 date is given, is because 4K will be the standard TV definition by then.

Specifications

Right now, there is almost nothing to go on, so we’re now moving into the realms of what a user may want. Of course, more storage is always useful, as is extra RAM. But, it seems as though, where Sony will make the leap, is with the GPU. Unlike the PS4 Pro which has a overclocked standard PS4 GPU with some additional tweaks thrown in. The PlayStation 5 will represent a whole new generation, so come fitted with its own all-new GPU. Current talk/rumor points to its capabilities being in the region of a 10 Teraflops operating speed.

No More CD’s

There has been talk for some time now that Sony may abandon the compact disc on one of its future consoles. So, now that the PlayStation 5 is out among the rumor mill, could it be the device to shed the CD shackles? To be honest, there’s no proof either way. Yes, Nintendo with its previous and current Switch uses cartridges, but that’s not going to happen with Sony.

It’s thought that if a move away from CD does happen, Sony is more likely to use the UHD Disc format. However, it also could move to a complete download and cloud format, meaning no physical game copies would exist.

Virtual Reality

With around 1-million PSVR units sold, Sony’s gamble with Virtual Reality gaming may have already paid off. Why? Well, while the number may be lower than the company initially hoped, its still early days. So, with a possible user base of over 40+ million PlayStation owners, theirs certainly room to grow.

In fact, it’s rumored that Sony will keep the PSVR alive with an aim to have its 2nd iteration in place before the PS5 arrives. According to rumors this 2nd generation headset will have improved motion sensors, and be able to make use of any improved processing power on offer.