Sony’s PlayStation 4 consoles are still selling like hot cakes. The Japanese company said during its second-quarter earnings call that it sold 4.2 million PS4 units in the latest quarter, up from 3.9 million units in the same period a year ago. In total, Sony has shipped more than 67.5 million PS4 units worldwide since launch. Considering how well the PS4 is selling, we wouldn’t be surprised if the PlayStation 5 launch doesn’t happen for another couple of years.
The PS4 would have a lifespan of at least six years
The Wall Street Journal claimed earlier this year that the PlayStation 5 launch could take place sometime in the second half of 2018. That’s unlikely to happen, according to popular game developer Ubisoft. During the company’s latest quarterly earnings call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told media that Sony and Microsoft both had launched mid-generation consoles PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, respectively.
Guillemot told investors that the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X show Sony and Microsoft’s respective commitment towards the current generation of consoles. He believes the PlayStation 5 and next-gen Xbox consoles are at least a couple of years away. If true, it would give Sony sufficient time to launch a slimmed version of the PS4 Pro. Guillemot added, “that’s our perception, we don’t have any confidential information on that front.”
Well, he doesn’t have any confidential information, but there is a reason we can trust his statement. Ubisoft offers strong support to Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles, and developing launch titles requires more than a year of lead time. His statement is more than just a wild guess. So, we can expect the PlayStation 5 launch to take place sometime in 2019 or 2020.
Ubisoft is impressed that Sony and Microsoft are “putting more power” on their consoles. It allows developers like Ubisoft to create better games and offer a better experience to users. Ubisoft is the developer behind Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Rainbow Six: Siege, Far Cry 5, and The Crew 2. Bethesda is the only other developer that offer similar commitment for new systems.
If the PlayStation 5 launch takes place in 2019, it would give the current generation of consoles a lifespan of about six years. The PlayStation 3 had a lifespan of seven years.
PlayStation 5 launch likely to happen in 2020, says analyst
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes the PS5 would come out in 2019 or 2020, with 2020 being more likely. He also expects the PS5 to have backward compatibility with the PS4.
Pachter said the PS4 is still incredibly popular among gamers, and Sony would “continue to milk it as long as they can milk it.” Sony could slash the PS4 price to $250 to sell more of them, while the PS4 Pro will become the default PS4. The analyst believes the PS5 would be Sony’s “real 4K device.”
However, the Japanese company will not launch the PlayStation 5 until “sales momentum for the PS4 slows.” If the PS4 sales go down in 2019, Sony would probably launch its successor in 2020. The Wedbush Securities analyst added that the PlayStation 5 is unlikely to cost more than $500.
Little is known about the PS5 features and specifications. We expect the console to offer true 4K gaming experience at 60 frames per second. It should have at least 1TB of internal storage because 4K content would require a huge amount of storage. Sony is also rumored to natively include virtual reality into the PlayStation 5. Another feature that we expect from the PS5 is wireless charging.
Ubisoft to bring more games to Nintendo Switch
During the earnings call, Ubisoft also revealed that it would double down on Nintendo’s blockbuster Switch console. The developer will bring more Switch games next year. The Switch, which has been around only for eight months, accounted for 19% of Ubisoft’s game revenues during the latest quarter. Guillemot did not reveal which games will be coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
Ubisoft already has Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Rayman Legends, Monopoly, and Just Dance 2017 on the Switch. Guillemot said he was “very happy” with the Switch game sales. Nintendo has sold more than 7.6 million Switch consoles since launch.