The PlayStation 5 release date is undoubtedly one of the most important items of video game gossip recently. It is not yet known when the next console from Sony will appear, and certainly the manufacturer has been rather quiet on the matter. But this hasn’t prevented a good deal of speculation regarding the next-generation video games console.
While some early predictions suggested that the PlayStation 5 release date could be later this year, this speculation has died down somewhat over the last few months. It now seems rather unlikely that Sony would kill its golden goose in the shape of the PS4 by pushing the PlayStation 5 release date so far forward.
More realistic estimates now focus on 2020 and 2021 as being possible release date targets, with two major analysts having pointed to these dates recently. NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella asserted that there is simply no need for Sony to release the PlayStation 5 before this date, while Lewis Ward, who leads IDC’s gaming research division, offered 2021 as a likely PlayStation 5 release date.
The lead that Sony has over Microsoft in the console games market means that the mega-corporation certainly has significant wriggle room. It is unthinkable that the Xbox could completely close the gap in this console generation, meaning that Sony can concentrate on ideally timing the PlayStation 5 release date.
Games developers have also weighed in on the possible release date of the PlayStation 5, with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot notably commenting on the matter recently. Guillemot suggested that there could be a two-year hiatus before anything else is released in the console marketplace, meaning that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Two could be delayed until 2020 at the earliest.
With both Microsoft and Sony having also released mid-generation consoles in the shape of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, there is also pressure on the two manufacturers not to alienate existing consumers. Both of these consoles were announced as the future of console gaming not that long ago, and it was certainly not be an ideal PR move for Sony to then produce a PlayStation 5 release so soon after the PS4 Pro first saw the light of day.
However, it should also be noted that the fifth anniversary of the PlayStation 4 is now approaching, and they should no longer be seen as a mid-point in the life-cycle of a console. Seven years now seems an ideal fit for any major console release, and this means that we could see the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Two emerge in 2020 after all.
Developers are already hatching their strategies for the next-generation PlayStation 5, with games studios working on harnessing the potential power of this console. Major titles such as GTA 6 could appear in the early days of the PS5, and this would undoubtedly be a mouth-watering prospect for gamers.
Michael Pachter, a video game, social media, digital media and electronics analyst with Wedbush Securities, had previously suggested that the PlayStation 5 could emerge this year, but has since retracted this claim. Pachter’s sources had pointed to this possibility, but he has since stated that Sony is not set up for a 2018 PS5 release.
Certainly the majority of evidence and opinion points to the PlayStation 5 emerging in the next decade, with no one really having mentioned 2019 as a possible release date. This would allow the PlayStation 4 Pro to bed in further, and ensure that this device has a decent lifecycle.
When the PlayStation 5 does arrive, Sony will have several interesting factors to consider in its makeup. The PlayStation 5 release date, and the gaming climate at that time, will no doubt impacts on this decision-making process. But already we can predict several key areas where Sony will be particularly focused.
In particular, game streaming is set to be a major aspect of the next generation of video games consoles, with Sony already doing a good job of this with its PlayStation Now service. While disc-based gaming is likely to remain part of the landscape for the next generation at least, streaming AAA titles should be possible in the immediate future.
The PlayStation 5 is also likely to offer an improved virtual reality system, as both VR and AR become mainstream technologies. The PlayStation VR headset has been a moderate success for Sony, but with the company fully committed to the concept, it is expected to double down on virtual reality with the PS5. With the increased processing and graphical processing delivered by the next-generation console, it should be possible to offer a superior virtual reality experience.
This improved graphical processing will also enable Sony to deliver true 4K gaming with the PlayStation 5, with the tantalizing prospect that the console could offer 4K gaming at 60 frames per second. The checkerboard system delivered by the PlayStation 4 Pro works very well, but there will be no excuse for not delivering native 4K resolution with the PlayStation 5 release.
Other possible innovations with the PlayStation 5 could include a controller that charges wirelessly even while being played. While other analysts have called for Sony to include USB-C in the PlayStation 5 system, and there should certainly be improved storage compared to previous generation releases as well.
While we still probably have a couple of years to wait for the PlayStation 5 release, it seems that the next generation Sony console will be one of the most exciting gaming products to appear in many years. This will certainly need to be the case, as Microsoft is likely to pull out all of the stops with the Xbox Two, in an attempt to reverse its dwindling fortunes in this arena.