There’s been much debate recently about whether gaming consoles are becoming obsolete, and as a result, some have speculated that the PlayStation 4 could be Sony’s last console. However, a Sony executive has now confirmed they’re working on a successor for the PS4. The next-generation console will likely be called the PS5, although he stopped short of giving it a name.
PS5 has been confirmed
Sony President Kenichiro Yoshida told the Financial Times in an interview that it’s “necessary to have a [sic] next-generation hardware,” which of course is expected to be the PlayStation 5.
This comment is attracting so much attention because of debate about how the Japanese console maker should address the rise of the smartphone gaming market. However, we heard similar concerns before the PS4 was launched, but that console has done so well that Sony has been able to offer minor upgrades in the form of the PS4 Pro and still captured a healthy number of sales.
More recently, the broader console market has shown high levels of resilience. Nintendo is apparently working on the Nintendo Switch 2. Meanwhile Microsoft has been rumored to be working on the successor to the Xbox One, which is reportedly code-named “Scarlett.”
Why does Sony need to release the PS5?
It seems likely that Sony sees the need to release a PS5 simply because its top competitors are working on their own next-generation consoles, but there are probably other reasons as well. The timing of Yoshida’s interview is apt, as it comes the same week as Microsoft revealed its Project xCloud game streaming service. Public tests of xCloud are set to begin next year on mobile devices paired with an Xbox controller via Bluetooth.
Microsoft’s revelation came on the heels of an announcement from Google about its Project Stream, which will allow gamers to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on the Chrome browser — whether or not they have a gaming PC with high-end specs capable of handling demanding games.
It seems clear that cloud gaming is the next step, so it’s possible the PS5 will have something to do with that. The current PS4 Pro can handle such tasks, so Sony wouldn’t need to release the PlayStation 5 just to support cloud streaming.
At any rate, sources reportedly told the Financial Times that the Japanese console maker is working on a tablet that can connect to multiple devices and will support game streaming, which is another reason for the speculations that there might not be a PS5. Rumors also suggest Sony could use the tablet to bring about more synergies between its movie and gaming segments.
PS5 rumors continue to circulate
Yoshida offered no details on what the PS5 would be like, but we are hearing plenty of rumors to fill the gap left by Sony management. Sources reportedly told the Financial Times that the PlayStation 5 will have an architecture that’s similar to the PS4. The newspaper also said many analysts expect the PS5 to be powerful enough to host eSport competitions. The PlayStation 4 Pro is currently lacking in this area.
We’ve also heard a variety of other rumors about the PS5 from other sources. For example, code in Unreal Engine 4 suggests a code-name of “Erebus” for the PS5. Although it’s not obvious that the name is linked with the PlayStation 5, it does appear alongside the PS4 and the Xbox One, and we have been hearing for a while that the next Xbox is code-named Scarlett.
The Scarlett could supposedly be a streaming-only Xbox, so there’s a chance Sony might do something similar for the PS5, although this is pure speculation on our part. Other expected improvements in the PlayStation 5 include a faster AMD CPU, improved virtual reality and better artificial intelligence capabilities. Beyond these features, we will just have to wait and see what the rumor mill starts turning up.
There’s no telling when the PS5 will hit the market, but Sony is on a timeline to face off with the next-generation Xbox. Microsoft confirmed at E3 earlier this year that it’s working on the next console code-named Scarlett, which it said should arrive in 2020 or 2021. Many analysts are expecting the PS5 to beat that timeline, even though it seems Microsoft has been more open regarding the timeline for its next-generation console. There’s little doubt that it would serve Sony well if it can get the PlayStation 5 out before the next Xbox.