If you’re Sony, naturally, you release another one, as is the case with the anticipated and rumored-in-development PlayStation 5.
The successor to Sony’s PlayStation 4, the PS5 is expected to make its presence known within the next year or so with a release target in 2020 or beyond according to many analysts. The earliest a PlayStation 5 could appear would be next year, 2019, but many do not think that release window is plausible or actually doable from Sony’s standpoint. That leaves the later date much more likely. Other rumblings around the industry, particular dev plans for their “next” generation titles have many of them situated in this time frame which lends further credence to the belief that the PlayStation 5 (and, by extension, the next Xbox machine) will arrive in 2020 or 2021 at the latest. Released in 2013, the PlayStation 4 will be 7 years old by 2020, another number that falls in line with previous consoles from Sony. In many respects, a 7 year or greater lifespan for a console is not only admirable but increasingly difficult to achieve, particularly when you are chasing high-end gaming as Sony and Microsoft are.
Tech specs for the PlayStation 5 remain sketchy at this point but there are a few larger themes that can be discussed with regard to the system that lead us to believe that it will be a high-end device. One of these is that Sony apparently has no plans whatsoever to abandon its pursuit of virtual reality gaming and this is being factored in to the next console’s specs according to many reports. This would mean that not only will the PlayStation 5 be powerful right out of the box but it also could be quite expensive. It isn’t known whether or not gamers will have to buy a separate unit for the VR experience but that is likely since a bundle containing even a slimmed down PlayStation VR would be more expensive than many people want to pay. Not only will the PlayStation 5 be holding on to the PlayStation 4’s position as a multimedia living room box but also it will apparently offer extremely robust VR and online experiences – a tall order for a graphically intensive system.
The second bit of rumor that has some people plotting the specs of the next PlayStation 5 is the oft planned though never executed streaming games service. It is expected that streaming video games will factor into the Sony business model in some big way, whether as in a Netflix of video games approach or in an attempt to replace much of the expensive hardware and intense computing with servers remains to be seen. One thing for certain, the next PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft system it will compete with are under a lot of pressure to make the case for continued bifurcation of PC and home console markets. With the convergence of the two over just this generation, many people think that home consoles don’t serve as much of a purpose as they once did. An easy way to change this would be powerful VR and robust online games delivered via the cloud.