The Rumor Endures, The PlayStation 5 Next Year

“It’s our first time innovating within the life cycle, so I’m not exactly sure what impact that will have on our plan going forward. But there will be more PlayStations.”-Shawn Layden

Damian Thong, an analyst at MacQuire Capital Securities correctly predicted in 2016 that Sony would release the Slim and Pro simultaneously. His prediction came true just last year when both of these consoles hit the market. Now Thong (hehe thong) is predicting Sony will release the next generation console in the second half of 2018, the PlayStation 5.

Sony has dominated the current generation with 55–60 million PlayStation 4 units sold compared to 25–30 million Xbox Ones. That’s not to say that console sales line up with the number of active users in either party; or that these estimates are truly representative of the number of players on each console. Some players on both sides have upgraded in the last year to Slims, Pros, or S models from the original versions launched back in 2013 and may own two consoles.

Sony though is currently in a dominant position in the console industry over Microsoft and Nintendo. It would be a mistake to release a new platform so soon after the launch of the Slim and Pro. Sony’s flourishing user base would split and some would be abandoned only two years after upgrading. Not only that but creating the next generation of console would make a significant number of anticipated games for the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 obsolete by the end of 2018. Games like Destiny 2, Metro Exodus, and Days Gone.

It would make more sense for Sony to release a souped-up version of the PS4 like Microsoft’s release of the Xbox One X later in 2017. It would allow PS4 owners that haven’t upgraded yet a chance to do so and possibly bring more users to the platform without splitting the player base. Consoles are potentially moving towards an iterative system where an enhanced version is released to the public every few years. The end of new generations of consoles, like a PS5, would eliminate disruptions to the player base or console game libraries and would develop the player bases of Xbox and PlayStation alike.

No concrete evidence yet exists to say one way or another if Sony releases the PS5 in 2018. They have neither confirmed nor denied Thong’s prediction since he made it in early May 2017. Shawn Layden, head of SIEA and the PlayStation Worldwide Studios group stated in an interview with The Verge,

“Right now we were concentrating on how do we iterate within this PS4 life cycle. The technology and improvements behind PS4 Plus are our way of articulating where we think the market wants to go. People will want to have greater fidelity of images and graphics. Where we go from there, we’re going to have to wait and see. It’s our first time innovating within the life cycle, so I’m not exactly sure what impact that will have on our plan going forward. But there will be more PlayStations.”

It is clear that Sony plans on creating more PlayStations in the future, but what isn’t clear is whether it will be more iterations within the PS4 life-cycle or a new generation altogether. While the PS5 name suggests it could be a next-gen console, it could simply be a chosen name for an updated version of the current model. There is no way to know for sure at this time.

Do you think the PlayStation 5 will be a new generation or a continuation of the current series? Or do you think it’s just a rumor. Let me know in the comments below!
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