Unless the world suddenly comes to a stop and life ceases to exist, the PS5 will be releasing from Sony at some point in the future. But when could the PlayStation 5 potentially release, and what games could debut on the platform? In this PS5 guide, we’ll be rounding up all the PS5 rumors that have made their way out into the wild, as well as offering up our own speculation on the future of Sony’s home console.
PlayStation 5 Release Date - When Could the PS5 Launch?
Assuming the PlayStation 5 is already in development to some degree over at Sony, when could the console theoretically release? If we’re going off claims made by industry analyst Michael Pachter, the PS5 could be releasing as soon as 2020 (Pachter originally claimed 2019 but then revised the date).
All this is obviously theoretical, but it’s always interesting to hear what long-time industry analysts and experts have to say on the future of blockbuster home consoles like the PlayStation. We reckon 2019 is a little early for Sony to release the next PlayStation given the strong position it currently holds in the market, with 2020 making far more sense.
If we were to put a bet on the PlayStation 5 release date, we'd go with Q4 2020. Sony has released all of its consoles in the final quarter of the year, bar the original PlayStation in North America and Europe, where it arrived in the September of 1995, following a December 1994 launch in Japan. Sony releasing the PS5 outside of this Q4 window would be a big surprise. A November 2020 release date for the PS5 would make a lot of sense, allowing the new console to launch alongside a wave of high profile releases that typically arrive in the same period.
What Games Could the PlayStation 5 Launch With?
In terms of what games the theoretical PlayStation 5 could launch with, we’ve got to look fairly far into the future. When thinking about games that are still at least a year away from eventually launching, both Death Stranding and The Last of Us: Part 2 immediately come to mind.
Granted, both games are currently in production for the current PlayStation 4, but there’s still a chance they could launch on the next flagship Sony console. The Last of Us originally launched on the PlayStation 3, with merely a few months to go until the launch of the PlayStation 4, and was then ported to the latter system a matter of months after launch. The same could definitely happen with The Last of Us: Part 2, especially if Naughty Dog isn’t being rushed through development by Sony.
As for Death Stranding, it’s fairly obvious that Kojima Productions is being allowed to take as much time as it needs with the upcoming game, as we’ve seen no gameplay whatsoever. Furthermore, Kojima frequently posts updates to Twitter of his progress on the script for Death Stranding, and if it’s still in the writing stages, it’s far from completion. Just like The Last of Us: Part 2, there’s no reason why Death Stranding couldn’t launch on the PlayStation 5 following a launch late into the life of the PS4.
But what other game developers could potentially be featured near the launch of the PlayStation 5? Considering the average three year development cycle of current games, a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn is not only a given at this point, but could also be due for release right around 2020, considering the original game launched in early 2017.
A recently revealed game that could realistically be seen as a PlayStation 5 game might be Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima, revealed at PSX in December 2017. We’ve seen nothing but a brief CG trailer for the game so far, and it’s not entirely unrealistic to expect it to be at least 18 months away from release.
Of the more obvious candidates, assuming a November 2020 release date, there will almost certainly be FIFA 21 (a number so scary and in the future that it's hard to look at it without shivering), a new Call of Duty (Sledgehammer's next game, perhaps set during WW2 again after the success of CoD WW2), a new DICE shooter (probably a Battlefront), a LEGO game, and couple of new entries in franchises that last had new releases in 2017: Destiny, Middle-Earth: Shadow of, and Assassin's Creed.
How Much Could the PlayStation 5 Cost?
For an educated guess as to what the PlayStation 5 could realistically cost when it inevitably releases, you’d have to look at past Sony console releases. The PlayStation 4 first launched at a price point of $399 back in 2014, and while the PlayStation 4 Slim later launched in 2016 at the reduced price point of $299, the more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro launched at the same price as the original PS4, $399.
Given the lessons Sony learned from launching the PS3 at $499/$599 (20GB/60GB SKUs) it’s unlikely the firm would go that expensive ever again. An educated guess would likely put the cost of the PlayStation 5 right around $399.
How Powerful Will the PS5 be?
Everyone would be pretty shocked if Sony didn’t exceed the power of the Xbox One X, which currently boasts 6 teraflops. While you might think this will push the price up beyond that $399 we mentioned, we are talking about a machine that’s probably 2-3 years away from releasing. At the end of 2020 8-10TF should easily be doable for that price point.
Realistically, the PlayStation 5 will also include a more capable CPU as well as more memory as standard, and this should equate to higher potential frame rates for most games (Bungie cited poor CPU in the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X for a lack of 60FPS), and better quality textures.
Outside of power, it’s virtually guaranteed that Sony will pull off something new and interesting with the controller for the PlayStation 5. While we have no idea as to what this could theoretically be, Sony does have a track record of iterating with each controller, examples of which being the controller speaker for the Dualshock 4 and the motion controls in the PS3’s Sixaxis.
There’s also the not small matter of the Switch to consider. Nintendo has had great success with its home console/handheld hybrid, and Sony is no doubt keeping a close eye on this. Will Sony try to get a piece of that hybrid pie (it has already attempted it slightly with PS4 Remote Play) or continue down the hardcore home console route without deviating? The details that leak out in the coming months and year are going to be extremely interesting.
Will the PS5 Play PS4 and Older Games? Backwards Compatibility
The PS4 uses an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) that is built upon the x86-64 architecture. If Sony uses this architecture in the PS5 (which is likely), there’s a decent chance that the machine will offer backwards compatibility with the PS4. As for offering the ability for the PS5 to play PS3 and older games, that’s a much bigger ask. Sony seems to be trying to get people to use its PS Now service to access older games from its catalogue, and we can’t see that changing with the PS5.
What we Want From the PS5
Speculation aside, what would we ideally want from the PlayStation 5? Backwards compatibility for PS4 games would be brilliant, simply because you'd be able to carry over classics like the upcoming Shadow of the Colossus remake to the next console generation.
In terms of pure power, the PlayStation 5 has to significantly exceed the power of the Xbox One X. This means featuring more games running in 4K at 60FPS. If the PS5 can deliver about 10 TF of power we'd be happy, as this would allow devs to create games that look a generation ahead of what we've got now.
But what would the dream launch lineup be for the PS5? Death Stranding and The Last of Us: Part 2 are hugely anticipated blockbuster games, with the former especially looking to push the performance of whatever system it's on to the very limit. We've also mentioned Ghost of Tsushima and a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, and the latter would be the perfect way to kick off a new console cycle from Sony.
We'd also want a couple of games built from the ground up for the new PS5, though. It's one thing to see PS4 games upgraded for PS5, but they are never going to show off what the system can really do. A new racing game would be great (Gran Turismo seems like it might be possible, but probably unlikely), but give us a couple of new IP to launch the generation, Sony!
While we're on wish lists, the PS5 will surely need a new PS VR headset to go with it, if only to take better advantage of the new power that will be available. VR titles on the PS5 should be able to match current high-end PC VR games like Epic's amazing Robo Recall.
As of right now, this brings to an end our speculation on the future of Sony’s PlayStation series, but keep an eye on this guide, as we’ll be updating it with any future information that we hear surrounding the PlayStation 5.
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