It seems a bit crazy to be talking about the PS5 when the PS4 seems to be hitting its stride, but that's video games for you. If you're wondering when the PS5 will release, or how powerful it will be when it eventually arrives, then this is the article for you. In this complete PS5 guide, we’ll be rounding up all the (questionable) 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. If you're after all the PS5 info that's out there and discussion about what rumors are complete rubbish, this is the PS5 guide for you.
Details are unsurprisingly rather sparse at the moment, with Sony keen to focus on what it is going to be selling to PS4 owners this year, but here's our take on the PS5. Read on for our thoughts on the rough overview of the potential power of the PS5 and an educated guess at the PS5 release date. We also look at when we might hear something from Sony about the PS5 (is E3 2018 too early?) and consider the possibility of a PS5 Pro. If you're looking for all the info on the PlayStation 5, this is the article for you.
What is a Realistic PS5 Release Date? - Will PlayStation 5 Release in 2019 or 2020?
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 release date could be 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 5. 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 Sony is still riding high in 2019, maybe we'll have to wait until 2021. We'll just have to wait and see.
We recently spoke to a number of games industry experts to get their views on how the PS5 and Xbox Two will move gaming forward. While no one is spilling the beans just yet, but there's some interesting thoughts all the same.
If we were to put a bet on the PS5 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. So, to answer a few questions:
- Is 2018 the PS5 release date? No. Not unless Sony is keeping the biggest secret of all time. It's not impossible, but highly unlikely that the PS5 will release in 2018.
- Is 2019 the PS5 release date? Possibly. Talk suggests that Sony would be ready to launch the PS5 in 2019, but it depends on the status of the PS4 and how much of the market Nintendo and Microsoft gain.
- Is 2020 the PS5 release date? This is the where the smart money is going. Sony could surprise everyone and release the PS5 earlier than this, but 2020 seems like the right time given the strong position the PS4 is in at the moment.
A new report from Semiaccurate suggests that Sony is possibly going to release the PS5 at the end of 2018 - that's this year! While this seems somewhat implausible given the strength of the PS4 at the moment and all other industry experts believing the PS5 is arriving no earlier than 2018, it's certainly a tantalizing prospect. It's fair to say that if Sony makes no mention of the PS5 arriving this year during its E3 2018 show that the PS5 is not releasing in 2018.
Industry analyst Michael Pachter has gone on record to say that a PS5 release in 2018 has a "very low probability." He added that the PS5 release is "25% [probability] next year and 75% in 2020." This more or less goes along with what most insiders believe, although some beleive 2019 is looking more and more likely.
Adding to the voices saying 2018 is highly unlikely for the PS5 is Kotaku, who published a news report stating that numerous sources had poured cold water on the 2018 speculation. What's more, the sources didn't feel 2019 was likely either, with 2020 a more reasonable expectation based on what they knew about the PS5.
Sister publication, Digital Foundry, recently put together an interesting video that looked at when Sony could feasibly release the PS5 and deliver the kind of performance upgrade over the PS4 that people will be expecting. It's safe to say that they don't believe the PS5 is coming any time soon. You can get the full analysis in the video below:
News that suggests sales of the PS4 are slowing does indicate that Sony might want to move slightly faster than we think to introduce the PS5. With that said, a lower price point and aggressive bundles (along with high profile releases in Q4 2018 like Red Dead Redemption 2) will likely result in a sales surge for the PS4 suggesting there's plenty of life left in the old dog yet.
A tweet by semi-known video game tipster Marcus Sellars has suggested that PS5 dev kits went out to third-party devs at the start of 2018. While we haven't been able to verify this rumor, it does suggest that Sony's in-house dev teams already had PS5 dev kits. If this is true, the chance of a 2019 release of the PS5 is much more likely.
GDC 2018 came and went in March 2018, and if Sony was likely to launch the PS5 in 2019 we expected to hear some noise and chatter. There was none, which suggests to us that we won't be getting the PS5 in 2019. It's possible that Sony is just keeping a tight lid on all things PS5, but we'd have expected to see some credible leaks by now if the PS5 was releasing in 2019.
If we are going with a 2020 launch for the PS5, the reveal will likely be no earlier than E3 2019, but we might get some leaks about what Sony is planning for the PS5 following GDC towards the end of March 2018. Sony could copy Microsoft's Xbox One X/Scorpio reveal, teasing the PS5 at E3 2019, before the big reveal at a standalone event in the first few months of 2020. The PS4 was revealed during a special event in February 2013, and a similar approach to announce the PS5 would make sense. Unless Sony is keeping a big secret, we highly doubt that the PS5 will be announced at E3 2018.
PS5 Games - What Games Could the PlayStation 5 Launch With?
In terms of what games the theoretical PS5 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.
A new game in the Gran Turismo series would also be a great launch game for the PS5. While the GT series has often taken a long time to develop and suffered delays, the series' director, Kazunori Yamauchi, has said that he's already thinking about the game that follows GT Sport. What that game is remains to be seen, but there certainly is a possibility that we'll see Gran Turismo 7 on the PS5.
With Square stating that the Final Fantasy VII remake on PlayStation will be arriving in multiple parts, it wouldn't be surprising to see the game make its way over the PS5 with enhancements over the PS4 game. Whether or not players will have to buy the game again once they've bought it on PS4 remains to be seen. PS4 exclusive Days Gone has been delayed into 2019, which has caused some speculation over the game arriving on the PS4 and the PS5, but there's no evidence to suggest this is happening.
What is a Realistic PS5 Price? - Will the PlayStation 5 be Expensive and Cost More Than the PS4 did at Launch?
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? Will the PS5 be More Powerful than Xbox One X? PS5 Spec
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.
So what is a decent guess for the PS5 spec? 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.
Will Sony Follow the Switch Route With the PS5?
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.
If we had to put money on what the PS5 would be, we wouldn't choose a hybrid console/handheld unless this could be delivered without sacrificing the power of the home unit. Sony's success with the PS4 is in part due to the console offering the most power of any console available at the time.
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.
Don't be Fooled by Fake PS5 Announcement Videos
It seems some people are easily fooled, as the clearly fake PS5 announcement trailer below proves. Numerous people on social media were tricked by the video, even though it's old and clearly well below the production values you'd expect from Sony. When Sony does announce the PS5, you can be sure that the video will be a hell of a lot slicker than this. If a video looks fake, it probably is fake.
What we Want From the PS5
Speculation aside, what would we ideally want from the PS5? Backwards compatibility for PS4 games would be brilliant, simply because you'd be able to carry over classics like the Shadow of the Colossus remake to the next console generation. We've seen how well Microsoft is handling backwards compatibility with its Xbox One consoles (including getting amazing results updating Xbox 360 games to run in 4K on Xbox One X), and something similar on PS5 would be great.
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.
In terms of media capabilities, we'd be hugely surprised if the PS5 didn't include support for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback. In 2010 Ultra HD will be more common and not including it in the PS5 will be a bad move not only in terms of the offering for consumers but also for storage space on game discs. Ultra HD Blu-rays offer more storage space than standard Blu-ray discs. Microsoft already offers Ultra HD Blu-ray support with its Xbox One S and Xbox One X, and surely Sony won't want to give its main competitor that advantage again.
Will There be a PS5 Pro?
Sony introduced the PS4 Pro in order to offer consumers a console that would take advantage of the ever increasing number of 4K TVs on the market. While the console offers other advantages, it's likely Sony wouldn't have developed the PS4 Pro had 4K gaming not been a big selling point. You could argue that Sony will release a PS5 Pro midway through the PS5's life, but it would have to come with a significant reason to upgrade. It's doubtful that consoles will be pushing 8K gaming for quite some time, so there might not be a reason for the PS5 Pro to exist. If 8K TVs became a big enough market during the lifespan of the PS5, there's a chance a PS5 Pro model with beefed up specs could launch around 2022/2023 that would give people 8K support, but it really seems unlikely given that 4K is still just finding its legs.
Why is the PlayStation 5 a big Deal?
Sony has been one of the dominant forces in console gaming ever since it released the original PlayStation and turned the industry on its head. Prior to the PlayStation's release (December 1994 in Japan) the console games market was owned by Nintendo and SEGA, and to a lesser degree Atari. Sony changed that and now it's hard to imagine a world in which the PlayStation isn't one of the major gaming platforms.
Sony has had its ups and downs with the PlayStation, but overall it's delivered hit after hit - we'll just move quietly past the PS Vita! Two of Sony's consoles, the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 have sold over 100 million units, while the PS4 looks well on the way having sold over 70 million just four years into its life. Even the PlayStation 3, which had a troubled launch, managed to sell approximately 84 million.
With the PlayStation 4 on top of this console generation by some margin, the hype around the PlayStation 5 will be huge. Console announcements are pretty rare due to the time between new machines, so the PS5 announcement will be one of the biggest events of this decade - unless the reval doesn't come until 2020.
Will the PS5 Beat the Xbox Two?
OK, so we have no idea what the next Xbox will be called (Microsoft likes surprising people), but the big question is whether or not the PS5 will outsell the next Xbox. In all likelihood, yes, the PS5 will be the most popular home console of the next generation. While Microsoft is making strides with the Xbox, suggesting its next console will compete more closely with the PS5 than the Xbox One did with the PS4, Sony is currently in such a dominant position that it'll be nigh-on impossible to take the throne.
A major point in the next-gen battle between the PS5 and the Xbox Two will be when each machine launches. The first machine to market will likely benefit from being the first next-gen machine, just how the Xbox 360 managed to gain a foothold while Sony waited to launch the PS3. A new Xbox coming before the PS5 seems unlikely, given that Microsoft launched the Xbox One X a year after Sony released the PS4 Pro, but Microsoft will be keen to try and claw back marketshare following a less than ideal launch of the Xbox One in 2013.
As of right now, this brings to an end our speculation on the PS5's release date, but keep an eye on this guide, as we’ll be updating it with any future information that we hear surrounding the PlayStation 5. There are bound to be numerous supposed PS5 info leaks before we get anything official, and we'll be here to let you know if they are to be believed or not.
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