With the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Pro now firmly established, it's fair to ask when the next round of consoles will eventually emerge. But if the current industry gossip is accurate, the PlayStation 5 is unlikely to be coming out before 2020.
In a report published today, Kotaku cited conversations with "dozens" of sources across all disciplines in saying that the PlayStation 5 wouldn't be out this year. Indeed, it may not be out next year, either.
This tracks with our own conversations with sources around the industry. We've spoken with multiple developers at large publishers who have said they have yet to hear anything or read any white papers. We've heard rumors that some devkits have gone out, but have been unable to confirm them. Many seem to feel that 2020 is a reasonable point to expect the generation of consoles.
Nevertheless, rumors have been swirling online about possible PlayStation 5 details. Semiaccurate has claimed that a "large amount of devkits have gone out" and that a "2018 release of PS5 is not out of the question."
But "devkits" can mean many different things. "Super early devkits are often PCs with the CPU and GPU," a source familiar with Sony's console development reportedly told Kotaku.
In any case, we've heard any number of rumors both inside and outside of the industry about the PS5. Some of it sounds like wishful thinking, some of it is enticing but unconfirmable at this time.
It's worth noting that the traditional cycle is changing. The release of the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro have made console generations more fluid, and PS4 sales continue to be strong. Indeed, the PlayStation 4 is currently on track to be the bestselling console of all time.
As one developer told me, there's a sense within the industry that there's still a lot of potential to mine from the current generation of consoles. Many studios have yet to truly get a handle on how to properly realize the potential of 4K graphics.
Still, the next generation of consoles is enticing. Mike recently penned a deep dive into what the PS5 and Xbox Two could possibly contribute to game development. VR remains a largely untapped frontier.
As Kotaku points out, things could change, especially if Microsoft decides to get an early jump on Sony. The future is always in motion, as they said. We'll have a better handle on what to expect this year and beyond around E3. In the meantime, we've collected some of the speculation around the PS5's release date here.