The Xbox One X arrives in just a few weeks and is about to usurp the PS4 Pro as the most powerful home console consumers can buy. But could Sony be prepping its own next-generation hardware in the form of the PS5?
Two leading analysts believe this is very much the case. Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong predicts Sony will launch the PlayStation 5 in 2018. Thong claims (via Wall Street Journal) that Sony will release its next-gen PlayStation in the second half of the year.
Normally these sort of rumours are ignored, especially with such little noise coming from Sony. However, Thong correctly predicted the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. It’s worth taking his words into consideration.
Another analyst has offered an alternative but not entirely dissimilar opinion. Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter believes the PS5 will launch in 2019, and be backwards compatible with PS4 Pro games. Pachter believes Sony is waiting for an increase saturation of 4K TVs in consumer households before launching new hardware.
“Will it play games that were made for the PlayStation 4 Pro? That’s the question. I think it will. So I think they will build a console that will backwards compatible with the PS4 Pro,” Pachter said in an interview with GamingBolt.
“My expectation that is that it’s not coming out in 2018. That is a 2019 0r 2020 but probably 2019. Sony is probably timing it better because they are going to bring out a 4K capable device when the 4K TV market reaches 50% in the USA and 35% in the rest of the world.”
Whether you believe Pachter or Thong (or neither), the rumblings make it seem as though the PS5 is certainly not too far away. As such, Trusted Reviews has put together a wishlist of what we’d love to see, as well as all the latest news as it comes.
PS5 release date – When is the PlayStation 5 coming out?
Sony hasn’t actually said a thing about a new console – yet. The PS4 continues not only to be the current best-selling console, but one of the best sellers in history, so it makes sense to not announce a successor yet.
The PS4 sold 20 million units last fiscal year. That’s an astronomical number, especially when added to the 40 million sold as of May 2016. However, in its earnings report, Sony did admit it expected hardware sales to slow (via GI.biz).
Microsoft is coming back swinging with Xbox One X, so the PS4 is soon to become an inferior machine from a specs perspective. Logic would point to Sony having to respond in some fashion.
PS5 Specs – How powerful will the PlayStation 5 be?
Again, without any announcements, we can’t fully assess what the PlayStation 5 will look like from a hardware perspective. We can, however, take a look at the competition, and see how Sony will compete.
Let’s take a look at the Xbox One X. It has an an eight-core 2.3 GHz CPU, paired with 12GB GDDR5 memory and a GPU sporting 40 compute units operating at 1172MHz. In layman’s terms, this is a mid-range 2017 gaming PC, but with lots of clever software and hardware tricks to squeeze maximum performance out of it.
As is ever the case with console launches, manufacturers have to balance cost with performance. The PS4 has been so wildly successful because it’s been able to offer better performance on third-party titles over Xbox One.
Now the balance of power is swinging in Microsoft’s favour (albeit with a more expensive console), Sony will want to redress that and offer a console even more powerful than the One X. Or perhaps Sony will be able to counter with a less powerful but better-value console come that woolly 2018 launch date.
PS5 Price – How much will it cost?
As we don’t even know its specs, we can’t accurately guess how much the PlayStation 5 will cost.
We will soon, however, get some form of barometer when we find out the cost of the Xbox One X. We will hopefully find out exactly how much Microsoft’s hardware costs at E3 2017, but early estimates predict around £450-550, which is pretty reasonable for the performance on offer.
PS5 Backwards Compatibility – What can we expect?
At the launch of the PS4 Pro, system architect Mark Cerny clarified this was not the start of a new console generation. “I believe in generations. Generations are a good thing. So, philosophically, we believe in them. We believe they continue, and this is a mid-generation release,” he is quoted by Gamasutra.
Sony was at pains to make sure consumers saw the PS4 Pro, a modest improvement over the base console, as a mid-cycle refresh.
Microsoft, meanwhile, sees the One X as the beginning of the end of console generations. Microsoft’s head of marketing, Aaron Greenberg, told Engadget “We think the future is without console generations.”
Both with very different outlooks, but both doing something important: allowing players to carry over their game libraries.
Sony made a misstep in a lack of PS4 backwards compatibility. Microsoft capitalised by offering extensive Xbox One backwards compatibility via consistent updates, with new games added almost weekly.
Both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, as they’re not fully fledged ‘next-gen’ consoles, play all current and future Xbox One and PS4 titles respectively, but with improvements over being played on base consoles.
The PlayStation 5 simply must offer backwards compatibility so that all PS4 games work on the machine.
PS5 Games – What will we get?
2017 has offered some of the best PS4 games the console has seen. So let’s look at which series are due a sequel and judge which titles might be around at launch of a new console.
With the likes of God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Spider-Man and Gran Turismo Sport all on the horizon, those series are pretty much locked down for the foreseeable future. Plus with Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 4, Lost Legacy and Persona 5 all available now, we wouldn’t be seeing those titles arriving with the PS5.
It’d be more likely we’d see brand-new IP with the new console, or a return of an old favourite like Infamous or the Resistance series.
PS5 VR – Will we get a new headset?
PlayStation VR has proven a big success for Sony. Even today it’s hard to find a headset in stores or online.
It also has a great library to support it, with new releases arriving on the PlayStation Store frequently for current owners of the headset.
However, as a console VR headset, it naturally couldn’t match the power and fidelity of its PC counterparts. If the PS5 is significantly more powerful than the PS4, could we see a hardware revision to offer a better virtual reality experience?
It would make sense, as Microsoft is planning on offering VR with the Xbox One X, though based on the company’s showing at E3 this won’t be a big push at all.