The PlayStation 4 is on its fifth year, so it's not too soon to start wondering, is a PlayStation 5 on the horizon?
Chatter about Sony's next-generation console has begun, and while we don't know much so far, there are some interesting talking points out there (many of which stem from a report from Kotaku). So why not start the hype now? Here's what we know -- and think we know -- about the PlayStation 5.
Credit: Peter Kotoff / Shutterstock.com
Will there actually be a PS5?
Well, there will definitely be a new next-gen console. Sony's President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida recently confirmed another console was in the pipeline after stating it was necessary to have another next-gen console. But there's no word if the new system will take on the moniker of PlayStation 5 or some other next-gen-sounding name. But the smart money is on PS5.
When will the PS5 release?
You've got time. While a website called SemiAccurate said lots of development kits have gone out, signaling a release sooner rather than later, Kotaku's Jason Schreier's sources tell him not to expect a console so soon. While dev kits could be PCs or almost-complete hardware, developers at both first and third-party studios working on games for 2019 and beyond said they know little to nothing about a PlayStation 5. While there's some information for those who need to know, the details are "far more limited than it would be if the console’s release was imminent."
This suggests that at the earliest we'd see a PlayStation 5 in 2020, though Sony could always change plans depending on what its competitors do.
A Wall Street Journal report says that the console is at least three years away, which could peg it for 2021.
How powerful will the PlayStation 5 be?
Right now, there are very limited details about the PS5, though a Kotaku report suggests that the console will play games that won't run on a PlayStation 4. That suggests a significant GPU (and possibly CPU upgrade) over the current system, and possibly one that will better integrate with PlayStation VR.
There is some evidence that Sony will use AMD's technology for the PS5. A programmer at Sony has been reportedly working closely with AMD on its Ryzen technology and developer toolkits, so we could see a Ryzen CPU, albeit perhaps a custom one. A report form wccftech says that AMD's Navi graphics architecture is being developed specifically for the PlayStation 5.
What about the PS4 Pro? That just released!
That's unclear. Like Microsoft with the Xbox One X, the PS4 Pro is the first time Sony has taken a half step with its console. The Pro launched in November of 2016, making it less than two years old. While early replacement could be the price of early adoption, making the 4K console obsolete so soon could alienate a bunch of fans.
Sony says the PS4 is heading towards the end of its life cycle, but it's very possible that that means the console will stop selling as much while Sony continues to produce software and add streaming services.
Will the PS5 be backwards compatible?
While Microsoft has been on a tear making the Xbox One backwards compatible with older games, the PS4 can't run games from the PS3. The PS3 ran on a unique architecture, but the PS4 is more like a PC. Assuming the PS5 maintains a PC-style architecture (which is easier for developers to makes games for), it's more possible that we'll see backwards compatibility for PS4 games when the PS5 rolls around.
However, just because logic dictates that it's possible doesn't mean Sony will make that scenario happen.