The latest word from Sony holds confirmation that the PlayStation 5 is currently in development - and one industry insider is willing to bet that consumers can expect an official release date in 2019. Since launching in 2013, the current generation PlayStation 4 console has served considerably well as the successor to the PlayStation 3 from 2006. Praised from its inception by critics and third-party studios for its superior capabilities over the competing Xbox One at Microsoft, Sony's release of the PS4 handily topped global console sales by 2016 with 53 million units sold around the world.
Since the release of the first PlayStation 4 model, Sony has developed significant upgrades to the video game console's core technology with the release of the PS4 Slim and the PS4 Pro - the latter of which crucially afforded consumers an upgraded GPU, a higher CPU clock rate, and 4K supported graphics. Now, it would appear that Sony is intent on taking the next step forward in the gaming industry given with the PlayStation 5 officially under development - and with a potential release date window set for as early as 2019.
According to GamingBolt, the PlayStation 5 is currently underdevelopment (per PlayStation's America boss Shawn Layden), and will be a major step forward for the brand that will represent a generational leap past the PS4. Just what that might mean for the average consumer is of the utmost interest and importance, to which Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has surmised the following:
"I really like Shawn and I don’t think he is attempting to mislead anybody. The PlayStation 4 Pro is better [from a technical perspective] than the PS4, so I think that’s a half step towards the PlayStation 5. I think the PS5 will be another half step. So he is being honest when he said he is not doing a half step but the PlayStation 5…how much faster can it be? It will surely support 4K. Will it support 240 frames per second? Great. 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. So I think it will be perceived by the consumers to be a half step and I think Shawn is telling the truth when he says it’s will be a full fledged console."
It's definitely enticing to ponder over the potential technical capabilities of the PlayStation 5 - the chief of which being its support of 4K graphics, 240 frames per second, and backwards compatibility with the PS4 and PS4 Pro - though when the PS5 can be expected to come out is another crucial bit of intel to know going forward. To wit, Pachter further speculated:
"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. I think Sony has probably got the next console cycle nailed down already. I think, they already know what they got to do."
Pachter talks a big game, but if he can be believed, then the PlayStation 5 should be more receptive to 4K content - thus giving Sony an edge over Microsoft - and may very well be released alongside such A-list future titles as The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding in 2019. And as more and more consumers in the US adopt to 4K televisions, the picture of what the PS5 may hold becomes ever clearer.
Screen Rant will keep you updated with any information related to the PlayStation 5.