Sony confirmed yesterday that PlayStation would disappointingly be skipping E3 2019, marking its first absence from attending the massive annual trade show in its 24-year run. Instead, PlayStation plans to do something different which lends credence to rumors and reports that 2019 will be the year that the PlayStation 5 is officially unveiled.
This news comes just after Sony also skipped on their fan-focused PlayStation Experience (PSX) this year event after three consecutive years of hosting it. This news, and the latest rumors and reports, all fit the larger narrative that all efforts are being directed towards the PS5 being showcased next year for an expected 2020 release. And now there's more evidence.
Reddit user RuthenicCookie interestingly first revealed the information that Sony would announce PlayStation skipping E3 2019 the day before it actually happened. RuthenCookie also claims that the PS5, described as a "monster," is the reason why and that a lot of developers already have PS5 dev kits, something we already knew. But the account goes on to say that PlayStation Experience event will return next year with the purpose of showcasing what's next for the brand - that's where Sony's focus is right now since they've published most of their major PS4 exclusives and don't have any more new ones to reveal.
The reveals continue, explaining that the current plan is similar to the 2013 PS4 reveal - an initial, limited reveal event mid-year with the full showcase at PSX 2019. As for a PlayStation 5 release date? Approximately a year and a half from now. This rumor, let's call it, lines up to the casual, unofficial talk of the town we've heard. Jason Schreier from Kotaku reports similar and wrote as much in his article on PlayStation skipping E3 - that the PlayStation 5 is likely set for a late 2020 holiday release, putting its potential launch seven years after the November 15, 2013 release of the PlayStation 4.
The timeline absolutely fits the realistic and expected console life cycle for the console but what's especially interesting about the next-gen home consoles is that they'll be increasingly all-digital as publishers delve deeper into games as live services, streaming offerings, and in the case of Xbox One, their first no-disc hardware variant in 2019. That means the PlayStation 4 is by no means finished, even beyond 2020.
Thanks to PS4 changing up its core architecture to fall more in line with PCs and make life tremendously easier on developers (the PlayStation 3's CELL processor was infamously difficult to program for and fully take advantage of), it's very likely that all PS4 software could work on the PS5 and that a lot of next-gen software can still work on the PS4. It's be problematic at this point, if this wasn't the case. We saw the first hints of this with this generation being the first to iterate substantially on specs and offer what's essentially different versions of the same game to consumers. The PlayStation 4 Pro can output at 4K and support HDR, similar to Microsoft's Xbox One X model.
All of what's currently available could feasibly carry forward. Especially in the case of the Xbox where Microsoft is already making major strides in supporting backward compatibility for Xbox 360 and original Xbox software, and bringing all of their own games to PC as well via their Play Anywhere initiative.
It won't be long before we start learning more from leaks and devs, etc. about the PlayStation 5 and the... let's call it the Xbox Two for now. What do you want from the next-gen platforms?