The internet was buzzing recently with the rumour of a potential 2018 release of the PlayStation 5, but according to industry sources, that’s not going to happen. In fact, it sounds more like the next PlayStation is still some time away and may not arrive until 2020.
The PlayStation 4 was launched in November 2013, seven years after the PS3 (November 2006), which was six years after the PlayStation 2 in March 2000. So really we’re not even five years into the standard seven year life span, but that hasn’t stopped rumours and development artwork finding their way into discussion forums. Images of the final PS3 were readily available at least 18 months before the actual launch, so it’s not unreasonable to be thinking about the next generation.
An interesting article on Kotaku suggests the next, next generation of Sony games console is at more than likely at least two years away. Jason Schreier writes:
Over the past month, I’ve spoken to dozens of game developers, across a variety of disciplines and studios, about the next generation of consoles. Of those, two people said they were directly familiar with plans for Sony’s new console. Those two people both told me that the next PlayStation is unlikely to release in 2019, let alone 2018, although they were careful to be clear that these plans are always shifting. “On a multi-year project, a lot can happen to shift schedules both forward and backward,” one person said. “At some point, Sony’s probably looked at every possible date. It’s all about what they think is the best sweet spot in terms of hardware.” A surprise move by Microsoft or another competitor, for example, could trigger a change in plans.
Most of the developers I spoke to, via phone and email and text, said they had not heard anything about plans for a new PlayStation. Even employees at Sony’s first-party studios said they have not yet been briefed on the existence of a PlayStation 5. People across all the disciplines (design, art, engineering, etc.) at major studios working on games scheduled for 2019 and beyond have told me that if there is information about the PS5 at their companies, they haven’t heard about it. (Those people said they haven’t heard about a new Xbox, either.)
To conclude then, there is some information about the PS5 floating around, but it’s far more limited than it would be if the console’s release was imminent.
Following this article, even more rumours began to circulate, including one started by US games store GameSpot that the PS5 wouldn’t be backwards compatible with the PS4.
This is weird – article on the front page of GameSpot, copy-paste-rewriting my article, says Kotaku reported that the PS5 “may not play PS4 games.” Of course, we did not say anything like that. I’d be shocked if PS5 didn’t let you play PS4 games. https://t.co/Xtn117NMfq pic.twitter.com/fY0Utx37Vk
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 11, 2018
As Tom’s Guide writes,
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.
Schreier concludes by saying, “At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last month, secondhand rumors I heard also suggested a 2020 release.”
This is sure to come up at E3 in June, so stayed tuned.
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