“In its recent earnings call, Sony revealed that its “next generation console” is still under the R&D operations, and will be a while.”
The Sony PlayStation 5 gaming console will not be launched till April 2020, fuelling the end-of-life sales for the PlayStation 4 by at least another year. The information was revealed during Sony’s fiscal-end earnings call when it stated that the “next generation console” is due only next year, and the company expects to sell another 16 million units of the PS4 console over the next fiscal year. This would not only see the PlayStation 4 become one of the best-selling consoles of all time, but also see it gather up over 100 million units sold across the world — a milestone feat for any product.
The PlayStation 4 is believed to have sold a total of 97 million units already, according to numbers disclosed by Sony. The Japanese electronics giant has seen hardware sales decline in recent times, although revenue generation has remained steady, with the company taking home $12.8 billion in 2018 from PlayStation Network services. These included game sales and downloads, subscriptions, additional content purchases and even the PlayStation Now streaming network.
Much of the details regarding the upcoming PlayStation console were revealed recently by Mark Cerny, lead systems architect of Sony’s PlayStation division, in an interview with Wired. As per the interview, while the standard set of performance upgrades will bring features such as 4K gaming at 60fps steady (and even 8K gaming, if you have the screen and the internet subscription needed for it), the most attractive features will be the addition of ray tracing to the platform, and the addition of an SSD, which Cerny claimed will drastically reform features such as Fast Travel in games, and general animation responses, to change the way games are conventionally structured.
Long-term users of the Sony PlayStation ecosystem will take heart from the fact that Sony will include backward compatibility for the PlayStation 4, and all the downloaded and purchased games will not become redundant. However, it remains to be seen how Sony intends to convince users to buy games for its new console since adoption to the PS5’s standards will certainly take a while. While prices have not yet been disclosed, the PlayStation 5 is expected to come in at a premium over the present consoles. While this would pull the retail price upward, Sony will attempt to justify it with the new set of abilities and features that the PS5 will come with.
While a release date is not in the cards yet, and Sony skipping E3 this year, the PlayStation 5 might make its first official appearance at E3 next year, and begin selling from end-2020. This will give developers time to adapt to the new features and maximise their games to the potential ability of the new console.