If the announcement of the PS4 Pro had you worried about the future of PlayStation, and ultimately a PS5, it’s time to put your fears to rest. Sony Interactive Entertainment America boss, Shawn Layden, has confirmed that PS4 Pro won’t be the last we see of the PlayStation brand.
Furthermore, new rumors are pointing to a possible 2018 release date for the PS5. While PS4 Pro is going to ease the market into 4K, it’s clear that it’s simply a means to an end. Let’s find out what Sony’s planning, shall we?
PS5 Confirmed, But It's Not Coming Anytime Soon
Another juicy slice of PS5 news has shown up. Shawn Layden, head of PlayStation's North American division, spoke with a German magazine called Golem.de and 100% confirmed that the PS5 is going to happen.
During the interview, Shawn Layden was asked about the potential of games releasing on the PS4 Pro exclusively. He insisted that such a thing would never happen. He assured the interviewer that the PS4 and PS4 would continue to run the same games.
Alright, so the question then turned to the possibility of a next generation console. The interviewer asked if Sony would eventually turn to a PlayStation 5. Shawn replied saying that, yes, a PS5 will happen, but it won't be any time soon.
Interesting news indeed! While the conversation swiftly moved back into other PS4 discussion, this blatant confirmation of the PS5 is exactly what we needed to hear! With Microsoft moving forward on the Xbox One X, concerns were rising that Sony would also stick with these iterative consoles that are forced to play games on the older system, and the new one.
The thought of console generations going away is kind of scary. It would remove the inherent excitement and the leap forwarded that a next-gen console provides. Thankfully that's not the case here, as Sony is absolutely preparing for another generation of consoles in the future.
Read on to learn more about all the times Sony has dropped us hints on the PS5!
Sony Exec: “There Will Be More PlayStations.”
Sony gave us all a collective heart attack when President Shuhei Yoshida said the PS5 is an “if,” signifying that Sony was unsure of the PS5’s future. Thankfully, we can put those rumors to rest. After the PlayStation Meeting, The Verge caught up with Shawn Layden, head of SIEA and the PlayStation Worldwide Studios group.
During the interview, Shawn was asked about future PlayStations in the wake of this new announcement. Specifically he was asked if the next step is a PS5. Here’s his response:
“Right now we were concentrating on how do we iterate within this PS4 life cycle. The technology and improvements behind PS4 Plus are our way of articulating where we think the market wants to go. People will want to have greater fidelity of images and graphics. Where we go from there, we’re going to have to wait and see. It’s our first time innovating within the life cycle, so I’m not exactly sure what impact that will have on our plan going forward. But there will be more PlayStations.”
That right there is enough to confirm we’ll see a PS5 at some point in the future. The showcase at the PlayStation Meeting for the PS4 Pro didn’t appear to be a massive upgrade, so the biggest question about the PS5 will be how it pushes the boundaries of graphics and gameplay.
Will the next PlayStation be another small step forward, an iteration as it were? Or, will we see a generational leap worthy of the name “PS5?” That is certainly the question, but PlayStation boss, Andrew House, has said in the past that he’s not too keen on shortening the console lifecycle.
In an interview prior to E3 2016 with The Guardian, House made it clear that PS4 Pro isn’t a generational leap, but he also cautioned against shortening life cycles:
"I’m not suggesting we want to bring the games industry to an 18-month-two-year cycle because then you would lose an awful lot of the fixed platform benefits we’ve enjoyed that allow for these really great leaps in game experience.
However, we did think there was an opportunity to reflect on the traditional lifecycle, and on 4K technology, and say maybe there’s an opportunity, within the course of a normal lifecycle to offer something else. Something a little bit better, for a segment of the market that feels that this is important.”
So, it’s fair to say that the PS5 will offer this generational leap we’re looking for in a brand new generation of consoles. Now the only question remaining, is when will we see it?
New Rumors Point to a 2018 Release Date For PS5
It’s fair to say we won’t see the PS5 in the next year. Andrew House has also said that this will be the PlayStation lineup for a “substantial period of time.” That being said, the PS4 Pro will be outclassed quickly in the next few years, especially if Microsoft’s claims that Project Scorpio will be more powerful are to be believed.
This would push Sony into releasing the PS5 to keep up with the times. Of course, a 2018 date is pure speculation at this point. That being said, it’s a theory being supported by Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki via his Twitter.
PS4 Pro? Wait, what about PS5? Macquarie's Damian Thong who correctly predicted PS4 slim and Pro says PS5 may arrive in 2nd half of 2018.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) September 8, 2016
The prediction comes from analyst Damian Thong who is famous for accurately predicting the PS4 Pro and Slim before they were announced. It’s not much to go on yet, but it’s something to think about. It would make sense, given the road map laid out by Microsoft for Scorpio.
For more juicy news and details on the PS5's potential date, check out our full release date page!
How One Quote Revealed the Future of PlayStation:
“It’s really up to the game creators,” “If they still feel that we need more machine power — ‘we want to realize this and that and that, but we cannot do it with PS4′ — if that’s the case, there’s a good reason to have PS5, so that developers can create their vision. So, we’ll see.”
- Shuhei Yoshida, president of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment.
Theories rarely manifest themselves from nothing. If someone has a hunch, it’s usually because something tipped them off. Sure it can be an abstract concept like a dream or a vision, but in many cases it is something more tangible. A slip of the tongue, or a leaked document, a blurred image or a recording, and the chase is on. PlayStation 4 is here, but how long will it stay before it’s replaced by another, more powerful system. Will Sony stick to the PS4 for as long as they did the PS3, or will the console cycle see a decline in its length? So many questions my friends, luckily your talking to the answer man.
Let us dissect this quote, talk about the implications, and recent events, and develop the road map for Sony’s game plan. Believe it or not, these simple words are all we need to see the future.
"It’s really up to the game creators."
So here we have the first little piece of the quote, and already it’s a big one. Shuhei Yoshida has a lot of power, being the president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios and all. We all know that Sony is a corporation and corporations like to make as much money as possible. Sony has gone a long way towards masking that though and appearing publicly as a very down to earth and reasonable company that truly cares for the gamer.
Beneath all of that, they still want to make money though. That is why this particular sentence strikes a chord with me, as it should with you. Since when do game creators get to dictate the console cycle? If he is serious and four years from now developers are complaining about the PS4’s power, will Sony truly get cracking on a new system, just like that? I imagine it would take a large majority of big companies to say this before any real change would occur, but even that is a concept that is hard to grasp.
Truly though, the success or failure of a game console rests in the hands of those who create games for it. The console is merely a vessel, without great games it might as well be a paperweight that you can check Facebook on. Sony is smart to put power in the hands of the game developers, but it is still jarring to see such a high level of investment placed into their hands; a bold move, but a good one.
"If they still feel that we need more machine power — ‘we want to realize this and that and that, but we cannot do it with PS4."
The PS4 is the most powerful home console to date, hands down. When stacked up against the modern world of PC however, it begins to pale in comparison. That’s not to say the PS4 is a slouch, but the technology of gaming PC rigs changes by the month it seems, and the power of these custom built monstrosities grows by the day. Of course, that is the appeal of a home console, the fact that you don’t need to tear it apart and replace half the parts every six months.
We saw the PS3 get pushed farther and father before the PS4 released. With games like The Last of Us coming out so late in the cycle, I think we were all wondering how much farther it could go. So, why did Sony release the PS4 now, was the PS3 truly at the limit of its power? When The Last of Us released, Naughty dog’s Lead Designer Jacob Minkoff had this to say about the game:
"With The Last of Us, we are as efficient as we can possibly be. It's just squeezing every last drop of power out of the system. And it's a system we know really, really well. We know its constraints, so we can push it to the edges and play it really fast and loose because we know what the system can handle."
Fair enough, but why didn’t every game look that good? The answer lies in the system’s architecture, a subject we’ve all heard about when the PS4 was announced. The PS3 had power beyond power, but it was hard to develop for. The proprietary Cell Processor technology had a lot of potential, but only companies like Naughty Dog could truly unleash that power. So, with the PS4, it’s built like a PC.
The trouble with building something like a PC though is that it has a limit. Sure developers can get creative, but at the end of the day, it still has limits. The PS4 has plenty of potential, and I know developers will create incredible titles for it, but since Sony seems to truly have their developers in mind, we need to know how Sony can improve from here on PS5.
If that’s the case, there’s a good reason to have PS5, so that developers can create their vision. So, we’ll see."
And there we have the final act in this grand quote of ours. Sony has been very hypothetical in their responses to questions about the PS5. Some think that there won’t be a need for another console. When asked about the upcoming streaming service, PlayStation Now, Shuhei remarked that Sony will be “shifting to be service oriented”. With PlayStation Now, they are bringing their games to all new devices that never supported them before.
While this does make the argument that streaming and cloud gaming could be the future, we also see Sony’s VR headset they announced for the PS4 entitled “Project Morpheus”. This kind of massive investment into the PS4 shows that each console is a testing ground for the ones to follow. The VR craze is beginning and this headset will show if the PS5 should support such a feature before they make it a solid aspect of their plans.
The future is ever changing and ever shifting. Right now, the PS5 is just a concept. Its characteristics and features are ever changing. One thing we know for certain is that Sony is thinking about it, and that the timeline is in the hands of the developers. In my opinion, that’s exactly where it needs to be.
What do you think of the quote? We want to hear your predictions about PS5, so tell us in the comments!
Note: The thoughts expressed in this article are the opinions of the author (Bradley Ramsey) and do not yet represent facts or the opinions of Sony Computer Entertainment. Although it will probably be accurate, for now it is pure speculation. Thanks for reading!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Article updated: 6/26/17