- Sony’s new president, Kenichiro Yoshida, spoke about the successor to the PlayStation 4 in a recent interview.
- “It’s necessary to have a next-generation hardware,” Yoshida told the Financial Times.
- This isn’t the first time Sony’s spoken about the currently-in-development game console; PlayStation division head John Kodera said the company is using the next three years to work on the next PlayStation.
Five years ago, in 2013, the PlayStation 4 launched. If history is any indication, we’re due for a new PlayStation in the next five years or so.
Sony apparently agrees: “At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have a next-generation hardware,” new Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida told the Financial Times in a recent interview. Yoshida stopped short of calling the console “PlayStation 5,” but it’s widely expected to be the name for Sony’s next PlayStation console.
Most interesting is the fact that Yoshida referred to the new console as “next-generation hardware.” Rather than focusing on streaming games over the internet – a la Netflix – Sony is apparently working on a more powerful box for running prettier games.
It’s the traditional format for the video game business: Produce a new, more powerful game console every 5 to 10 years that’s distinct from previous hardware generations.
The PlayStation was succeeded by the PlayStation 2; the PlayStation 2 was succeeded by the PlayStation 3; and the PlayStation 3 was succeeded by the PlayStation 4. Each was its own hardware “generation,” more capable than the previous generation.
Both Sony and Microsoft altered that cycle this generation by releasing half-step upgrades in the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, respectively. Neither outright replaced the base console – instead, they offered better graphics and performance for the same games.
Sources speaking with the Financial Times said that the next PlayStation console, “might not represent a major departure from the PS4.” That’s not such a surprise: More than ever, players are demanding that their digital game libraries carry forward. It wouldn’t be a huge shock to hear that the PlayStation 5 could play all PlayStation 4 games – especially those purchased digitally.
But don’t expect the PlayStation 5 any time soon.
“We will use the next three years to prepare the next step,” PlayStation head John Kodera said back in May, according to The Wall Street Journal, in a reference to the PlayStation 4’s successor. That puts Sony’s next console on track for launch somewhere in the vicinity of 2021.
Given that the PlayStation 4 continues to sell tremendously well, it’s no surprise that Sony would want to hold off for as long as possible. Microsoft’s Xbox One is in a distant second place, and Nintendo’s Switch is in a league of its own.
There’s at least one other good reason that Sony isn’t moving on from the PlayStation 4 just yet – the PlayStation 4 Pro exists.
Less than two years ago, Sony launched the PlayStation 4 Pro: A more powerful update to the PlayStation 4. It plays the same games, but makes them look prettier and load more quickly. It’s a half step up, in terms of horsepower, from the PlayStation 4, but it’s a meaningful mid-point between the PlayStation 4 that went on sale in 2013 and the PlayStation 5 that’s expected around 2021.
Sony’s no doubt hoping that you’ll consider the PS4 Pro for now, but don’t worry if you’re not: Something new is also in the works.