Marketing analyst Damien Thong and Michael Pachter have both independently predicted Sony to release the PS5 in 2018. Does 2018 seem too soon? Yeah, probably if you just bought a ps4 Pro in 2016.
I’m going to give you a fair and educated prediction for PS5, based on current trends and marketing strategies employed by Sony’s gaming division. PS4 released at the end of 2013 and Mark Cerny called the PS4 pro a mid generation refresh console.
The “Pro” came with an overclocked chipset and a 50% boost in computing power. The Xbox One wasn’t Microsoft’s mid generation refresh, just like the PS4 slim, both of which were released in the fall of 2016. They are, however, replacements for the launch Xbox One and PS4.
PS4 pro and Xbox Scorpio are the mid generation refresh consoles. To take mid generation literally, puts an expected PS5 in November 2019. Xbox Scorpio didn’t come in 2016, Microsoft was waiting an extra year and delivered a true upgrade. With very few compromises to beat Microsoft at E3, Sony has to do two simple things:
- Drop the price of the PS4 Pro from $400 to $350. This will eclipse the announcement of Scorpio’s name and price. Experts predict the Scorpio to be priced at $400 or $500 and Sony’s offering of a 4k console at $50 to $100 cheaper than the Scorpio.
- At the risk of insulting the millions that adopted the PS4 Pro Sony will need to announce plans for the PS5 at E3 2017.
Sony has a long history of announcing, big things way ahead of release to generate buzz and momentum for consumers. Sony purely won the hearts at E3 2016 by promising so many games that would not come until 2017 or 2018. With games like “Death Stranding” and “God of War” long before a possible release window. It’s not far-fetched to expect Sony to tease the PS5 at E3 2017. Strong supportive news reported on Xbox Scorpio in 2017 in front of E3 and even though PS4 holds dominance with more games and a massive sales gap. Sony should be worried about the ever looming shadow of project Scorpio.
In the competitive technical arguments of console comparisons, Scorpio will have a distinct advantage across all multi-platform games. When digital foundry spells out framerate and pixel counts, Scorpio will win over PS4 Pro every time. Consoles take time to develop because they have to be very specific efficient, not only in power consumption and heat management, but carefully balanced for a cost ratio.
Sony, most likely, began plans for PS5’s development at the end of 2016. Bill Spencer disclosed that console development takes three years as was the case with Xbox One and project Scorpio. But Sony can easily squeeze that development time to two years and push out PS5 in 2018. This will continue the leap frogging of consoles with Scorpio out this year and PS5 out in the year later. But if Sony waits until 2019 they can take advantage of cheaper components and a design that doesn’t just match a Scorpio. So far it’s been shown that the Scorpio has the power and the workflow to achieve native 4k resolutions, even with some games, running at an impressive 4k 60i. For $400 the PS4 Pro certainly offers impressive 4k looking games but at the cost of a minus improvement to the framerate. By 2019 Sony should be able to design a console with the power to offer most games at native 4k, but more importantly, enough “Headroom” for developers to offer higher frame rates and bigger visuals.
The best part about PS5 is a generation list console timeline. There’s no reason to expect PS5 to leave the 60 million PS4’s behind. Now the PlayStation is based on x86 architecture. Any game released on PS4 should be compatible with the PS5 and if Sony continues cross support of controllers and accessories, Sony gamers can look at PS5, as an optional upgrade. Just as Xbox Scorpio consumers will.
Jeremy lips of Tom’s guide argues that even with a year leap in favor of Xbox Scorpio, PS4 has three top titles that hold victory over Xbox with “Uncharted 4”, “Bloodborne” and “Horizon Zero Dawn”. Sony definitely offers more in the action-adventure department compared to Xboxes top three “Forza Horizon 3” or “Rainbow Six” and “Titanfall 2”. There are some counter points to the PS5. The biggest being its potential release proximity to the PS4 Pro, but since PS5 will likely have parity with the wildly successful PS4 and an optional upgrade, PS5 will continue Sony’s dominance in the console market and with Scorpio bringing a worthy offering to Xbox. Both upgraded consoles look to offer PC quality experience in a closed box with support for your games for years ahead.