Sony’s PlayStation 5 is coming. The company confirmed that it is developing the next-generation console along and has already detailed a handful of early spec upgrades it will receive. A constant trickle of patent filings and leaks have also shed light on what gamers can expect from the next-generation console. Most recently, the company dropped a big hint about what may be the PS5’s juiciest remaining secret: its release date.
Following Sony’s April 26 earnings report, the company’s gaming division revealed the earliest possible date for the upcoming console’s release. This release date clue came a little over a week after Mark Cerny, the lead system architect for the PS4, dropped a slew of tantalizing tidbits about what Sony’s plans.
Both official updates closely follow a monstrous batch of leaks posted on Pastebin by someone claiming to be a game developer working on the console’s future titles. As it stands, many of Pastebin leak’s claims have proven to be accurate. But the biggest detail that Sony has yet to confirm is whether the wireless, virtual reality headset depicted in patents will launch alongside the console. An April 23 patent revealed blueprints and detailed how the console will use high-frequency waves to transfer video data to the headset without wires. But, while Cerny laid out many of the specs that will help make the console a graphics powerhouse, he did not confirm that this peripheral hardware was part of the PS5 project.
The inclusion of all of these high-calibre features could come with a beefy price tag, though the rise of cloud gaming services — many of them vowing to do away with expensive gaming hardware entirely — could provide added incentive for Sony to try to keep the PS5’s overall costs down.
It has inertia on its side. The company recently announced that it has sold 96.8 million PS4 units during its April 26 earnings report, enough so that PS4 sales accounted for nearly half of all consoles in use, according to a November 2018 Strategy Analytics report.
Plans for the PS5 were largely veiled in secrecy until Cerny’s bombshell interview. Until recently, we knew only that the console was in the works because of a vaguely cryptic statement made by Sony President Kenichiro Yoshida in October that the PS4 was entering the “final” stages of its lifecycle.
Cerny revealed that gamers shouldn’t expect the PS5 to launch in 2019, and a spokesperson for the Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) branch confirmed that timeline.
After the company’s earnings report, SIE told Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki that there won’t be any next-gen console launches until May 2020 at the earliest. It’s far more likely that Sony will reveal the console during the summer, either at E3 2020 in June or at its own event if it chooses to skip the gaming expo again next year.