PS5 Release Date: 2018 leak hints that PlayStation 5 game is coming to PS4 Pro, Xbox One X
Earlier this week it was rumoured that PS5 dev kits had been sent out to game developers so they could begin working on blockbuster AAA games for the future console.
Insiders are claiming that while the super machine is still at least a year or two away from release, game makers are already hard at work on “next generation” games for it because it takes years to develop these top-tier titles.
The source of these rumours is industry insider Marcus Sellars, who seems to have been bang on the money lately with talk of the recent Nintendo Direct and Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4.
According to him, dev kits were set out earlier this year, but outside of this, there's no hard evidence.
Despite news, leaks and all-around industry chatter around Sony's next PlayStation 5 console continuing to snowball in 2018, to date the only official news has come from Sony's Shawn Layden – Chairman of Worldwide Studios and President of Sony Interactive Entertainment America – after E3 last June.
This took place in an interview with German website Golem, where Layden confirmed a PS5 is "coming" but will “probably be some time”.
Whilst not as exciting as rumours about dev kits, there was another piece of news this week which could prove more interesting and substantial in the long run.
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The news refers to Cyberpunk 2077, the next game from CD Projekt RED, the developer famous for releasing The Witcher series.
More specifically though, CD Projekt Red’s CFO Piotr Nielubowicz and CEO Adam Kicińsk recently spoke at the Pareto Securities Gaming Seminar and spent a good chunk of time talking about the companies next big AAA game.
Why is this important? Because during one slide of their presentation the duo mentioned that Cyberpunk 2077 will be built on “current and next-generation technology.
This would seem to suggest that Cyberpunk 2077 will be a cross-generation game that not only launches on the Xbox One and PS4, but also on the next Xbox and PS5 as well.
A similar strategy was applied by Rockstar for the release of GTA V, which released at the end of the PS3 and Xbox 360 era before releasing a few months later on PS4 and Xbox One.
Of course, it's possible the comments in the presentation could mean nothing. But with Cyberpunk 2077 likely still a year or two away from release, it would certainly make sense when you put all the evidence together with what we know about when the PS5 is rumoured to release.
Most recently NPD analyst Mat Piscatella was asked in an interview with Gamingbolt about when he believed the PS5 could arrive after talking about the possible fortunes of the PS4 in the years ahead.
And asked if it’s possible that the PS4 console could hit 100 million units sold by 2019 end, Piscatella responded:
“Hardware units are mainly driven by content and pricing strategies. I’m interested in seeing how the PS4’s price point changes over the year both in base price as well as in promotional pricing. I do expect the PS4 to have another great year of sales, but I do expect it to be down versus 2018.”
Naturally, Gamingbolt followed up by asking when the right time would be for Sony to launch the PlayStation 5, to which Piscatella said:
“2020 is what I have in my forecast. The data suggest there’s no need to do it earlier. But I’ve been surprised before so I’m as interested in this as anyone.”
This analysis and comments echo similar sentiments shared by leading tech website ArsTechnica.com following the release of Sony 2017 financials at the start of February.
"Shipments of the PlayStation 4 were down, from 9.7 million units a year ago to 9 million, resulting in a slight downward trend in hardware revenue," remarked Gamesindustry.biz last month.
ArsTechnica.com followed up with an opinion piece that suggested the PS4 "may have peaked". The report said:
"It seems likely that Sony's annual shipments for the PS4 will never climb higher than that number based on historical analysis … With the end of 2017, the PS4 has reached the end of its fourth full year on the market, and the console seems set to begin its long decline in annual sales."
Going one step further, the site then suggested that this 'PS4 shipment peak' could now start "the long countdown to the PlayStation 5" in years to come.
The 2020 release, as mentioned, fits with past analyst predictions, such as those made by well-respected Wedbush Securities Analyst Michael Pachter.
Speaking on The 1099 Podcast back in September last year, Pachter said: "I think that's exactly when you'll see one (PS5) 2019 or 2020, and if I had to bet, it's 2020.
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“Sony's making so much money with the PS4 that I think they'll continue to milk it as long as they can milk it," claimed Pachter.
“And I think the natural extension of that is the PS4 Pro becomes the default PS4, and they just knock that price down to $250 when they can and they keep selling it — a tonne of those.
“The PS5 is probably going to be their real 4K device, and so it just feels to me that they're not going to launch the PS5 until sales momentum for the PS4 slows, and it just hasn't.
“So you certainly get through 2017, 2018, and I just don't see it slowing in 2018 which should prop them to launch something in 2019.
“If it slows in 2019, they're probably launching in 2020."
More recently, industry expert Christopher Dring, publisher for Gameindustry.biz, had also told followers on Twitter that he'd been hearing rumours of "Sony slowing up progress on PS5 rattling around for a few months".
All signs so far do appear to suggest 2020 as the most likely year for a new PlayStation console.
As we've mentioned before, the future for all three console makers might seem complicated, but in reality, we have a fairly good idea what they're all planning in the years ahead.
Nintendo are digging in for the long haul with the Nintendo Switch, tentatively telling investors this week that they anticipate the console to stick around for longer than the normal 5-6 year cycle.
Microsoft is breaking new ground for the company with Xbox One X, the worlds most powerful console. And though it might have a lack of first-party exclusives right now, it's arguably the best place to play third party games at the moment.
Sony, meanwhile, seem content to trundle along with the existing PS4 (Pro), which might be declining in hardware sales, but is still selling like hotcakes and seeing PlayStation software thrive.
It's worth adding that their latest report also highlighted a 50% operating profit increase, from ¥50 billion to ¥85.4 billion ($778m). And with huge titles like God of War, Spiderman, The Last of Us 2, Days Gone and Death Stranding on the horizon, that's only going to increase further.
The PS5 is coming, sure, but there's still plenty of life left in the PS4 regardless of a dip in sales.