The PlayStation 4 is still going strong, but Sony is hard at work on the PlayStation 5. This isn’t really surprising, given that work on a console’s successor often begins as soon the previous console launches. The exact timing of the PS5’s launch is yet to be disclosed, though many analysts expect we will see the next PlayStation console within a couple years’ time.
NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella told Gaming Bolt that he expects the PS5 to launch in 2020. However, he did caution that this date was a tentative estimate on his part.
“2020 is what I have in my forecast,” Piscatella said. “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.”
Lewis Ward, who leads IDC’s gaming research division, said he expects the PlayStation 5 and successor to the Xbox One to launch in 2021.
“Right now, I think PS5 and the next-gen Xbox will arrive in 2021, but that’s really just a tentative placeholder in my forecast,” Ward told Gaming Bolt.
Some analysts are even predicting that Sony might release PlayStation later this year. Macquarie Capital analyst Damien Thong said that he expects a new version of the PlayStation to launch sometime in 2018. Sony had made no announcements regarding a new PlayStation, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. The PS4 was announced in February 2013 and released nine months later in November. If Sony is planning an announcement, it is possible that it is saving the announcement until the E3 show in June.
Aside from industry analysts, game developers also offer some clues as to potential console release time frames. During an earnings call in February, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said he thought there would be about two years “before something else is coming.” That would mean the PlayStation 5, a successor to the Xbox One, or something else would be some time away.
For now, we can only speculate. Generally speaking, a five-to-seven-year lifetime is the norm for console generations. However, this current generation is unique in that we recently saw the launch of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, which represent upgraded versions of their counterparts without truly beginning a new console generation.