Sony will definitely have another console…but what else do we know?
With the beginning of every game console generation comes an implicit question: when will we see the next generation of consoles? With this in mind, we at IGN want to compile all the official information and rumors we know about the next PlayStation, which we’re naturally calling the PS5.
Read on for the information we know to be true about the PS4 successor, as well as the many rumors floating around it, and be sure to come back for updates as more PS5 updates arrive.
PS5: Confirmed Details
So, the good news first — Sony has officially confirmed it’s working on the system to follow the PS4.
In October of 2018, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida confirmed to the Financial Times that the company had begun work on a new console, saying “At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have… next-generation hardware.”
Now, the bad news. Yoshida didn’t confirm any other details about this next-gen hardware, including specs, name, release plans, or potential software.
At the time, FT’s sources said the next system reportedly “might not represent a major departure from the PS4, and that the fundamental architecture would be similar.”
When it comes to software, we know that Bethesda, Square Enix, and more have begun working on next-generation games. As for Sony? Well, we’ll get to that in the rumors section below, but it’s quite clear that companies have begun investing development in future hardware, as a recent report suggested 18% of devs are working, in some capacity, on next-gen games.
And, unfortunately, when it comes to more details about the PS5, most of what we’re dealing in, at the moment, is rumors and speculation.
So, with the full knowledge that this information could be way off base, here’s what we’ve heard rumors about regarding Sony’s next system.
One of the most notable reported pieces of info is that PlayStation’s first-party studios are now allegedly focusing their development efforts, beyond what’s in the works for the PS4 already, on the PS5.
Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad recently said “in general, most of the focus for Sony [first party studios] is on PS5 right now. It is still early to talk about next gen but I imagine we’ll hear some whispers come out of GDC.”
Ahmad also reported that PS5 dev kits are out in the wild and he’s heard “positive things” about them.
Sony focusing on PS5 development isn’t a total shock, of course. Outside of announced PS4 games like The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Concrete Genie, and Dreams, plenty of Sony’s worldwide studios are working on unannounced projects. Depending on when Sony decides to release the PS5, it would make absolute sense for studios like Santa Monica Studio or Guerrilla Games to be prioritizing the next generation.
We gave our best guesses for what already announced PS5 games could transition to the PS5.
Beyond internal development, a recent patent has also started up plenty of conjecture about a possible feature: backward compatibility. A recent Sony patent has led many fans to think Sony is investigating the potential for the oft-requested feature to be included in the PS5. It describes a process allowing legacy software to run perfectly on new devices.
Fans have been debating whether this means software from all generations or just a select few might backward compatible. And, of course, Sony’s patent may not even apply to next-gen hardware at all. IGN has previously reached out to Sony about whether backward compatibility was under consideration for future hardware, and has not received comment regarding the patent.
It is, naturally, a feature many fans would love to see. The addition of backward compatibility to the Xbox One was a huge boost to Microsoft’s standings in this generation. The PS4 has offered access to older software, but only through the PlayStation Store or the PS Now subscription service.
And as for a possible release window, well, there’s been little to no discussion as of late on when we may see Sony’s next system. A Kotaku report from April 2018 indicated the console was a ways off, certainly not before a vague 2020 release timeframe. (And, as that report notes, with something as big as a console launch, and one so far out, things could change quite easily.)
Around the same time of that Kotaku report, rumors first sprung up about alleged specifications for the PS5. An unconfirmed report by SemiAccurate stated that the PS5 would use an 8-core Zen CPU and a Navi-based GPU.
Sony has not, of course, commented on the specifications of its new service, and that’s likely something not to expect until we’re much closer to the next system’s launch.
We’ve made our own guesses and arguments for why Sony should want to release the PS5 sooner or later, and whether we even feel the need for a PS5 at the moment.
As of right now, concrete details on PlayStation’s next console are thin. But, with the march toward a new generation inching forward, we’ll be sure to update this article with all the latest on the PS5.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s News Editor, PlayStation lead, and Beyond! host. Talk to him about what you hope to see in the PS5 on Twitter @jmdornbush.