Sony's PS5 is real and fast approaching, that we know for certain. But exact details about the next PlayStation console are forever shifting like the sands of time. And until the company make some cast iron announcements it's unlikely we'll know the exact details surrounding the gaming giant's next move.
But what is clear, is that in the last three or four months industry discussion around the PlayStation 5 (As well as Xbox Scarlett) has grown to unprecedently new levels.
Whether this is indicative of the earlier rumours that PS5 dev kits were out in the wild is unclear, but, it does suggest that we are now approaching a critical point in the PS4 lifecycle.
Even with a barrel load of excellent PS4 exclusives still to come, the console is (very) slowly starting to wind down.
E3 2018 failed to yield any sort of announcement about Sony's PS5 console, but, we might imagine that they'll be unable to avoid it next year at E3 2019.
As such, we expect that information, leaks, specs and even game announcements related to 'next-gen' will start coming thick and fast in the next 12 months.
For now, though, we do have some details, predictions and industry analysis for you to chew over, which we'll be sure to update weekly.
All this and more can be found underneath the gallery, which for those wondering is a series of concept images by French designer Joseph Dumary.
PS5 Release Date - When is PlayStation 5 coming?
This is probably one of the most important questions asked by console owners, but equally one of the most tricky to actually answer.
We'll start at the beginning. We know full well that Sony are developing a new PS5 console as it was pretty much confirmed by Shawn Layden, who is, for anyone who doesn't know, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America (SIEA) as well as Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios.
Layden confirmed in an Interview during E3 2017 that the PS5 is coming, but equally the console would “probably be some time” before being announced by the company.
And more recently PlayStation CEO John Kodera told investors that the PS4 was “entering final phase of its life cycle” after an amazing five years of gaming success.
This is why we believe an announcement will likely arrive at E3 2019, with a view to Sony releasing the PS5 in 2020.
PS5 Release Date - Why 2020?
Generally speaking, 2020 appears to be the accepted date that most industry experts and analysts believe Sony will launch a new console.
In addition, the one source and prediction that we're inclined to believe the most comes from Digital Foundry.
The sister site of Eurogamer is well known for its deep dives into the performance of games to see exactly how well they are running on a console and they are, to our mind, some of the best technical experts when it comes to console gaming.
So when they write a story titled 'PlayStation 5: when can Sony truly deliver a generational leap in power?' you take notice.
For those who don't want to read right now, the overriding opinion of the story seemed to suggest that it would be madness to assume Sony would release a new console anywhere before Q4 2019, but that a 2020 launch would prove most likely.
PS5 Price - How much could PlayStation 5 console cost?
Again, we cannot say for certain without a cast iron announcement from Sony. But based on past releases it's more than possible to make an educated and believable guess.
When the PlayStation 4 first launched in 2014 it was available for £349 in the UK and $399 in the US.
Fast forward a few years to when Sony launched their more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro and it too was launched at the same price as the original PS4, at £349 in the UK and $399 in the US.
We suspect this is where we'll see the PS5 launch, with the PS4 Pro becoming the default PS4 model at a reduced price of £259 in the UK and $299 in the US.
It also seems as though the grave mistake made by Sony who burned a lot of fans with the overly expensive PS3 launch price of £425 in the UK and $499 in the US has also been learned.
So, we expect you won't pay a penny over £399 for the PS5, if not closer to £350.
PS5 Games - What new titles could we be playing at launch?
The PS3 to PS4 era gave us our first real taste of games releasing cross-platform. And to good effect too. Both The Last of Us and GTA 5 released towards the tail end of the PS3 console's lifecycle only to come to PS4 with even greater visual fidelity.
And we suspect the jump between PS4 to PS5 will also bring about plenty more cross-generational games that first release on PlayStation 4 before getting another release with greater graphical extras on the PS5.
So, whilst we cannot say for certain what games will come to PS5, just yet, there are a few we can suggest as early contenders to come to the next console, as well as a few yearly releases which we doubt will miss out, either.
The games we're thinking of, include:
- Death Stranding
- Ghost of Tsushima
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Call of Duty
- FIFA 2021 on PS5
- PES 2021 on PS5
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake
- The Elder Scrolls 6
PS5 Backwards Compatibility - Will PS4 games work?
The current PS4 console uses an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), built upon the machines x86-64 architecture.
Now, this is hypothetical, but if Sony uses this same architecture in the upcoming PS5 console (which appears, likely) there's a good possibility that the machine will be able to offer backwards compatibility functionality with PS4 titles.
PS5 Backwards Compatibility - Will PS3 games and older work?
This seems more unlikely given that the same architecture doesn't support this functionality.
We believe that moving forward it's more likely that Sony will continue to push it's existing PS Now digital service which currently offers over 650 games spanning the various PS2, PS3 and PS4 systems.
Currently, PS Now works as a streaming service on PS4 and PC. But, if rumours are to be believed, PS Now could be heading towards a new system that also allows for games to be downloaded for offline play. This comes via an unnamed Kotaku UK source who claims the new functionality will launch this September.