We’ve had months of leaks and rumours that indicated Sony was working on the next PlayStation console. Some leaks even listed the specs of the PlayStation 4’s successor, while others pointed to a 2019 release date.
What we’ve not yet had is official confirmation from Sony that the company was working on a new console. That all changed when Sony Interactive Entertainment President, Kenichiro Yoshida, confirmed the news to the Financial Times yesterday.
At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have a next-generation hardware.
According to the Financial Times, Yoshida’s comment was in response to a debate about how Sony is planning to respond to the $70bn global smartphone gaming market, and the “shifting habits of its customers.”
In some ways, Sony has been slower than Microsoft to adjust to changes in the market. Cross-play functionality being one example. Xbox announced on Monday that it would begin public testing on Project xCloud in 2019; a streaming service that enables cross-play across multiple platforms. Another example is Xbox’s backward compatibility that is a much better service than Sony’s PlayStation Now.
That being said, when you’re as far ahead in console sales as Sony is over Microsoft, you can afford to hold back on features. According to the latest PlayStation 4 sales, it sold over 80 million units and hold the record as Sony’s fast-selling console.
In the Financial Times article, Yoshida pointedly avoided calling the next PlayStation console the PlayStation 5. Now that the news is out, we can expect a grand announcement from Sony about the PS4 successor.