The PS4 and PS4 Pro may still be flying high, but gamers are craving something new after five years of Sony’s eighth generation game console. Question is, will we have a PlayStation 5 to game on next year or is that just a pipe dream?
Sadly, it seems highly unlikely. A PS5 in 2019 is not going to happen. We explain why below, but the short of the story is it’s too soon for the PS4 to be replaced. In fact, if the PS5 came out in 2019, the PS4 would have had a shorter lifecycle than the PS2 and PS3!
What Sony’s said
Sony hasn’t let out a peep, which isn’t a surprise and it means it’s difficult to pin down a PlayStation 5 release date. What we do know is it’ll happen in the next three years because Microsoft are breathing down their necks.
Despite rumours of game developers receiving prototypes on which to begin work earlier this year, Sony's decision not to appear at E3 next year suggests 2019 may be the quiet before the storm.
The PlayStation lifecycle
The best indicator of a PS5 release date is the PlayStation lifecycle. The PS2 was released on 4 March 2000. The PS3 was released on 11 November 2006, so there were six years and eight months between the PS2 and PS3.
The PS3 was replaced by the PS4 on 15 November 2013, so there were a snip over seven years between the PS3 and PS4.
What these dates tell us is this: going back to the PS2, Sony releases a new game console once every seven years, give or take a couple of months. But how does that translate to the PS4 now - and are we close to seven years yet?
Not quite. The PlayStation 4 was released on 15 November 2013, so on 15 January 2019 it’ll only be 5 years and 2 months old. By the time November 2019 comes around, the PS4 will be exactly 6 years old. That’s a year less than the time between the PS3 and PS4, which is a huge amount of time in game console years.
PS5 release date – 2020 or 2021!
Based on this information, we can say confidently there will not be a PlayStation 5 in 2019. But there’s a very good chance there will be in 2020.
By the time November 2020 comes around, there will be seven years between the PS4 and PS5, and that sounds about right. 2019 is just too soon for a PlayStation 5.
2020 will also be a good year for Sony to release the PS5 because it corresponds with reports that Microsoft will be launching their next-gen Xbox then too. Microsoft will put pressure on Sony (and vice-versa) to get their console out there first. Which will come first is anybody’s guess, although Sony beat Microsoft to it in 2013.
What will Sony and Microsoft have in store for us? Will these be the first game consoles to take VR seriously? Will they break from the traditional fixed format like the Nintendo Switch has? We’ll have to wait and see. Just two years to go.