Expect the PlayStation 5 to launch in 2018 according to an analyst with Macquarie Capital Securities named Damian Thong. Thong believes that a "next-generation PlayStation" is key to Sony's future strategy and could lead to a significant increase in operating profits, according to a new article in the Wall Street Journal. Sony has made no official announcement regarding future hardware plans.
Thong's recent statements mirror those made in a previous report from March, in which he stated a "PS5" is predicted to launch in the second half of 2018. While Thong doesn't outright say that the PlayStation 5 would be a direct counter to Microsoft's Scorpio console release in 2017, the message is clear. Thong's prediction says that his company expects the PlayStation 5 would target over 10 teraflops in graphical power, a detail seemingly specifically designed to impress over the Microsoft Scorpio's 6 teraflop specification that's resounding well in marketing.
A skeptical reaction to this analyst's claims is certainly reasonable, after all Sony just launched the PlayStation 4 Pro hardware in late 2016. Thong has made some semi-accurate predictions regarding Sony hardware releases before, however. He correctly predicted the release of both the PlayStation 4 Slim and the PlayStation 4 Pro in 2016. To be fair, both consoles had been poorly kept secrets and Thong did say they would launch earlier than they ultimately did.
Thong's assertion of a 2018 launch for the PlayStation 5 is worth considering further, at the very least. Sony could certainly accomplish such a quick turnaround on major hardware so soon after the PlayStation 4 Pro's launch. And due to impressive steps forward in computing hardware from AMD, a PlayStation 5 that's significantly more powerful than the Scorpio without being significantly more expensive is also possible. Sony going to great effort to speedily retake the title of "Most Powerful Hardware" after the Scorpio's 2017 launch, refusing to cede any ground to Microsoft in the console market, may be the most persuasive argument for a 2018 PlayStation 5.
Yet there are persuasive arguments against Sony launching hardware in 2018, too. After all, the company only just launched both the PlayStation 4 Slim and PlayStation 4 Pro. New hardware so soon would leave older hardware adrift and consumers wary of investing for fear of another hardware iteration soon. There's also the likelihood of a rebranding effort from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 hurting the longevity of the platform at the height of its success.
If Sony's planning a hardware launch for late 2018, PlayStation 5 or otherwise, it's unlikely that they'll be talking about it anytime soon. An announcement likely wouldn't even be made until early 2018. Of course, maybe Sony doesn't have any plans to release a PlayStation 5 console in the first place.
Source: Wall Street Journal