Sony Acknowledges It's Working On Next-Generation Hardware
Water is wet.
Sony has indicated it is in the midst of creating the follow-up to the PlayStation 4. Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times, company president Kenichiro Yoshida said "at this point, what I can say is it's necessary to have a next-generation hardware," but stopped short of outright saying a PlayStation 5 is in development.
The statement isn't exactly a surprise, given that Sony is constantly thinking about new hardware and another PlayStation is all but guaranteed after the success of the PS4. However, the fact that Yoshida has publicly referenced next-generation hardware and Sony’s need for it could be an indication of where the company feels the PS4 is in its life, as well as acknowledgement that a successor is in the works.
The PS4 is five years old now, having been released in 2013 and, traditionally, Sony's platforms have a lifecycle of around six years. This was the gap between the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2. Six years after the PS2, the PlayStation 3 launched, with the PS4 following seven years after that. However, GPU and CPU technology is advancing at a much quicker rate than ever before, as is internet speed. On top of this, the way content is delivered and consumed has shifted significantly and is on the cusp of doing so again, with advances in game streaming.
Developers, meanwhile, seem to already be thinking about new hardware. At E3 2018 Bethesda announced Starfield, a new game from the team behind The Elder Scrolls. In an interview with GameSpot, Bethesda Game Studios' creative director Todd Howard said that the team is thinking about the best way to realise its vision for Starfield and, should it be necessary, will forego releasing it on PS4 and Xbox One to achieve this. Bethesda also confirmed a new Elder Scrolls title was on the way at E3 2018. However, it didn't mention what platforms it is being developed for.
Furthermore, CD Projekt Red has been coy about what platforms Cyberpunk 2077 will be available for. By all accounts, the slice of gameplay it has shown feels next-gen, especially if it that level of quality is going to be extrapolated into a bigger open-world.
Although there are no further details from Sony on its next-generation hardware, citing "people in the games publishing industry with knowledge of Sony's plans for a future console" the Financial Times says it "might not represent a major departure from the PS4, and that the fundamental architecture would be similar."
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