In November 2013, Sony launched PS4 and it has since grown to be one of the most successful consoles ever. The system has garnered a massive and passionate audience, and the system seems to be hitting its stride. Some believe Sony will release PS5 sometime during 2018, but that seems open for debate.
PS4 has enjoyed a near flawless life-cycle since it debuted nearly four years ago. The system is the leader in console sales this generation. PS4 doesn’t show signs of letting up, and Sony is trying to strengthen the system’s support. Exclusive games are coming this year and next, and they’ll be crucial to PS4’s continued success.
While PS4 is thriving, many believe PS5 is on its way in the near future. Some even believe PS5 will launch as early as next year. In an interview with We Write Things, Michael Goodman, who is the director of digital media strategies at Strategy Analytics, gave his thoughts on whether or not Sony will launch PS5 next year.
“My original thought was that you’re going on four year cycles, not two year cycles. I’m skeptical that they will launch a new console in 2018 after a two year time frame. I don’t think it is going to move to a two year cycle. [Sony] still has to pay back R&D. I mean there is a lot of expense that went into building the Pro. Are you going to undercut that market before it has made money?” Goodman said.
PS4 Pro launched last November, so PS5’s 2018 debut would mean a two year gap between launches. It feels highly unlikely that Sony will launch PS5 next year. However, we are in the middle of a shift in how consoles are released, so perhaps a PS5 in 2018 is just part of that. Goodman gave his thoughts on why the move would make sense.
“Strategically, launching a new console in 2018 gives you, in all likelihood, the upper hand because you’ll really be able to either equal or usurp Microsoft. If Sony does [launch a new console in 2018], how much improvement are you going to get? Microsoft is already pushing the envelope pretty hard,” Goodman said.
That gets to the heart of what needs to come with a new console from Sony. Putting out a new console with comparable if not equal hardware to Scorpio’s wouldn’t make sense. Sony knows they’ll need to top whatever Scorpio turns out to be, and that is why a console next year seems unlikely.
Putting together technology that vastly outperforms Scorpio isn’t something that happens over night. Sony will need to come up with a stronger system eventually. It just seems foolish to think that’ll happen next year. Goodman went a step further in talking about Sony potentially launching PS5 next year.
“Let’s just play devil’s advocate and say Sony does push it to 2018. Are they going to be able to leapfrog Scorpio and by how much? Is it going to be enough to make a difference? Scorpio being 40 percent more powerful than Pro is a significant jump. Fast forward a year from now, are you really going to be able to get a 25 percent increase? Are you going to be able to get a 40 percent increase over Scorpio? Probably not,” Goodman said.
PS4 is experiencing an incredibly successful life-cycle thus far. To me, it seems like Sony should be trying to preserve and foster that success, instead of shorting it. There’s no reason for the company to cut off an already successful product. What’s most obvious about this situation is that there are no easy answers, regardless of the conclusion anyone finds.
“So now begs the question, are you going to basically short Pro in order to gain an equal or small advantage over Scorpio? Oh and by the way, Scorpio will then start to get the price advantage on your anyway…It’s almost like for Sony, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. If you keep riding things, Microsoft has got an advantage on you that they’re going to be pretty merciless about. At least in the next year, there’s not much Sony can do about it.
“That comes back to the question we were just talking about. Do you launch in 2018? That’s a financial matter where the bean counters are really going to answer that question. I don’t think that’s a question that gets answered by the PlayStation group. I think that’s a question that gets answered by the bean counters in finance. Can we do this without losing our shirt?” Goodman said.
Sony will likely announce a price decrease for PS4 at E3 2017. Leaked ads are currently pointing toward such an occurrence, but it’ll be interesting which systems that applies to. E3 2017 begins next week. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on PlayStation.