Sony is rumored to be releasing the next-generation PlayStation and successor to the PS4 in late 2018, if a trusted analyst is to be believed.
Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong (via Wall Street Journal) has claimed that Sony is looking to release the next-gen PlayStation by the second half of 2018. Thong was previously on the money about the launch of both the PS4 Pro and the PS4 Slim, so his speculation should not be overlooked even if it does seem unlikely.
With Microsoft gearing up to launch the tentatively titled Xbox One Scorpio later this year, its high-end, 4K-ready hardware that is set to become the most powerful gaming console ever, it could be that Sony is looking to directly compete with their rivals in this field. However, with the PS4 Pro already offering 4K gaming (albeit to a lesser extent), the manufacturer pushing out another iterative update to the PS4 as early as 2018 doesn’t seem like it’d be the smartest move.
While console manufacturers are clearly attempting to follow in the footsteps of PC gaming by way of releasing upgraded and improved systems rather than completely new consoles, four separate PS4 consoles launching within 5 years seems like it’d be too much for gamers to keep up with. With that being said, Sony may be getting antsy about the upcoming release of the Scorpio, and could be looking to ensure that the PS4 — which up until now, has been the most powerful console available — doesn’t get left behind.
The other possibility is that the next console could actually be the PS5, which would mean that there would only be a five year gap between the PS4 launch. Considering that the PS3 was launched in 2006 before Sony followed up with the PS4 much later in 2013, it’s highly unlikely that this will be the case, with Sony having already courted a huge audience for the PS4 that they wouldn’t want to lose by way of prematurely releasing a new console.