PlayStation 5 Release Date, Specs, & Rumors

Alex McCumbers,

July 16, 2018 7:50 AM

While we are still getting plenty of playtime from our PS4 systems, it's about that time to start looking at the future with what we know about the PS5, it's release date, specifications, and other rumors.

Being that the wildly successful PlayStation 4 launched back in 2013, many consumers are eagerly awaiting for Sony to say something, anything about the PlayStation 5. There are a ton of rumors circulating around the PS5, but Sony have yet to confirm anything and many development studios are denying the claims that are circulating the internet. Let’s lay out everything we know about the PS5, which is not much, but we can do some speculation and try to debunk any rumors along the way.

Release Date

First let’s lay out the current timeline of the PS4. We had a launch of the base model in November of 2013, with the release of the upgraded PS4 Pro in September of 2016. The competition Sony faces is also something to consider, as Microsoft released their more powerful Xbox One X in November 2017 with the Nintendo Switch launching March 2017. The Switch was last reported to have sold almost 18 million units with it being the fastest selling console ever in both Japan and the US.

Rumors have been pointing to a 2020 release for the PS5, but according to Kotaku, those whispers have started to die down. Their post about the matter also could not confirm any of these rumors with their network, with many laughing at the claim.

Then we can see Olaf in Kingdom Hearts 3 in really high resolution.
Then we can see Olaf in Kingdom Hearts 3 in really high resolution.

With many of the heavy hitting games coming soon to PS4, it seems like an odd time for developers to have their efforts on a console that is two years out from being replaced. Some of the long awaited titles like Kingdom Hearts 3 and Days Gone are hitting in early 2019, with several expected to launch by the end of the year. If there truly was a PS5 to launch in 2020, it would have to be late that year as there is still much to be done on the PS4 if E3 was any indication. 

Hardware Specifications

There have been rumors that a PS5 devkit is already in the hands of developers. For starters, if there is anything it is likely just a PC tower that has the same type of CPU and GPU that Sony might use in the PS5. While yes, these kits would probably be under wraps with the tightest security, it’s something that developers could be working on anyways on a strong PC that could be transferred to the PS5 once specs are nailed down. Planning to port titles over from a PC when the thing does come out would be a solid strategy for those studios looking to get a head start. 

There have been reports that Sony has someone working with the AMD Ryzen CPU that leads one to believe that this is the style of unit that could go into the PS5. This person could be working on something completely unrelated to a new console, but it is something to consider.

However, with the release of the Xbox One X, we can assume that Sony will push for something stronger than that system. Native 4K visuals is probably a given, but there is also the possibility of Sony continuing to play with PSVR. With the instant success of the Switch, the chances of them revisiting the portable market also jumps up.

Rumors

Back in May, the Wall Street Journal was able to quote PlayStation CEO John Kodera where he said that the next PlayStation was years off. This is also when he confirmed that the PS5 would not be announced at E3 2018 (which it wasn’t) where they instead focused on games that were coming to the PS4. Sure, corporations have debunked myths only to then have them happen in the past, but this statement is something to consider.

A games leaker Marcus Seller claimed in March of this year that devs already had PS5 kits. Again if some of the larger studios do, which Bethesda might since they announced a new Elder Scrolls and Starfield both of which are project long off, they would likely be desktops with a particular graphics setup that would roughly be comparable to what Sony settles on. That aside, this is the same person saying that the next Nintendo Direct would be on July 20th, so if that proves to be true, than it adds a little more credence to what’s being suggested.

We prepare for the inevitable Skyrim on PS5.
We prepare for the inevitable Skyrim on PS5.

There was also a recent Infinity Ward job posting for Narrative Scripter that reads “Come work with the game industry’s brightest on a new, exciting, unannounced title for multiple next gen platforms.” This is why many were believing that late 2019 would be when the PS5 would be available to coincide with this release. This one could be a slipup of whoever posted the job, as no other position points to a next gen project. Several mention an unannounced game, but no more on a new system. It’s also curious that once this was pointed out, the listing wasn’t updated to clarify. If it had been a slip of something secret, surely Sony would’ve jumped them to alter this posting.

Conclusion and Speculation

At the end of the day, the PlayStation 4 still has a lot of offer and there are many boundary pushing titles on the way. Gaming is continuing to reach a point where polygon count isn’t as important as smoother performance and art direction. As we’ve seen time and time again, some of the best selling games are building their success on gameplay. Fortnite and Minecraft both stand as monumental examples of this.

That said, the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X were both created to serve as bridges to further connect players to higher resolutions and faster framerates. We could be only a few years out from new hardware like what some analysts are suggesting, but at the end of the day it’s the software that makes the big bucks and there are already several titles on the way.

Either way, we sure would like to see PlayStation answer back Nintendo with a new handheld or one-up Microsoft with a stronger console. There’s also still some momentum picking up in VR gaming, so an update to that tech would also be great to see. Yet, PlayStation is currently ahead in sales, so they may ignore competition altogether as they did with cross-play for Fortnite.  

Until something is concretely announced by Sony, everything currently sits on rumor and speculation. With every passing year that nothing is said at E3 though, the tension to see what’s next builds. But, we're still hoping for the PS9 eventually.

Featured image created by French designer Joseph Dumary whose portfolio can be found here




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