Sony have confirmed that a new console to follow the PS4 and PS4 Pro is coming, with the PS5 release date still unannounced.
It will likely prove the next big hardware announcement from Sony, however, the tech giant do seem pretty comfortable with their current console.
Recent reports indicate that Sony are happy to see the life of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X play out a little longer than first anticipated, which makes sense based on the current sales of the PlayStation gaming machines.
However, even with its enduring popularity, fans are still eager to find out what comes after the PS4 and when they might hear more about the PS5 release date.
So far, several analysts have predicted slightly differing dates, all of which are based on the current estimates of the PS4 shelf life.
Damian Thong, analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities, believes Sony will announce their new console in 2018.
While that may seem unlikely, it should be noted that Thong was correct when it came to predicting the launch of the PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim.
This could also prove a surprise to Microsoft, who only just launched their Xbox One X console and are unlikely to have a major announcement like that planned this year.
It could also take the wind out the sails of the Nintendo Switch games console as well, although that is seen more as a secondary device.
Others aren’t so sure that Sony would be so quick to kill off their current PlayStation console.
There are reports that Sony are looking to delay the launch of the new generation of gaming machines, allowing the PS4 Pro to become the standard device.
Other analysts have predicted longer wait times for the new console, with 2020 and 2021 mooted as possible release years.
But whatever does happen, there are a few killer features people are backing Sony to include.
The first is backwards Compatibility with the PS4 games library.
Having skipped out on the feature for their current console, there are hopes that Sony won’t make the same decision with the PS5.
It would prove extremely popular if it was announced to have a back library, like the Xbox One X currently offers.
Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter has backed the company to do just that, while also waiting for the 4K market to grow.
“Will it play games that were made for the PlayStation 4 Pro? That’s the question. I think it will. So I think they will build a console that will backward compatible with the PS4 Pro,” Pachter told GamingBolt.
“My expectation that is that it’s not coming out in 2018. That is a 2019 or 2020 but probably 2019.
“Sony is probably timing it better because they are going to bring out a 4K capable device when the 4K TV market reaches 50% in the USA and 35% in the rest of the world.”
The other big feature that the PS5 release date will also include is that of the PlayStation VR.
The PS4 is currently the only console with virtual reality support, which has proven a unique selling point.
It seems very likely that Sony are going to stick with it, especially following the news that they hope to see over 100 new games arrive for it this year.
The big question will be whether the tech giant decides to launch an upgraded PlayStation VR headset.
While the benefit of offering a more powerful headset would make the PS5 look even more advanced, it could also put current PSVR owners off.
It’s possible that Sony could make the PSVR compatible with the PS5 and then phase it out in its second or third year, to make way for a new VR generational refresh.
It should be noted that Microsoft also have plans to support “mixed reality” headsets, so the market could change dramatically with the release of the next generation of consoles.