That another PlayStation will come out isn’t up for debate. When it’s coming and what Sony’s plans, however, are still mysteries. Industry analyst Michael Pachter thinks he has a good idea of how things will go down though, and laid out what he expects to see happen in a recent interview with GamingBolt.
“The PlayStation 4 Pro is a better [from a technical perspective] than the PS4, so I think that’s a half step toward the PlayStation 5,” Pachter said. “I think the PS5 will be another half step. So he is being honest when he said he is not doing a half step, but the PlayStation 5… how much faster can it be? I’ll surely support 4K. Will it support 240 frames per second? Great. 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 be backwards compatible with the PS4 Pro. So I think it will be perceived by the consumers to be a half step and I think Shawn is telling the truth when he says it’ll be a full-fledged console.”
Pachter also said that he thinks that the PlayStation 5 is coming in 2019 or 2020, “but probably 2019.” The market will be primed for a 4K device at that point, Pachter says, when 4K reaches 50 percent market penetration.
“I think Sony has probably got the next console cycle nailed down already. I think, they already know what they got to do,” Pachter said.
How about some perspective?
I think a lot of what Pachter has to say is right on. A 2019 launch for the next PlayStation seems likely. The PS4 hit in 2013, and the PS4 Pro in 2016. I also think it’ll be backwards compatible with the PlayStation 4.
With that said, I think it’s too early to call the next console generation. Over and over, we’ve watched companies that should’ve had the next generation sewed up charge headlong into a bad idea. Sega raced to 50 percent market share and then botched the Saturn. Nintendo burned Sony and banked hard on game cartridges. Sony was so sure of its victory that it launched a console for $600 with Ridge Racer as a selling point. Then Microsoft thought it could sell gamers an always-on Netflix machine that also plays games. Each generation should’ve gone different based on past numbers. Whether the next generation will belong to Microsoft, or PC gaming is going to increase its foothold or something else, that I don’t know.
The thing to remember with this is that Pachter is a weatherman, but for video games. He wouldn’t keep his job if he wasn’t right often enough to make investors happy. But he can’t tell the future, either.
With that said, I’m definitely interested to see what Sony does in 2019.