The hype for the next generation of home consoles is taking shape. Microsoft has found ways to suck the air out of the sails by releasing new iterations of the Xbox every so often, with the latest being the Xbox One X, but Sony has been a lot more coy about any big announcements… until now. It sounds like a new PlayStation is coming along soon.
Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida confirmed to the Financial Times that it was necessary for the company to have “next-generation hardware.” The Financial Times was keen on stating that Yoshida did not explicitly call the next iteration of the PlayStation device the “PlayStation 5” but only referred to the project as “next-generation hardware.”
The Financial Times spoke with various analysts who believe that the media-appellation PS5 would likely be built on top of the existing PS4 hardware in order to leverage the existing architecture that has brought Sony so much success during the eighth generation of gaming. It would also work wonders for backwards compatibility, which has proven to be quite the success for Microsoft.
Other analysts and non-gamers are hoping that Sony embraces cloud gaming with a tablet-based device that focuses on eSports, according to the Financial Times.
Those on the outside looking in think that eSports is something that should be a cornerstone of the PS5, despite the fact that it’s a very niche pastime that only caters toward a very hardcore segment of certain gaming markets.
Sony has been apprehensive about fully embracing nascent fads and trends for fear of ending back up in the position the company did with the PS3, which was very forward-looking as far as technology was concerned back in 2006. However, due to the complex architecture and the high-price point of the PS3, it caused Sony a lot of financial woe during the first half of its run on the market. Later on, near the end of its life cycle, the PS3 began to recoup its losses.
Sony also took a rather tepid approach with VR this generation, supporting the PlayStation VR and offering gamers some software, but it avoided focusing too much of its resources on the PSVR and didn’t really orient the PS4’s ecosystem around virtual reality. That actually turned out to be a smart move, given the lukewarm consumer response to VR in general.
It makes sense why some analysts, however, would want Sony to take a big gamble on something unorthodox given that it paid off quite well for Nintendo with the Switch. But, Sony isn’t Nintendo.
Nintendo had a number of high-profile games that worked well both as home console and portable titles you could play on the go. Sony has mostly veered away from portable gaming after announcing that it would be ending production of the PS Vita; the company also hasn’t really focused on using its first-party studios for producing mobile titles.
With the next PlayStation system in development, what sort of features do you expect it to launch with when it does become available for purchase?