Sony has had an interesting week. PS4 sales have been good throughout 2016, and it still leads the console race against Microsoft’s Xbox One. But something is amiss. The company’s philosophy moving forward feels divisive, with an unimpressive PS4 Pro reveal joining a packed end to the year that will feature three different versions of the PS4, not including PlayStation VR, which launches in October.
It seems strange that, with Microsoft holding off Xbox Scorpio until late 2017, Sony would push the PS4 Pro out the door so soon.
It’s a confusing direction, but one that makes sense if the latest rumours out of the industry are to be believed.
Macquarie Group analyst Damian Thong, who recently predicted both the PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim, says Sony will release the PS4’s predecessor in 2018. That would put the console cycle for PlayStation at five years, which isn’t short, but isn’t particularly long, either, especially when compared to the seven-year different between the PS3 and PS4.
The Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki, another respected industry commentator, revealed Thong’s comments.
PS4 Pro? Wait, what about PS5? Macquarie’s Damian Thong who correctly predicted PS4 slim and Pro says PS5 may arrive in 2nd half of 2018.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) September 8, 2016
It’s a prediction, and a strange one. There’s no doubt that both Sony and Microsoft are deep into planning for the next stage of the console cycle … even if that doesn’t directly involve “hardware”. Both have changed the hardware landscape with the PS4 Pro and Scorpio, but these may simply act as marketing ploys to offer something new between generations as a means to keep the market active and spending money.
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