With the success of the PS4, game enthusiasts are curious about when the rumored PS5 will be released. These rumors have intensified after financial analyst Damian Thong reported he expects Sony to release the PS5 in 2018 to help compete with XBox’s new consoles. Here’s what Thong writes (via Barron):
We are more bullish on image sensors. We have raised our FY3/18 CMOS image sensor OP estimate for to ¥85bn from ¥65bn on the back of 12% sales growth, and see room for upside. We believe Sony’s new 3-layer stacked sensor – deployed Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium and XZs smartphones unveiled at MWC – reinforces their technological lead. The new sensor will provide for up to 1,000 frames/sec image capture and “super slow motion” capability.
We see sustained profit growth in Game & Network Services. We forecast OP growth from ¥140bn in FY3/17 to ¥180bn in FY3/18, driven by expanding software sales and profits. A rising digital ratio and a higher mix of first-party titles will help margins – Horizon Zero Dawn, which launched on 28 Feb, looks to have had a good start with a Metacritic score of 88. While we have tempered expectations to account for rivalry with Microsoft/Xbox and PC gaming, we note that the success of PS VR (which has reached 915K units sold) highlights the health of the ecosystem. We expect Sony to launch a >10 TFLOPS ‘PS5’ in 2H18 to secure the installed base.
Fast turnaround in Pictures is unlikely, but we see improvement: We estimate OP of just ¥40bn in FY3/18 and ¥45bn in FY3/19, even with Spider-Man: Homecoming in July. Sony’s theatrical film business is still challenged by a lack of strong franchises, and faces a no-growth US box office. On the plus side, Sony’s film slate revamp continues, and the alliance with Dalian Wanda may be expanded to drive better access to the China market.
Most of the 2018 rumors have stemmed from Thong’s assertion that Sony will release the console in 2018, but not everyone agrees. Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter told PlayStation Universe gamers should not expect the PS5 until 2019 or 2020.
I don’t [see that happening]. I think Scorpio will have same rules as PS4 Pro- every game made for PS4 Pro has to be fully compatible with PS4. Similarly, every game on Scorpio will have to be backward compatible on Xbox One. So what I think that means is that games will have to run at, say, 1080p and 60fps, but can be upgraded to 4k and 240fps or whatever it will be. But the game will have both on the disc, the hardware will know what file to play, so the Xbox One or PS4 looks for the standard file, while the Pro or Scorpio will pick up the better, faster content. I think that’s what you’ll see, I don’t think that’s a problem, and I think that very few games will support Xbox One Scorpio at launch- the games that support PS4 Pro will definitely support Scorpio, and they may not even run at 4K.
So games will run better, but they will be backward compatible- Microsoft is not replacing the Xbox One- they are upgrading it. So no, Sony will not come up with more hardware in 2018. You may get a PS5 in 2019 or maybe 2020, and an Xbox Two in 2020, and we will continue to get new consoles every three years, and their software will be compatible with the system released right before it. I think that’s going to be the pattern.
Additional rumors speculate there will be two versions of the PS5 including one that comes with a VR headset. This would make sense given the early success of VR on PS4. Sony has not announced a release date for the PS5 but the 2018 rumors look to be premature at this time. Heavy will continue to update you as more info is released on the PS5.