Microsoft may be about to throw a spanner into the works of the console arms race with its (due in late 2017), but there are good reasons to believe that Sony is less comfortable with the idea of taking a mobile phone-style “upgrade every year” approach to consoles in the future.
In his recent autumn statement, chancellor Philip Hammond announced an infrastructure investment aimed at bringing fast broadband and 5G mobile data to the UK.
But the earliest that would have an impact would be 2021, and the PlayStation 5 will almost certainly arrive before then.
Perhaps its first mid-cycle update, though, will be a streaming version that takes advantage of burgeoning 5G networks?
When do we expect the PlayStation 5?
Given that the PlayStation 4 was launched in 2013 and Sony’s previous consoles arrived in six-year intervals, it would be easy to project that it will launch the PlayStation 5 in 2019.
The sort of technology available then should easily allow full native 4K games without saddling the PlayStation 5 with a massive price-tag and, by 2019, 4K TVs will be the norm, rather than the exception, in the average household.
Sony has taken a lot of (justifiable) flak for not putting a 4K Blu-ray drive in the PS4 Pro – making it a less attractive purchase for film and TV buffs than the Xbox One S.
Sony recently became the first console manufacturer to embrace virtual reality, thanks to the PlayStation VR, but if you examine PlayStation VR closely – and Observe how it operates on the PS4 Pro – it invites Speculation about how a PS5 MIGHT take VR to a new level.
Currently, PlayStation VR operates at a lower resolution than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – but, as it stands, even its current incarnation almost pushes the base of PlayStation 4 beyond its limits.
Running a PlayStation on a PS4 VR Pro brings improved frame rates, which are very handy indeed in terms of the overall VR experience, but even the PS4 Pro can not Overcome the resolution constraints set by the PlayStation VR headset.