Sony could release the PlayStation 5 in 2019, according to an analyst, who adds that it'll feature backward compatibility.
The prediction comes just a couple of weeks after Shawn Layden, PlayStation America's boss, confirmed that the company will develop a PS4 Pro sequel, the PS5 — the next iteration of the PlayStation brand. This essentially means that Sony won't release a PS4 mid-gen refresh, but an honest to goodness next-gen console instead.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter made the prediction, suggesting that the PS5 will run PS4 Pro titles, which in turn means it'll run base PS4 games too. Sony didn't give away a concrete release date, so Pachter gives a calculated guess: the PS5 will come out 2019.
Pachter says the PS4 Pro is a half a step toward the PS5.
"I think the PS5 will be another half step," said Pachter. "It will 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."
PS5: The Timing Will Be Right, Pachter Thinks
Pachter thinks Sony has the opportunity to release the console at an opportune time. Microsoft, on one hand, will release the 4K-capable Xbox One X later this year; Sony, on the other hand, plans to release its own 4K-capable console in two years' time — when more people have adopted to 4K TVs.
"Sony is probably timing it better because they are going to bring out a 4K capable device when the 4K TV market reaches 50% in the USA and 35% in the rest of the world," said Pachter.
He thinks Sony has pretty much figured everything out, that it knows what it's doing and what it has to do to get the console and the release date right. It also stands to reason that plans could change depending on how well masses receive the Xbox One X. Should consumers warm up to Microsoft's $499 beast of a console, Sony can determine what Microsoft got right — whether it's the price, the specs, the lineup of games, or something else entirely.
Considering Different Predictions
It's worth considering that just a few months ago, a different analyst made another prediction altogether. Damian Thong, from Macquarie Capital Securities, said the PS5 could launch in the second half of 2018.
With that in mind, it's worth noting that not all predictions end up being accurate, and these aren't necessarily based on insider information, either. It's best to hear it outright from Sony, although that might not happen anytime soon.