Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida has confirmed plans for a successor to the PlayStation 4, marking the first time the company has officially commented on the matter.
“At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have a [sic] next-generation hardware,” Yoshida told the Financial Times, although he declined to refer to the device as the “PlayStation 5,” the logical name for a PS4 successor.
Sony working on a new PlayStation system is hardly a surprise, given that console manufacturers are well-known for constantly researching and developing new hardware. The fact that the PlayStation 4 has been a massive success for Sony also all but confirms that a successor will come at some point.
However, the biggest takeaway from The Financial Times report is that the next PlayStation “might not represent a major departure from the PS4, and that the fundamental architecture would be similar.”
It’s unclear what major features the fifth PlayStation console would have, but it’s likely that cloud functionality will be one of them. In July 2012, Sony acquired cloud gaming startup Gaikai for $380 million USD and later used this technology in its PlayStation Now game streaming service.
While PlayStation Now hasn’t really taken off — what with its initially steep prices and the current state of streaming tech — it’s likely that Sony will still pursue cloud gaming further, especially given what its competitors are doing.
Rival console maker Microsoft is investing heavily in cloud gaming, an effort that’s bolstered by the company’s robust Azure cloud services. Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed Project xCloud, a service that aims to allow for console-quality game streaming on any device, including a smartphone.
This follows a July 2018 report that Microsoft is developing a game streaming Xbox console as part of the next generation of gaming hardware it briefly spoke about at this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo.
Even Nintendo is dabbling in cloud gaming, with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and the Canadian-made Assassin’s Creed Odyssey being offered in Japan on the Switch exclusively through streaming.
Nintendo is also reportedly planning to release a new iteration of the Switch, although the company is said to still be looking into specific hardware and software features to add.
Source: The Financial Times