PS6 release date rumours, latest news, updates and what to expect from Sony's next console
The PlayStation 5 has been hugely popular, with low stock and constant demand. How can Sony build on that success and what can we expect from the PS6?
Yes, we know the PlayStation 5 still feels very much next-gen thanks to its new PS5 controllers and fast-loading SSDs, but some fans are already looking forward to the PlayStation 6.
It has already been over three years since the PS5 launched (we don't understand how either) and PlayStation has followed a seven-year lifespan in recent generations, with the PS3 arriving in 2006, the PS4 launching in 2013 and, of course, the PS5 famously releasing mid-pandemic in 2020.
Applying this lifespan today would mean we're around halfway into the library and shelf-life of Sony's latest console - with talk of a mid-gen Slim refresh on the way soon.
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Despite all that, there have been some documents that suggest the current-gen could last a bit longer than previous ones - something to do with those initial days where you couldn't buy a PS5, perhaps?
Taking everything into account, here's when you might expect the PS6 release date. Read on for everything we've heard and speculated about how much it might cost and how streaming could make a big difference.
When will we get a PS6 release date?
The PS6 doesn't look likely to launch until at least 2028, according to official documents and speculation that has been made around them.
As part of the UK's Competition and Markets Authority investigation into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, documents have revealed that Sony does not intend to release a new console until after 2027.
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The interesting part of this document, which certainly seems to imply that Sony will not be launching the next PlayStation console on this side of 2027, reads as follows:
"Microsoft has offered to continue making Activision's games available on PlayStation only until 2027... By the time SIE launched the next generation of its PlayStation console (which is likely to occur around [redacted]), it would have lost access to Call of Duty and other Activision titles, making it extremely vulnerable to consumer switching and subsequent degradation in its competitiveness."
"Even assuming that SIE had the ability and resources to develop a similarly successful franchise to Call of Duty, it would take many, many years and billions of dollars to create a challenger to Call of Duty – and the example of EA's Battlefield shows that any such efforts would more than likely be unsuccessful."
This roughly falls in line with the length of recent console cycles, a cycle which Sony's Executive Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Operation Masayasu Ito confirmed would be repeated in an interview with Game Informer.
He said: "In the past, the cycle for a new platform was seven to ten years, but in view of the very rapid development and evolution of technology, it’s really a six to seven year platform cycle."
He added: "Therefore our thinking is that as far as a platform is concerned for the PS5, it’s a cycle of maybe six to seven years. But doing that, a platform lifecycle, we should be able to change the hardware itself and try to incorporate advancements in technology. That was the thinking behind it, and the test case of that thinking was the PS4 Pro that launched in the midway of the PS4 launch cycle."
Of course, the advent of game streaming may mean that by the time the PS6 comes around, consoles have taken on a very different format.
PS6 price: how much will it cost?
Again, at this early stage we'll have to rely on history to suggest what the new console might cost. The PS3 launched at £425 in the UK. When the PS4 arrived it cost a lower price of £349. Finally, the PS5 launched at £449, the highest of the three (it has since increased to £475, too).
On the one hand it's easy to imagine this upward trajectory continuing, but it's also important to note that the growing popularity of game streaming could counter this. Game streaming relies on a good internet connection to stream games to your console without any disc or download, both PlayStation and Xbox are introducing streaming facilities and they'll be far more developed by the time the next console comes around.
Essentially, game streaming means that the bulk of the computing is done in the cloud and less demand is put on your console. This could mean that consoles of the future rely on super-fast internet connections but actually need less expensive, powerful internals. We'll have to wait and see.
What should we expect from the PS6?
So, historical lessons suggest we'll get a console that costs around £400-£500, releases in 2027 and is called the PS6. All that depends on the impact that game streaming has on the console market though.
The next generation of consoles will no doubt be a crucial one. While the PS5 has outsold the Xbox Series X, it's also the case that Microsoft has made some interesting competitive moves, buying up huge game studios like ZeniMax Media and even Activision Blizzard (though the latter acquisition is still pending at the time of writing).
This means that future blockbuster games from these studios — think the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, plus Call of Duty and World of Warcraft — could soon be Microsoft exclusive.
However good the PS6 is, some players might be tempted by the Xbox alternative if that does happen. Luckily for Sony fans, PlayStation has been working on its own mergers and acquisitions, as well, picking up the Destiny developers from Bungie most recently.
With all of this going on, you can be that IP and franchises will be right at the core of the next generation of the so-called console wars, and Sony will have plenty of competition.