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PS5 rumours and release date: Insider says that PS5 prototype has gone out

While we’re still trying to figure out exactly when the PS5 will be released, lucky third-party game developers may already have received a PS5 prototype.

Earlier this month, famed games insider Marcus Sellars, announced that PS5 dev kits had been sent out to third-party game studios at the beginning of 2018.

Sellars has a great track record of predicting release dates and feeding out accurate information. Recently, he’s correctly predicted Call of Duty: Black Ops 4; the launch of Nintendo Labo and Dark Souls on the Nintendo Switch; as well as the correct March date of Nintendo Direct.

Developer kits are physical working prototypes of a new console. They often take the form of a PC or specialised pieces of hardware that mirrors how the final product will run. Essentially, it’s sent out to developers so that they can develop games that fit the final console’s specs.

It’s also interesting to note how Sellars specifically identified ‘third-party developers’, which likely means in-house developers have already had time to play with it.

Here’s everything else we know about the PS5. Let us know your thoughts in the comments too.

PS5 release date: Everything you need to know about the PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 5, or PS5 as it’ll eventually be known, is the inevitable follow-up to the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. Sony brought the PS4 into the world at the tail end of 2013, with a Japanese release following a few months later.

Four years on, Sony has released another PlayStation console in the form of the PS4 Pro and seems to be promising us that it won’t be cutting off the PS4 anytime soon. But, with rumours increasing around a PlayStation 5, and Sony in dire need of a competitor to Microsoft’s overpowered Xbox One X, we could see one land sooner, rather than later.

Even Sony’s Shawn Layden confirmed the existence of a PS5 in an interview with German website Golem.de, but how long will you be expected to wait until its launch? And what kind of specifications are we expecting?

We’ve rounded up the best rumours on PS5 specifications and release dates, to give you a comprehensive guide to what you can expect from the PS5, and when you can expect it. We’ll keep on updating this page as and when we learn more about the PS5.

PS5 release date: When will it arrive?

There have been debates aplenty from analysts over the launch date of the PS5, with estimations ranging from 2018 to the fiendishly futuristic-sounding 2020s. Safe in the knowledge that a fifth-generation PlayStation is indeed in the works – as mentioned above, Sony bosses have confirmed it is “coming” – fans are now attempting to decode a loose timeline for the release.

If we cast our eyes back a few years, we know the initial PlayStation was brought out in 1994, a staggering 23 years ago. Fast-forward a few *decades* and 2013 saw the launch of the original PS4. Four years later still, and we’ve just seen the excellent (albeit not exactly revolutionary) PS4 Pro emerge. Our sister site Alphr reckons that, according to these time cycles, we’ll see the PS5 emerge in 2019 at the earliest, with 2020 looking like the more feasible release date for the fifth-generation PlayStation.

David Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities who boasts good track record on PlayStation predictions, believes that we’ll see the PlayStation 5 rolled out in the second half of 2018. He’s one to keep an eye on, as he successfully predicted the launch of the PS4 Slim and the PS4 Pro, so his ostensibly dubious foresight shouldn’t be dismissed.

New theories around the release of the PS5 have emerged, with two analysts offering up their thoughts on Sony’s next PlayStation home console.

One analyst, Damian Thong, from Macquarie Capital Securities, believes we could see a PS5 as early as this year. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Thong believes we’ll see a next-gen PlayStation within the second half of 2018.

Generally, this seemingly absurd statement would simply be dismissed but Thong was correct in predicting both the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro, so perhaps he’s worth listening to on this front. The earliest sign we’d see Sony backing this would be at E3 2018 in June, but with games lined up for the PS4 and PS4 Pro until the end of this year and early 2019, it’s hard to believe such claims just yet.

The second analyst, Michael Patcher from Wedbush Securities, also believes we’ll see the PS5 soon, but states 2019 as the earliest it’ll arrive. Patcher believes that it’ll also be backwards compatible with PS4 and PS4 Pro games, essentially making it a similar proposition to the Xbox One X for PlayStation fans.

Patcher also thinks that the reason for a 2019 window, over a 2018 one, boils down to Sony waiting for the adoption of 4K to become more ubiquitous among consumers. For now, the PS4 Pro bridges the gap adequately, but a PS5 would offer true 4K gaming at a level currently unseen in consoles.

In an interview with GamingBolt, Patcher explained that he could also see the PS5 slip to 2020 – a release window we believe is more accurate.

“My expectation that is that it’s not coming out in 2018. That is a 2019 0r 2020 but probably 2019. 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.”

The principal flaw in Thong’s prediction remains, of course, that it’s unlikely Sony would unveil another flagship product so soon after the release of its PS4 Pro. We’re with Alphr on this one – like marriage or settling down to read Proust, if you’re waiting it out for the PS5, you’re in it for the long haul.

PS5 release date: What to expect?

Given the far-off release date, rumours circulating the PS5’s specifications aren’t exactly what you’d deem reliable. We can, however, make educated guesses. As the successor to the already excellent PS4 Pro, we can safely assert that Sony will need to roll out some impressive new technology in order to shift the new console.

Whilst we loved the PS4 Pro, one arena it failed to pack any punches in was innovation. We dubbed it “not a gamechanger”, and deemed its extra £100 price tag unworthy. With reviews like that, it’s understandable if Sony is galvanised into some seriously creative product development.

The PS5 will definitely need to up its power game, so we predict it’ll shed the AMP-based processor and start using Nvidia’s technology, something that the Nintendo Switch carried off with aplomb. The only thing that makes us waver on this front is that it would invalidate compatibility with the AMD-based PS4 and PS4 pro models.

PS5 release date: Could the Nintendo Switch inspire Sony?

Interestingly, it looks as if the Nintendo Switch could actually have an influence on what the PlayStation 5 turns out like. It’s also likely that Sony is planning to change up its business model for its next console too, in an effort to keep chasing the high it currently finds itself in.

Speaking with the English version of Japan’s Nikkei newspaper, Sony’s head of corporate planning Kazuhiko Takeda revealed that the company “can’t ignore the Nintendo Switch” as it has “captured consumers’ attention.” This doesn’t mean Sony is suddenly going to venture back into the portables business after the failure of the PSP and PS Vita outside of Japan, but it does show they’re paying attention to people’s desire for high-quality, flexible gaming.

Takeda also explained that Sony’s plan for future growth revolves around the idea of getting “more customers paying continuously for content”. Before you run to the hills for microtransactions and loot boxes, he explained that he perceives this being via “paid subscription services” such as PlayStation Plus or PlayStation Now.

If it’s a PlayStation Now-led venture with game streaming being at the heart of the PS5, it could make Sony’s console wonderfully compact and near-portable.

We will update this page as and when we learn more about the PlayStation 5.

(Image: Ninac26 used under Creative Commons)

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