Next PlayStation console to debut in 2018, predicts analyst

The PS4 Pro has barely been out for six months, so it's hard to imagine another new game console from Sony in the near future. However, if the release of the PS4 Pro itself, along with the upcoming Xbox Project Scorpio, has shown us anything, it's that Sony and Microsoft are no longer sticking to a 5 to 7 year lifespan for their systems. With this in mind, it should come as little surprise that there's a new report on the next PlayStation launching as early as 2018.

This news comes from the Wall Street Journal, which refers to a prediction from Damian Thong, an analyst with Macquarie Capital Securities. Thong believes that Sony is planning to release a "next-generation PlayStation" by the end of 2018. There's little other details, unfortunately, but the WSJ points out that this comes from the same analyst who correctly predicted the launches of the PS4 Pro and Slim models.

While this short track record of correct prediction may count for something, this news should be taken with a decent size grain of salt. Sony has been highlighting how well the PS4 console has been selling, and any sort of announcement of new hardware in the next six months would have a dramatic effect on sales, especially the PS4 Pro, which, as previously noted, has barely been on the market for very long.

On the other hand, this prediction could be accurate when considering that Sony may be eager to keep up with Microsoft's Project Scorpio, which has more powerful specs than the PS4 Pro and is expected to launch later this year. There's also the fact that the original PS4 was announced roughly nine months before it went on sale, while the Slim and Pro were introduced only one week and two months, respectively, prior to their launch. It's certainly possible an early 2018 announcement of new hardware could be followed by a release in the fall.

It's also important to note that we really have no idea what "next-generation PlayStation" could mean at this point. It could be a full step up from the PS4 platform, meaning something like the "PlayStation 5," or it could be a simple revision and upgrade of the PS4 Pro. The latter would allow Sony to release a console that matches Project Scorpio in power, shift the Pro down to the entry-level, and discontinue the standard PS4 altogether. Basically what Apple has been doing with its smartphones and tablets for the last decade.

Either way, until we hear more on this prediction or start seeing leaks from inside sources, we're in for many months of waiting to see if this pans out.

SOURCE Wall Street Journal