When it comes to the biggest names in console gaming, it is fair to say that few have reached the incredible heights enjoyed by Sony’s series of PlayStation systems.
The consoles have been a hit with gamers ever since the original was released back in 1995, with the PlayStation 2 even going on to become the biggest-selling console of all time. Fast forward to the present day and the PlayStation 4 remains a hit five years after it first launched, with lifetime sales estimated to have reached more than 82 million earlier in 2018.
With all of this in mind, it is understandable that excitement is building in terms of just what Sony will come up with next. Speculation about a PlayStation 5 console is rife and interesting new reports have boosted the hype even further in recent weeks.
Exciting new rumours
Regular readers will be aware that eagle-eyed LinkedIn users spotted an employee for the Square Enix studio Luminous Productions recently listed that he was working on a new AAA title for the PS5. However, following those revelations, new rumors have now emerged regarding a potential launch plan for the eagerly anticipated console.
Digital Trends reports that a Redditor known as RuthenicCookie has claimed to have inside information, with Sony expected to reveal the PS5 in the middle of next year. A further look at the console is set to come at the PlayStation Experience event, with the console then being released in March or November 2020.
Such news is undoubtedly exciting, but what can we expect from the console itself? While there has been speculation that the AMD Ryzen CPU will power the system, we think there are two key trends that the PS5 and other next-generation consoles will have to consider if they are going to prove to be a success with gamers.
The rise of eSports
Arguably the most exciting trend to emerge in gaming in a number of years, competitive gaming has become a full-fledged industry and is on the cusp of hitting the mainstream. The global eSports economy is set to be worth $905.6 million this year, with a growing number of brands including Nike and Red Bull identifying the massive sponsorship opportunities that the industry now offers. It has even now led to the creation of an offshoot betting scene, with established names in sports betting like Betway offering odds on eSports events based around games including League of Legends, Overwatch, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
It will be fascinating to see how the growth of eSports is reflected in next-generation consoles. For example, will special efforts be made to ensure that the systems allow gamers to easily follow the latest tournaments? In addition, will steps be taken to improve the speed at which console owners themselves can get involved in online competitions? It will be interesting to see how the issue has been factored into the new technology.
Another major trend in gaming in recent years has been the rise of live streaming. There are of course already rumours of a discless version of the Xbox One being released in 2019, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility that next-generation consoles will examine this area further.
In addition, exciting new projects such as Microsoft’s Project xCloud and Google’s Project Stream are looking at streaming, with the former even looking at the potential of making games available across a range of devices. In contrast, the latter is examining the possibility of operating blockbuster titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on a Chrome browser.
With streaming becoming more and more important to gamers, it will be interesting to see what digital capabilities a console like the PS5 possesses. While it seems unlikely that the console will feature no disc drive, the importance of its streaming capabilities cannot be underestimated.
A bright future ahead?
While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have provided some high-quality gaming experiences across the past few years, it is fair to say that many gamers are already excited about what the future may hold.
With the release of the PS5 reportedly edging ever closer, we simply cannot wait to see how Sony will once again revolutionise our gaming experiences.