Even as the PlayStation 4 racks up the sales records, the internet rumour mill has begun to predict the release schedule of the PS5.
A combination of cutting-edge hardware and ground-breaking games have helped fuel the success of the current generation - and it doesn't look like gamers are losing their appetite yet. But we always want to know what's next, don't we?
The fact more of us are gaming on our smartphones and tablets and the result is the ten-year lifespan quoted by console manufacturers could be due a change.
Sony might not want to wait too long before jumping into the console mix for a fifth time, and the rumours have already begun to materialise.
Sony PlayStation 5: Release Date
We reckon we might be looking at a five or six year wait until the PlayStation 5 hits shelves, meaning we'll be marking 2020 in our calendars. Ex-Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach definitely thinks another generation will follow this one, though with the demise of physical media the hardware may look a lot different.
Speaking to MTV back in 2014, Sony's Software Product Development Head Scott Rhode was happy to share when Sony would start thinking about the new PlayStation console.
"We tend to start thinking about the development of the next system, surprisingly only a few years into the life cycle of the current gen."
"Of course very soon, we'll start thinking about what we'll do next. That's the culture at Sony. We always have to do something that's bigger and better than what's already been done."
Sony’s UK boss, Fergal Gara was happy to add to this talking more about how the change in attitudes means Sony has to work at a much faster pace.
"It's probably a sign of the times and how much has changed in seven years, but I think the willingness and the appetite to pick up new technology fast has probably changed quite a bit," he said.
Gara was quick to point out that, at least for the next few years; Sony will be putting its considerable technological muscle behind the PlayStation 4. Sony waited seven years before launching the successor to its hugely popular PlayStation 3 console.
"We're going to have a much better feel for it once we're a good few months in and we can see how the dynamics are emerging,” he said.
"What we do know is that the [PS4] uptake is going to be very sharp. Does that mean this is going to be a much bigger cycle? Maybe. Or it might mean that it's just a bit more compressed into the first few years, that the latter years are a little softer."
Back in 2014 The Examiner reports that Sony's next console could have a shorter release cycle than the PS4.
One comment from AMD's Devinder Kumar suggesting that next-gen consoles are indeed on the way - remember AMD supplies processors for the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 - but his hints are vague and far from conclusive.
Sony PlayStation 5 specs
The PS4 has been flying off the shelves since it arrived in November 2013 – ushering in the eighth generation of home console gaming.
While the sales figures prove there’s more appetite for console gaming than at any point in the history of video games, the emphasis has noticeably shifted towards an all-encompassing media hub. The process began with the PS3 and Xbox 360, but has become even more important thanks to online streaming services like Netflix and Spotify.
We loved the original PS4 and Xbox One consoles, but 500GB doesn’t quite cut it, especially when you’re installing full-sized games so Sony released a 1TB version in 2015 and we'd expect a later console to improve on that thanks to cheaper storage.
The 1TB console was originally announced at E3 20015, where there was also a new 1TB Xbox One.
The big question is how well the new wave of VR headsets are going to do with gamers (and indeed movie fans) - in a couple of years we should have a better idea of what the future of gaming is going to look like, and hardware makers can then plan accordingly.
Sony PlayStation 5 appearance
Since the PlayStation 2 first appeared way back in March 2000, Sony has favoured the design of the sleek, black box. In the case of the PS2 and PS4, it’s been sharp with angular edges. The PS3 was a bit of a departure as the Japanese company went with a bulky curved design before a couple of smaller refreshes.
We’d be safe in saying the PlayStation 5 is likely to follow that same design pattern with a square, black chassis and the requisite USB and AV ports on the front and back.
In fact, some initial concepts of the PlayStation 5 already exist on the web. The design team at VoucherCodesPro has created some concept images of what Sony’s next machine could look like – as well as other designs for Microsoft’s next Xbox and Nintendo’s next Wii.
As you can see from the image above, the concept bears a strong similarity to Sony’s PlayStation 4. And, if Sony reveals the new PlayStation sooner than the seven-year gap between the PS3 and PS4, it could choose to limit the cost by keeping the design aesthetic similar to the current gen.
According to the design team, the new PS5 would keep the black colouring but would use a blue power light: “a colour that has become synonymous with PlayStation over the years.”
We’re sure this won’t be the last PlayStation 5 concept you’re going to see over the next few years – but let us know your thoughts on VoucherCodesPro’s attempt.
Sony PlayStation 5: Price
When it comes to the pricing of any new console, there’s no hard and fast rule for predicting ahead of time. What we can do, is look back at the relative launch prices of each successive generation to produce a guesstimate of Sony’s plan.
When the PS2 launched, it was priced at £300 – the same price as the very first PlayStation which arrived back in 1995.
Best PS4 games: The ultimate list of titles to buy now and pre-order
Sony’s launch pricing took on a dramatic rise with the PS3 which came in with an RRP of £425 – especially when compared to the $599 US price, which was about the same as the standard £300 back in 2007. It was this pricing that lost the PS3 ground to the premium Xbox 360 that cost £279 at launch.
Finally, Sony reversed the position by pricing the PS4 at £349 when it launched in the UK last month. It’s significantly cheaper than the £429 Xbox One, although that does come with the bundled Kinect camera.
Taking all that into account, its likely Sony will price the PlayStation 5 at between £350 and £400 when it finally comes out.
If you’ve got any thoughts on Sony’s PlayStation 5, let us know via the T3.com Facebook page or across Twitter.Also check out Xbox Two vs PlayStation 5: is the next generation coming?