The current console generation is coming to an end, and we already know which console will be the winner when the lights go out.
This is Sony’s PS4, which took the lead early on in the race thanks to Sony billing it as a no-frills, straightforward gaming machine and not as an overpriced multimedia brick like the original Xbox One was. The PS4 was also slightly more powerful than the Xbox One at launch (and cheaper), making it the console to get.
So it’s not surprising that Sony recently announced that the PS4 has sold more than 100 million units to date, an impressive figure indeed. This puts the console in a very exclusive club: it’s one of five gaming machines which has sold more than 100 million units to date. The others are Sony’s own PS2 (155 million), Nintendo’s DS (154 million), Sony’s original PlayStation (102 million) and the Nintendo Wii (101 million).
And it’s perhaps the massive success of the PS4 which recently led Sony to trademark not only its successor the PS5, but also the PS6, as was recently covered on Forbes.
Surprisingly, the Japanese company also trademarked the PS7, PS8, PS9 and the PS10.
Now it’s pretty obvious to most people that there will be a PS6 – console generations now being about 7 years long, it’s very unlikely that traditional home consoles such as the PlayStation will disappear in that time, so a PlayStation 6 is a given.
What hardware the PS6 will sport is completely unknown at this point. The PS5 will be launching during the 2020 holiday season and will support 4K and 8K resolutions, will feature an advanced AMD processor, an SSD drive and be capable of handling VR far better than the vanilla PS4 and even the PS4 Pro.
So we can expect a PS6 no later than 2027 with photoreal 16K graphics, a super 16-core processor and truly immersive, lifelike VR? Maybe.
What’s coming beyond that is a mystery though, and there’s no guarantee we’ll ever see a PS10. There’s a possibility some unforeseen event will put an end to the PlayStation brand (unlikely) or that in the future PlayStation will be a streaming service, letting you play games from any machine (from mobile phone to laptop) you’ve got at home. The failure or success of Google’s Stadia will have a lot to do with that.
Regarding Sony’s trademarking of PS6 and above, there’s another reason for this: there’s nothing to prevent another company from trademarking, say PS7, forcing Sony to court in order to get back the trademark. There’s no doubt Sony would win the battle, but it’s better not to have to deal with the anxiety of having to face squatters in court at a future date… Or maybe Sony already has laid out the technological foundations for the next couple of generations and this is the reason why it has secured the trademarks in advance.
Time will tell, though, what’s in store for the PlayStation brand, but for the time being it would be a great thing is the PS4 kept getting superb games until Sony decides to retire it at some point in the future, while those planning to get hold of a PlayStation 5 next year will hopefully get a machine which lives up to the hype and which gets some great exclusives too.