The PlayStation 5’s rollout was one of the most chaotic times in the history of Sony‘s signature gaming console. It was plagued by pre-order pandemonium, an influx of scalpers setting astronomical resale prices, and supply chain disruptions like no other console in recent memory had seen. (Except for the Xbox Series X/S, of course. The two were released around the same time in November 2020.) But what’s next for Sony? Are they already working on the PlayStation 6? What about the PlayStation 7? Here’s what we know.
Is the PlayStation 7 On Its Way?
While it hardly feels like it, the PlayStation 5 is already three years old. The gap between the PS4’s release date and the PS5‘s was a whole seven years. As was the gap between the PS3 and the PS4. That means we very well could be nearing the halfway point between the PS5 and the PS6. With this in mind, Sony researchers and developers are likely already hard at work on the next major PlayStation console.
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that some of the ideas these folks are coming up with are being saved for the console after next. Sometimes, certain advanced ideas are exciting on paper but difficult to bring to life in the real world. It’s a common phenomenon to hear that an idea for a cutting-edge piece of technology actually dated back nearly half a century before it was ever fully realized. The very same could be (and very likely is) true of the PS7.
In other words, yes: The PlayStation 7 is absolutely on the way. It’s not next in line, to be clear, but it’s certainly not a pie in the sky either. Sony’s team still has a while to set things in stone — not to mention a sixth PlayStation to perfect and release in the coming years — but it’s undoubtedly floating around in the back of their minds. But what can we expect from this PS7? What sorts of features will it have? And when will it be released?
With the rise of computer gaming and the popularity of building your PC, there has recently been talk of an end to traditional console gaming. It can be frustrating to be locked into one console with one specific hardware array when PC gamers can customize and upgrade their computers as often as they’d like. For this reason, many gaming experts predict the PS6 or the PS7 will mark the beginning of a new kind of console — one that allows for major modular upgrades.
Another prediction floating around the future of the PlayStation? The idea of universal backward compatibility. Dedicated gamers are still playing PlayStation games dating as far back as the original console from the mid-90s. Given the popularity of emulators, we know that it’s possible to play older games on newer consoles. What’s stopping the PS6 or the PS7 from finally allowing you to play any PlayStation game from any console? Fingers crossed this prediction comes true for the PlayStation 7.
It’s also predicted that either the PS6 or the PS7 will be a fully digital console. If the PlayStation 6 doesn’t make it official, then the PlayStation 7 almost certainly will. It’s yet another move that would align consoles with PCs, and it’s not too far from the current reality either. The PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S already offer a digital version of the console alongside a traditional version with a disc drive. We can probably expect to see the PS6 or the PS7 drop this disc slot entirely.
Possible PS7 Features
With these PS7 predictions in mind, what sorts of features can we expect to see with the PlayStation 7? The most reasonable expectations are the ones not far off from what the console currently offers. Think about it: The PlayStation 3’s features and capabilities aren’t all that far off from the PlayStation 5’s. Sure, the hardware’s faster, the performance is better, and the software is better, but we’re still playing PS3 games like Grand Theft Auto V on our PS5s.
This is the same sort of gap we’ll be dealing with when comparing the current PS5 to the future PS7. That said, expect the PS7 to lean even more into the ultra-high-definition, high frame rate, HDR gaming the PlayStation has offered since the PS4. Likewise, we can expect even more virtual and augmented reality gaming with the PS7. With any luck, you won’t even have to buy a separate headset to enjoy the full potential of the PS7’s AR/VR offerings.
Wireless charging for controllers is another possible PS7 feature. If we don’t see this show up for the PS6, we should definitely anticipate its arrival with the release of the PlayStation 7. Broadly speaking, the PS7’s library of games will almost definitely feature the kind of high-quality, lifelike graphics we can’t even begin to imagine today. PS6 games are going to look exceptional, and PS7 games will only improve upon that tenfold.
Estimated PS7 Release Date
Expert opinions are divided on when to expect any future Sony consoles. In years past, a new PlayStation has arrived every six or seven years. There were six years between the PlayStation and the PS2, another six between the PS2 and the PS3, and seven between the PS3 and PS4 as well as the PS4 and the PS5. Extrapolating from this trend, we can reasonably expect the PS6 between 2026 and 2027 and the PS7 between 2032 and 2034.
However, inside sources at Microsoft and other gaming developers have said they actually expect the PS6 to arrive in 2028. This would be a pretty significant departure from the six- to seven-year cycle of the past. Sony has trademarked consoles all the way through to the PS10, so all signs point toward a long and continued future for the PlayStation console. While we can’t be certain how that future will pan out, we can at least rest easy knowing that Sony’s thinking that far ahead.
One more question: What if Sony bucks the trend and enters into a faster release cycle? It’s not totally out of the question, especially if the home console shifts more in line with gaming PC technology. This would mean major upgrades every one to two years, not every six or seven. Until we have some additional information on this rumor, it’s best to set our expectations for the PlayStation 7 to arrive in the early 2030s.
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