After a wave of theories, predictions, and leaks, the official rollout for Sony’s next home console has begun. System architect Mark Cerny started things off with a tease of the console’s hardware in a Wired interview, and now, via the company’s report on the 2018 fiscal year, we know that the PlayStation 5 won’t launch before spring 2020.
Analysis of the forecasts in Sony’s consolidated financial results led us to conclude that the PS5 won’t be launching before the close of the 2019 fiscal year and The Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki confirmed as much with Sony. We know that the company will be dishing out lots of money for advertising when the PS5 launch is set in stone and a specific element Mochizuki points toward is the lack of an increase in marketing cost for the 2019 fiscal year, which is the time between April 2019 and March 2020.
Looking at how the PS4 performed, Sony definitely shouldn’t rush to put a PS5 out and splinter the massive install base that is currently in place. Whatever good graces the company established in this current generation will have to mostly reset to zero when the next Xbox and PlayStation hit the market. If Digital Trends’ assessment is correct, that rollover will be held up by a pretty high price as well.
Based on the report, gaming and network services were heavy hitters for Sony and bright in the most operating income collectively. That’s over the company’s well-established music and home entertainment divisions. The PS4 specifically dropped when looking at 2017 numbers to 2018, but only slightly. Game software sales increased year-on-year, and the number of subscribers to PlayStation Plus also grew.
Sony predicts a continued decline in PS4 hardware sales in the forecast but anticipates continued software sale growth. The operating income the gaming division attracts is also expected to take a significant hit due to increases in development expenses for PS5 and decrease in contributions from first-party software. That second point is likely because, as we previously reported, those studios are hard at work on PS5 games. Combined with the lack of investment in PS5 marketing during the 2019 fiscal year, the pooling of operating incoming into the console means we’ll likely get a reveal in 2020 with a launch soon after.