It looks like we all have at least five years to save up for the next generation of consoles, including the PlayStation 6.
The world's leading gaming companies, or to be more specific, Microsoft, have given audiences a sneak peek into what its expected timeline will be, revealing that they anticipate that their next line of consoles will grace living rooms by 2028.
Microsoft, being embroiled in a legal tussle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, has inadvertently dropped this exciting snippet about the future of gaming.
Thanks to the battle's legal documents (and IGN), we've been given an unexpected glimpse into what Microsoft and Sony foresee for the gaming landscape. In the 77-page document, Microsoft, while defending its ambitious bid to buy Activision Blizzard, subtly slips in that they foresee the next-gen consoles making their debut in 2028.
The context behind this drop in knowledge is tied to Microsoft's ongoing negotiation with companies like Sony. Microsoft has proposed a ten-year deal to Sony, Valve, and Nintendo (Sony declined), to ensure the much-loved franchise, Call of Duty, remains on non-Xbox platforms. The essence of this clause, as quoted by Microsoft, is, "This term would in any case go beyond the expected starting period of the next generation of consoles (in 2028)."
So, Call of Duty fans can breathe easy, knowing the franchise will continue to blitz the upcoming PlayStation consoles for the foreseeable future and at least whatever the next Nintendo console will be called.
Why does this matter, and why should you care? Well, each new generation of consoles signifies leaps in power, graphics, gameplay, and technology. Yes, they don't come cheap, but they also last a good while. Since the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S dropped in November 2020, Microsoft's estimated timeline for the next-gen consoles' arrival in 2028 isn't any bit surprising. However, it is indeed intriguing to see this expectation being voiced amidst the din of a legal courtroom battle.
Now, as for Sony, the company has been somewhat tight-lipped about the PlayStation 6, as it should be. It's currently in the midst of celebrating last quarter's record-breaking console run after the PlayStation 5 finally got over the stock shortage hump.
Although it's worth noting Sony hinted at a similar timeline in November, complaining it could lose its access to Activision Blizzard's library by 2027, aligning with the proposed 2028 release date for the PlayStation 6.
So, while we're certainly still dealing with speculation, it seems that we can reasonably expect the PS6 and the next Xbox to grace our living rooms come 2028. But as with all things in life and gaming, this prediction could be subject to change. It's somewhat normal to delay games these days and this trend could very well spill over into console release dates too.
While this news is exciting, it's essential to consider the broader context. Microsoft's expected console release date comes to light amidst a legal struggle with the FTC. These aren't normal circumstances, which is what we need to remember when absorbing this information.
Ultimately, given how soon 2028 is, any project that started development now will likely be for the PlayStation 6, especially in light of the recent revelations about how costly game development can be these days.
And, while we're on the topic of unplanned reveals, we're hoping Microsoft, at the very least, confirms if it has plans for a mid-gen refresh for the Xbox Series S/X and whether a PlayStation 5 Pro is indeed in the works.