It's only been two years since the launch of the PlayStation 5, and yet we are already writing about PlayStation 6. This time, it's not some random rumor from an unverified source - it's Sony itself discussing the next-generation PlayStation console as part of its official observations on the UK's Competition and Market Authority statement. In their argument, Sony noted that Microsoft had offered to continue publishing Activision games on PlayStation until 2027 (though they are hereby referring to the old three-year offer; Microsoft has recently bumped that offer up to a full decade beyond existing contracts), and they state that by the time the PlayStation 6 launches, it would have lost access to Call of Duty, with all that entails.
Microsoft has offered to continue making Activision’s games available on PlayStation only until 2027 (Microsoft, para. 3.27). Likewise, in public comments just on October 26, Microsoft said that it plans to offer Call of Duty on PlayStation only “as long as that makes sense.” A period until 2027 – or some other (possibly shorter) time that Microsoft unilaterally determines “makes sense” to Microsoft – is badly inadequate. By the time SIE launched the next generation of its PlayStation console (which is likely to occur around [redacted]), it would have lost access to Call of Duty and other Activision titles, making it extremely vulnerable to consumer switching and subsequent degradation in its competitiveness.
This appears to indicate, as noted by Ampere Analysis expert Piers Harding-Rolls, that the PlayStation 6 could be released after 2027, likely the following year.
Sony referred to a next generation of PlayStation console in its CMA response, with the suggested year of release being redacted
This was in a passage where it was referring to losing access to CoD after 2027, with higher potential for platform switching
PlayStation 6 in 2028? pic.twitter.com/f7govC8R7A
— Piers Harding-Rolls (@PiersHR) November 23, 2022
It would be the biggest timespan between PlayStation platforms yet. The first two consoles lasted six years (1994-2000 and 2000-2006), while the last two increased the longevity to seven years (2006-2013 and 2013-2020). If PlayStation 6 launched in 2028, we'd be looking at the longest console generation yet. On the other hand, PlayStation 5 launched in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and has had to deal with shortage issues for the first two years on the market.
Additionally, if Sony is indeed looking at 2028 for its next-generation console, a mid-generation PS5 Pro-like refresh landing in 2023 or 2024 (as teased by TV manufacturer TCL) makes even more sense. A renowned Grand Theft Auto leaker recently also suggested devkits for the mid-generation console refreshes are landing in the hands of triple-A developers.